I haven’t had time lately to post anything new, but I’ve seen some of the news about ratings and debt and layoffs in the broadcast industry.  It’s a bleak outlook for the coming year.

I’d planned to write an upbeat article about the decline of Cumulus Media, how it’s not meeting earning projections and how ratings for their top ten stations are stagnating below expectations.  Yeah, like we didn’t see that coming.  I even laughed when I read that the Dick-eys at Cumulus continue to blame Rush Limbaugh for their financial woes.  Just the other day, I nearly had to smother a loud whoopie! when I saw Moody’s Investor’s Services had downgraded Cumulus to negative.  What a wonderful Christmas present.

Cumulus has been doing their December thing, laying people off.  I’ve read about many markets going through what we had to endure a year ago at the old KGO.  I want to connect with these groups of people and maybe we can come up with a plan to make sure Cumulus Media cannot make it in any market.  There is power in numbers.  I was ready to write an impassioned piece about how we need to unite and figure out how to fight this.  Tag every social media comment or post with a message about what Cumulus is doing to the radio industry.  Let people know we need to do something, now.

Then, I saw it.  The news reports about what Clear Channel has been doing.  All year long, they’ve been laying people off in small numbers.  Trying to stay under the radar of bad news.  Here’s one blog that mentions it:

http://www.balloon-juice.com/2012/11/19/no-word-yet-on-whether-or-not-they-were-told-to-build-a-stage/

And, here’s an October NYTimes article about it:

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/27/clear-channel-cuts-d-j-s-across-the-country/

I’ve seen the news about Clear Channel’s losses and how it will impact their budget decisions in all markets.  Just today, it was reported Clear Channel laid off more staff.

Here’s one report:

http://radioinsight.com/blog/headlines/79889/clear-channel-cuts-some-more/

Now I’m wondering,  should we be panicking?

I did panic today when I turned on KKSF-Newstalk 910-AM to listen to Len Tillem’s show.  The caller had a problem with a restaurant owner who might have had someone slash the caller’s car tires.  It was the same call I’d heard yesterday, same guy, same problem.  I thought, wait a minute, why am I hearing this again?

It didn’t help that it’s early December and around this time last year many of us listened to old shows of our favorite KGO hosts without knowing why.  So, you can’t blame me for panicking.  Finally, in the midst of my Google search for Clear Channel layoff information, Len mentioned that he’d talked to the caller yesterday.  Whew!  Hey Len, my man, don’t frighten me like that!

I had visions of having to rely on that media blogger for news of our favorite hosts.  That blogger guy has been a disappointment.  I’ve shared some of the reasons why in other articles.  He’s started his own show somewhere.  I don’t think it’s going well.  In the past when I tried to listen to him on-air, he was amateurish at best.  Then, this week, all in one day, dozens of glowing reviews showed up on his blog.  All in a similar voice.  hmmmm…  doesn’t pass the smell test.

So, please, Len and Gil and John, stay on the air and we will all have to find a way to keep you there.  Don’t send us back to blogger land and those inane posts about who do you think is the hottest weather girl.

That same guy wrote a tattler-like piece about Dana King.  An over-the-top pronouncement about King’s career.  Who knows if there is any truth in it?  That guy has claimed many things before that have never happened.  He’s not reliable.

Then we have someone like Gil Gross on KKSF-Newstalk 910-AM interviewing Dana King today on his show and it was a class act all of the way.  Gil showed interest, compassion, and respect for someone going through a big change in her life.  Gil really cared about what was happening in her life and she talked about what it was like saying goodbye to a place where she’d spent the last 25 or so years.

I will post the link when it’s up.  It was in Gil’s first hour today.  (and I’ll clean up this post, I put this together in a bit of a rush tonight)

It’s great to have Gil on-air locally, someone who can have a real conversation with a local celebrity, Dana King.  We don’t get a syndicated, canned broadcast interview of some hyped-up star of-the-day.

Should we be panicking that at this time next year that will be exactly what will be waiting for us next Christmas at Clear Channel?

Not if we think about what we can do about it now.  Save local radio.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s