This is no surprise and I expect it will happen in some manner. Lowry Mays understands the greater fool theory. Foreign interests are lusting for a piece of US media and Lowry and Mel will be ready to unload their under performing properties.
Lowry also wants to invest in foreign stations. He attempted an ownership run at the both the Capital Radio Group and Chrysalis in the UK over the past two years. Both efforts, so far, failed.
We know radio is not going to perform the previously predicted earnings. If anything, business will get worse. Automotive will follow Ford's decision on not advertising new products on the radio - to concentrate on direct mail, TV and Internet. Lowry, Mel and the boys will plea to Congress that the only way for US media to survive is to include foreign investment - and they'll make the usual arguments about a world economy.
It's moves like this that will turn the US into what the UK was in the 50s to early 60s when the sun finally set on the British Empire. We're on our way to repeat the same mistakes of the Brits.
Please Mr. Hogan � Where�s the Beef ?
Clear Channel, the nation�s largest group of radio stations, have more than enough stages to develop new innovative programming. But, try as I may to find even one new programming format the Texas based company has given the nation, I couldn�t. Gobbling up Premiere Radio during the feeding frenzy sparked by radio�s deregulation was a smart move by the Mays monopoly. Without the talents created by Premiere�s founders, Clear Channel would have little programming of any kind today.
In a recent survey
naming the top fifty radio programmers of 2003, only a dozen Clear
Channel programmers were named. Imagine,
1,200 of the nations biggest facilities, but only a dozen directors
worth noting. Those who
are most responsible for attracting audience are saddled with
directing several stages in a single market, round the clock. More
than one programmer had expressed despair to me personally of the
So, I was surprised and pleased a few months ago when Clear Channel radio president John Hogan initiated telephone calls to me inquiring about my view of the radio industry. I immediately registered my concerns about any company who places far an away most emphases on sales and obviously in Clear Channel�s case�very little on product, or programming. With fifty years of radio experience to my credit, my concerns were dismissed as not important. I made it clear to him I wasn�t looking for a job myselfbut could supply the names of several extremely talented, long time successful program consultants.
I should have known better. Having met many company presidents in my lifetime, only a few were listeners and they were the most successful of the dozens I have known.
Those who had long
careers as company heads, picked the best programmers possible to rely
on and understood without programming, their would be no sales.
Unfortunately for others who only wanted to hear an echo of their own
genius, their time on the throne was limited. John
Hogan was a gentleman, but he indicated he already knew more than I
could possibly know about radio.
Adding to my concerns
for Clear Channel, in a recent interview Mr. Hogan challenged the
question about a lack of listener choices in radio today.
I was stunned when he claimed the radio listener of today has
more than double the format choices, than were available before
radio�s deregulation. I
listen to radio a great deal and for the life of me I could not
imagine what new radio programming I was missing.
According to Mr.
Hogan, radio added almost 50 new formats in five or six years. In all
the previous years of radio�s history, programmers had only created
35 �or so� formats, he stated. But since then, programmers have
worked overtime to develop more than double the choices for listeners
to �more than 80�.
The information was
credited to have come from the NAB, but having searched the
resources of the National Association of Broadcasters, they advise no
such report came from them. Calls
to Clear Channel to provide the documentation for Hogan�s remarks
have gone unanswered.
We would love to
share the news of all these wonderful new formats. I would personally
like to hear them myself. But
no one seems to have any information on where we can find this report
backing up John Hogan�s remarks.
So we are prompted to ask, please Mr. Hogan - Where�s the beef ?
Center for Public Integrity once again has done a masterful job
result is a radio industry where Clear Channel and other radio broadcast
companies own far more radio stations in individual markets across the
United States than was intended by Congress, despite years of warnings
by the FCC's own staff."
Tell the FCC to deny renewal of Clear
Channel broadcast licenses
One again we urge you to contact the FCC commissioners TODAY and ask that they uphold the FCC�s own rules and deny Clear Channel a license renewal.
To e-mail the commissioners:
Chairman Michael K. Powell: [email protected]
Commissioner Kathleen Q. Abernathy: [email protected]
Commissioner Michael J. Copps: [email protected]
Commissioner Kevin J. Martin: [email protected]
Commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein: [email protected]
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