Why the Rush, Cumulus?

Those who follow talkers.com ( http://www.talkers.com/ ) have seen these little gems of information already, but those who haven’t – here they are in all of their glory (or, should I say gory)…

Excerpts from talkers.com February 9th. article here:

“Now CMN decides to develop a three-hour talk show for Huckabee – based out of Florida – airing live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET and beginning April 2.  Already, industry watchers are viewing the move as Cumulus “taking on” Premiere Networks’ syndication dominance in the time slot with Limbaugh while Cumulus COO John Dickey tells The New York Times that it is positioning the show as an alternative to Limbaugh.”

“Within the industry, the big question is will Cumulus push Huckabee onto its news/talk stations that currently carry Limbaugh, especially at such major market stations as WABC, New York; WLS, Chicago; WJR Detroit; WBAP-AM/FM, Dallas and WMAL-AM/FM, Washington?  All are markets where Premiere parent Clear Channel Media and Entertainment doesn’t have a news/talk outlet (or a strong-performing talk outlet) on which to move Limbaugh.”

Read the article here:

http://www.talkers.com/2012/02/09/thursday-february-9-2012/

Want a peek at what to expect on the airwaves?  Read it here so you won’t have to actually listen when it’s forced on our airwaves:

http://www.rightwingnews.com/interviews/huckabee.php

Nope.  Not done yet with all of this exciting news.  Can’t talk about this without mentioning the big Dick-ey.

In a February 7th. talkers.com piece, they reported that Lew the big Dick-ey spoke to “the Atlanta Journal Constitution about his business and the role private equity firm Bain Capital played in its progress.”

“The piece ran Sunday (2/5) online and in print and was written from the perspective of giving insight into Bain Capital – the company formerly run by presidential candidate Mitt Romney.  However it also probes the nature of corporate radio as it rides the rough surf of an economic downturn and a dramatically changing media business – complete with layoffs and job consolidation”

“…they had to “wholesale re-engineer the way these operations work” in order to cut costs and that the company learned this process while working with the private equity firms.  Hannan said the company was able to cut $70 million in costs.  Lew Dickey tells the AJC the business has to work that way to survive.  He says old-line media companies have become “inherently inefficient.  We run the business as efficiently as technology permits us to do.”  Interestingly, Bain Capital took a loss on its involvement with Cumulus.  Cumulus ended up buying out Bain and the other private equity partners.”

Read the February 7th talkers.com article here:

http://www.talkers.com/2012/02/07/tuesday-february-7-2012/

Interesting, isn’t it?  Want more?  Here’s the ajc.com article:

http://www.ajc.com/business/bain-capitals-atlanta-forays-1331588.html

Is this the future of our airwaves?  Financial battles for turf to broadcast what one behemoth corporate management wants us to hear?  Syndicated programs to support their incoming cash flow and political parties?

We need to come up with a plan, fast.  As I said before, all of our voices united in one cause is more powerful than any 50-thousand watt radio station.

Do NOT support Cumulus Media, do NOT listen to KGO.  Do NOT fall for their SweetJack crap.  Boycott their advertisers.  Tell others about it.  Show your support and ‘like’ the Facebook page of FormerKGOListeners.  Post your ideas.  They do a great job keeping everyone informed and they have thousands of followers.  We all need to figure out an effective way to voice our opposition to this corporate raider or looter mentality.  Or, do you think it’s a lost cause?

http://www.facebook.com/FormerKGOListeners

Dr. Bill Wattenburg’s idea of anyone being able to write out a message, any message, on a piece of paper and pasting it up in your neighborhood is a start.  The laundromat, the coffee shop, anywhere others will see it.  What message would you write?

Or, we can do nothing and hope that Cumulus has a bad year all on its own.  It seems they are heading that way with no help from us.

And, we have to figure out the role our best new friend, Clear Channel, plays in all of this.  They are Cumulus’ biggest competitor, and they are also the “… largest owner of full-power AM, FM, and shortwave radio stations and twelve radio channels on XM Satellite Radio, and is also the largest pure-play radio station owner and operator.”

Clear Channel has welcomed our favorite former KGO hosts to their station, KKSF Newstalk 910-AM (http://www.newstalk910.com/main.html ).  They are making some good business decisions in offering both Gene Burns and Len Tillem their own time slots.  We support those decisions.  We also understand it was a move to increase listeners (not to mention ad dollars).  So, how can we communicate our disgust with radio today without including Clear Channel in the discussion?

The issue of our present-day airwaves includes the history of Clear Channel and Cumulus Media as well as the FCC.

Read the Wikipedia entry on Clear Channel ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clear_Channel_Communications ):

“Clear Channel Communications, Inc. is an American media conglomerate company headquartered in San Antonio, Texas.[3] It was founded in 1972 by Lowry Mays and Red McCombs, and was taken private by Bain Capital LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners LP in a leveraged buyout in 2008.[4] Clear Channel specializes in radio broadcasting, concert promotion and hosting, and fixed advertising in the United States through its subsidiaries. After 21 years, Mark Mays stepped down as President and CEO of Clear Channel on June 23, 2010.[5] Mays will remain as Chairman of the Board, a position he has held for a year prior. The Board has engaged Egon Zehnder International, a leading executive search firm, to lead the search for a new CEO.

“Clear Channel is the largest owner of full-power AM, FM, and shortwave radio stations and twelve radio channels on XM Satellite Radio, and is also the largest pure-play radio station owner and operator. The group was in the television business until it sold all of its TV stations to Newport Television in 2008.

“The term “clear channel” comes from AM broadcasting, referring to a channel (frequency) on which only one station transmits. In U.S. and Canadian broadcasting history, “clear channel” (or class I-A) stations had exclusive rights to their frequencies throughout most of the continent at night, when AM stations travel very far due to skywave. WOAI in San Antonio, Clear Channel’s flagship station, was such a station.”

Any thoughts?

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