The signpost up ahead: Twilight Zone
This came in today from an anonymous source. These opinions do not necessarily reflect mine, but I thought I’d post it anyway for your feedback. Enjoy!
Yesterday Raul Alacarn and Lew Dickie were the latest CEO’s under the analyst call “hot seat”. Both were taken to task for poor performance or non-core acquisitions. The Q3 performance of most public radio companies has been lackluster at best. Many stocks are at 52 week lows. Billions in value are being lost. The radio industry is under attack from new technology, HD radio has yet to be developed, the diary is an antiquated measurement of audience that has no confidence at the agency level. What are radio CEO’s doing about it? Cutting marketing, cutting staff, cutting research, cutting commissions, while rejecting PPM, the very credibility card they need to grow revenue. Why? It costs more money! Ok, but perhaps it’s time for public company radio CEO’S to start putting money back into the business and not Baseball Teams, TV stations, movie production, cable channels, company boats, company planes, company apartments and more! They can’t agree on what to call the band of HD while the momentum of Satellite Radio continues. LIM is NOT customer friendly. Not all advertisers like it. In fact, auto dealers hate it! The #1 category for radio is soft. Yet you are pushing something they don’t want. (30’s) Could there be a connection? There are fewer and fewer live radio programs after 7pm, thereby cutting off the pool of talent development. Local managers are not allowed to make decisions, yet are getting the blame. Employees are beaten down, morale is low, pay is dropping. Yet, these CEO’s are making huge sums of money, control the stock, and basically ignore listeners, advertisers, employees. Listen to the analyst calls. You believe analysts know nothing about the operation of the business. You can hear it. Perhaps they don’t. But they do know money. And I think they are starting to realize, you may not be making the smartest moves. It’s time to wake up! Unless there is more attention and money invested back into the business to grow revenues, you will see your personal fortune (and that of your stockholders) continue to shrink. Start putting money into sales development, not new “toys” not related to radio. The arrogance is starting to show. Your employees are miserable. The performance is embarrassing. The radio business should be growing. It’s not. Who is to blame? You Are! Go private, then do what you want. Continue to play with public money? It may get rough for you out there! Your net worth may start to suffer. Start working for the listeners, advertisers, stockholders, and employees. Get your heads in the game, start investing in and RUNNING LOCAL RADIO stations from local markets. Running local stations from corporate is not working. Good people are leaving the business. Change your tactics before it’s too late. Eventually, it will be YOUR FORTUNE TOO!