Friday, October 12, 2007

NAB’s Fumbles: “Stop the clock, I want to get off!”

If I looked up ‘David Rehr’ on one of those classmates websites would I learn that he was the kid they picked on at school?

If I looked up ‘David Rehr’ would I learn that the two words he used the most in school was, “I’m tellin’?”

If I looked up 'David Rehr' would I learn that he never played sports because he always dropped the ball?

If I looked up ‘David Rehr’ would his yearbook read, “Most likely not to succeed?”

Fumbles, there comes a time when you got to get tough and that was when you were hired to head the National Association of Broadcasters.

Instead, we got a wimp.

You just can’t find good help anymore.

What is it about a unified XM-Sirius that frightens you? Step back, take a deep breath, chew on a Xanax and get control of yourself.

Stopping the clock? Mel nearly had a bilateral hernia from laughing so hard. Much ado about nothing. You agreed, albeit reluctantly, with the FCC on their 180 day deal merger decision.

You can’t raise your hand and say, “Not fair.” That didn’t work when the big kids shot spitballs at you or knocked the books out of your hands – and it’s not going to work now.

Desperate times call for desperate measures and when the going gets tough, Fumbles writes long letters and petitions. In this case, nine pages of drivel, which you can read here, tidied up in a cute pdf file:

Fumbles has even taken to calling it, “a government sanctioned merger.” He’s not making any friends in high places. Then again he never had any to begin with.

Do you know how to find the NAB offices without a map? Just follow the stench of fear.

Okay, XM and Sirius hired all the right lobbyists while you threw away your war chest on John Ashcroft. Get past that, Fumbles.

You want more time – let me repeat – more time - to examine internal documents you expect to receive through a Freedom of Information Request in hopes of finding some wrong doing at Sirius?

Fumbles, I know your obsessed with finding the memo, the note, or the e-mail that proves your conspiracy theories on their ground-based transmitters and repeaters?

You’d better hope that the tables aren’t turned on you – and a lot of the rule-bending radio faux pas that have occurred over the past decade – accidental or deliberate – aren’t revealed about one or more of your members.

Sure, there’s that SEC 10-K filing that had “certain Sirius personnel” requesting that “manufacturers produce Sirius radios that were not consistent with FCC rules.”

And I'm sure you'll find some little old lady who unitentionally picked up the Howard Stern show or the adult comedy channel on Sirius instead of the NPR or religious station she usually listens to - and her quality of life was forever damaged after hearing a couple of four-letter words.

Don’t you hate when that happens?

Here’s your dilemma, Fumbles. There’s been a fair share of – how can we put it – accidentally on purpose errors committed by the radio chains you represent. Maybe there were a few move-ins that weren’t exactly what one would call legal?

I know, I know, Fumbles. You share that predicament with the FCC, which just can’t keep up with the paperwork – as if by design – on all the buying, selling, trading, and swapping – mostly from a company whose initials are CC.

So you fear the FCC will equalize those evils by tossing one satellite radio’s way? Is that what has you cowering?

Satellite radio is not the enemy. Friendly fire is.

The NAB is supposed to be in a leadership role for the stations it represents. So try being a leader – not a tattletale – because if you play that card, you’re going to lose.

Maybe you’ve forgotten that Mel’s an ex-radio guy – and knows where all the post-deregulation terrestrial radio bodies are buried.

But he’s not your worst enemy. You are.

Let the merger happen. It’s not going to slaughter terrestrial radio. It may, in fact, help it.

Fumbles, consider this.

Who says a combined XM-Sirius won’t get competition from a new satellite radio contender? Ever hear of Primosphere? More about them another time.

Fumbles, we know that you're faxing and e-mailing your resume to any interested party. The bad news is that there aren’t any parties interested in you.

Unless the god Fumbles prays to comes through, he’s going to be living with – at best – a three to two vote in favor of the merger. The Justice department? They’ve already made up their mind. Sorry, Fumbles, you’re toast.

Most people know how to take something significant and restructure it into the symbol their circumstance requires. You’re not one of them.

Fumbles, we know that you've even solicited the Consumer’s Union to secure their anti-merger support. Shocking! You actually had to grovel to a liberal organization.

You're off Ashcroft's Christmas card list for that one.

You can’t predict the future, you can only create it. What kind of future have you created for the NAB, Fumbles?


Anonymous said...

The NAB can be real proud of these:

"NAB gives choice for Sirius-XM: Penalties? or Monopoly?"

"XM + Sirius = Monolpoly"

Well, I'll do the NAB one better - HD Radio is a farce:

Dale G said...

You reap what you sow. Consider who is running radio. Fumbles is the guy they deserve. He is as clueless as they are. Wonder how bad October business is? What happens when political goes to the internet instead of radio?

Anonymous said...

Are you saying that after XM and Sirius spent all that money to merge that another satellite company may enter the market?

That would be great. It would force XM-Sirius to keep subscription costs down.

If Sync is already available who needs satellite radio? The choices are much better on the internet.

Anonymous said...

YOu should have titled it "Don't Rehr the Reaper" Bad joke, I know.

Good blog. Radio & the NAB are their own worst enemies.

Content Content Content.

A member of the NAB said...

At the NAB convention radio people only talked about was the threat of satellite radio. I see the #1 threat as being a lack of understanding the radio industry that they are in. How can they hope to win with voice tracking, too tight or too loose (and no in between) playlists, lack of personality and no imaginative production?

XM and Sirius aren't great either and lack some of these atributes but they do offer more variety but they are not exactly direct competiton with terrestrial radio.

Unless radio gets creative and looks toward solving problems instead of blaming others for them it will continue to lose audience. Another 4 million less a year from now will be a reality if change is not made quickly.

Anonymous said...

Gorman - Radio is DEAD, DEAD, DEAD. That goes for terrestrial radio and satellite radio. That horse has been beaten to death. 2008 will be the year internet radio explodes as it becomes mobile. It offers FAR MORE than either "service".
If the RIAA tries to shut down internet radio I think it will backfire on them as artists realize that internet radio is the only service that is exposing a wide range of music new and old and unlike satellite radio the programming is fully independent.

I never listen to commercial radio on the internet nor will I listen to AOL, Yahoo or those services. They play the same S--t terrestrial radio does.

Anonymous said...

is it that no one else wanted the job & rehr/fumbles was the best they could get? it could be like the rest of broadcasting these days. they got him cheap.

NJ Radio Guy said...

Fumbles Rehr is only doing what his members (i.e. radio chains) are telling him what to do. They are as dumb as he is. The NAB has becoming a clearing house for stale ideas and outdated sales techniques. I don't take the blame off of Fumbles. I want to clairify that he shares his bumbling stupidity with the radio chains/

Anonymous said...

Rehr/Fumbles's coronation at the time was welcomed by most NAB members and that his experience in the beer lobby would be a real plus for us.
We got a mediocre leader who recycles his old beer speeches for broadcasting.
We are radio and everyone else is the enemy was like his fight against some imports and microbrews that were not owned by the major beer companies.
Everything coming from him is us vs. them.
The radio business will continue to be a rudderless ship as long as Rehr and his croneys pilot it.

Anonymous said...

Internet radio is coming. T-rad has been trying to stifle satrad while they steathly diversify into i-radio. Those that believe i-rad will crush satrad have not thought this through. True, if you're in front of a pc you can find commercial free music but you also have numerous banners and ads to view. If you're mobile, how will i-rad get or increase revenue without these banners and ads? You guessed it, they will need commercials or subscriptions. Sure, there will always be free music available on the internet, but the RIAA ruling has put pressure on the i-rad stations to produce revenue. Nothing is free.

Anonymous said...

I think Fumbles was certain the merger would not happen when it was announced, so he got a lot of NAB energy behind it. Then, when it failed he could take credit for killing it. He'd be a hero. No one would even remember Eddie Fritz....too bad, so sad. When the merger happens, and the RIAA starts taxing the AM and FM boys, he'll be looking for a job.

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