It’s Christmas. Some stations flip to non-stop, non-maintenance seasonal music while they try to figure out why their time spent listening continues to plummet with their regular format.
At Clear Channel, it means it’s time for the annual holiday season bloodbath. The fatality list is too long to list. Ten were whacked in L.A., for starters.
Don’t take it personally. If you’re with Clear Channel, the stations you work for are line items – nothing more. When your entire business philosophy, post-radio deregulation was “buy ‘em now and figure out what to do with ‘em later,” with absolutely no thought of any down side, what else would you expect? The bigger Clear Channel got – the more problems they created for themselves.
Unless you were fortunate enough, like John Hogan, and given membership in the golden parachute club, which Randy Michaels and Sam Zell set up shortly before scamming the Mays family into buying Jacor, you have no job security.
Catch that, Tribune employees?
See, we misunderstood John Hogan. We thought “less is more” was about reducing commercial inventory – not personnel.
Successful criminals always travel light.
Now we hear that Clear Channel plans to eliminate what little remains of their promotion and marketing departments.
Come January ’08, their account executives will be responsible for producing their own remotes. Yes, a $5.85 minimum wage entry level position for someone wanting to break into a career in radio will now be handled by the sales department.
That means in addition to writing the business, sales people will have to drive the station van to the event; set up the banners, booth, and sound system – and tear everything down after the event.
How much you want to bet that the account executives that don’t jump ship will just stop selling remotes?
You can thank Fiddle and Faddle a.k.a. the private equity firms of BainCapital and Thomas H. Lee. They’re the ones that paid the Axis of Evil, otherwise known as the Mays family, billions to take Clear Channel private.
Who says medieval systems don’t work anymore? The Mays family ends up with a major cash incentive for screwing everything up while everyone else, Fiddle and Faddle included, are stuck with a cash disincentive. That’s what you do when you run out of money to steal.
We knew that house of cards would tumble eventually. So did the Mays family. The deal was done so it would fall on Fiddle and Faddle. And Fiddle founder Mitt Romney wants to be your next President?
Memo to anyone making six figures or over at Clear Channel: Start looking now.