Thursday, May 8, 2008

Radio: You got screwed!


What part of “you got screwed” don’t you understand?

Was it when the just-named COO of the Tribune Corp. Randy Michaels ran that full-page ad in the L.A. Times with a headline that read, Sorry Radio, but the numbers send a clear signal and referencing that the paper has a bigger reach than the top 20 radio stations in Los Angeles?

You were under the impression that the one formerly known as Benjamin Homel, was….one of us?

You really believed he still gave a rat’s hind about radio?

Those newspaper nitpickers claim that the numbers Michaels used misled badly and have no basis in fact.

So what? He misled radio into the state of decay it’s mired in today – and most of the post-deregulation radio leaders would welcome him back into the radio fold in a nanosecond.

But Michaels isn’t going back. He looks at the radio industry as sheep in sheep’s clothing.

Michaels’ fuzzy math in that ad omitted every L.A. Spanish language station in his radio to newspaper comparison. That’s a glaring omission, right? Not really. He’s talking about the Los Angeles Times – not the Tiempos De Los Ángeles. He left off KRTH, too. They have more cume listeners than the Times have readers, right? Right, but so what.

Facts get in the way.

Randy Michaels had a mission. It was to make Mary Beth Garber, the president of the Southern California Broadcasting Association mad enough to go on defense and he succeeded.
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She shot back this too wordy click-here-to-read open letter, in which she called herself, “…angry and appalled that one of the nation's largest newspapers would attack another medium based on such loosely gathered and poorly put together facts.”

Wah Wah Wah!

Beth, learn from Michaels. You never complain and you never explain.

Michaels played her well. No one that matters will read her retort.

Randy Michaels is a mercenary. He was as loyal to the Mays family for as long as they were to him.

And there’s a big difference between Clear Channel and the Trib.

He was a hired gun working for the Mays family. This time he’s a hired gun working with Sam Zell. Big difference.

Zell and Michaels are Ramirez and MacLeod.

My guess is that he’s smart enough to be the new King Herod. At night, he probably looks up at the stars wondering if a new king – the next Randy Michaels – has been born, and can he kill him yet.

Someone called to ask, “What made Randy flip?” Flip? He never flipped.

He’s the guy Bob Dylan sings about in “Positively Fourth Street.” He wants to be on the side that’s winning.
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I take that back. He’s closer to that character in John Cale’s “Ready for War.”

Zell’s hired him as his boy. If that means he wants Michaels to slam his old medium, so be it.
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Michaels has no qualms on attacking his former industry. He knows where all the bodies are buried. He arranged the plots.

He’s not out to save radio as some assumed. He’s out to exterminate it.

Just wait for his interactive versus radio d&p show.

Maybe the radio industry will show more restraint before it misguidedly crowns its next savior.
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You’d think radio would’ve figured that one out the last time around.

Remember Mel?

You know the saying. (Beep) them before they (beep) you.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

"If that means Zell wants him to slam his old medium, so be it."

That's funny. Randy is doing exactly what the host of this blog and all the regulars do here every day: Slam radio.

The only difference is Randy gets paid (very very well) to do it.

Anonymous said...

I believe you are misreading this blog and the opinions of many of those commenting on it. Gorman and most here are not slamming radio as a medium, they are slamming the way it has been mismanaged. There is a difference. Calling Randy Michaels a mercenary is the perfect definition of what he is. He never cared about radio. He cared about Benny Hommel.

Anonymous said...

This just proves that no one knows what they are doing in the radio industry anymore. That is why Radio One stock is below a dollar. That is why Citadel buying ABC was a dumb ego driven idea. That is why Cumulus is a disaster waiting to happen. Leadership? Get real.

Anonymous said...

Good radio stations were ruined by bad owners and operators.

Anonymous said...

John, You are on it. The ink is not even dry on Randy Michael's contract and he is already pulling his Jacor/Clear Channel style stunts with the L.A. Times. Are you aware of this one from Fishbowl L.A.? http://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowlLA/newspapers/la_times_lets_lie_stand_84382.asp

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this. I get so damned sick of reading about how great Randy Michaels was for radio. What did he do other than ruin something that was in need of repair. He took the telecom bill deregulation and turned his 'power' into his own personal ego driven empire buying anything he could get his hands on with little rhyme or reason. Look at the results. Some will say Randy was brilliant at 'move ins'. I beg to differ. Any engineer could come up with those scenarios and probably did. He just took the credit. Randy must have hired one of the best p.r. people to make himself look good. Look at Randy's history. Not so rosy. Jacor?

Anonymous said...

before this turns into name calling and innuendo let me tell you some facts. i worked for both clear channels: pre-randy michaels and randy. clear channel was cheap channel long before the jacor merger. the mays family ran the company on a tight leash with budgets. it was no different than any other radio group in that regard. it changed when clear channel bought jacor and their people took over. they pretended to be rich hillbillies. everything was put in control of covington, ky. marc chase came in for a programming meeting which consisted of two hours of him talking about the benefits of viagra & his sexual exploits. yes there were women in the meeting that were made to feel uncomfortable. formats were change via hard drives. call letters were changed. i was told that every market would have a mix and a kiss. there was no local input. then there was randy. i only met him once. he asked who i was and told me a gross grade school dirty joke. after that it became ugly. i was not of the gross out strip club hooker mentality that cc had become in a matter of weeks. today i am with a small chain and making more money than i would had i stayed with cc. i can tell you first hand that i witnessed randy's people dismantle great stations and unemploy some hard working people that did not laugh hard enough at marc chase's jokes.

Anonymous said...

Radio people are the worst judge of character which is why the business has a history of being lead down the wrong path time and time again. Ten years ago Randy Michaels and Mel Karmazin were the industry saviors. Now Randy is doing his thing and Mel is fighting radio interests for the XM Sirius merger. Deregulation did more harm than good except to those who sold at the right time.

Mary Beth Garber said...

The only thing the LA Times ad bashing Radio really proves is that the LA Times is desperate. The Apr 28 Ad Age headline,"Newspaper Death Watch", probably scared them even more than the number of advertisers moving from newspaper to radio.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Mary Beth.

Yes, Randy Michaels did try to draw her into battle and did put her on the defensive.

No, Mary Beth has nothing to worry about from the L.A. Times. What Sam Zell and Randy Michael's emotional egos blocked them from understanding is the reality that maybe radio is having its problems right now but nothing comes close to the decline in ad revenue with the newspapers.

Sammy and Randy will cut the newspapers to bone just like radio and sell the company off to some clueless Eurotrash. That is something to be proud of, Randy. Just like all of your other accomplishments that you jump ship from.

Mary Beth, you will have the last laugh.

Anonymous said...

Except for his clubhouse few, Randy Michaels has left most of his former colleagues seduced and abandoned and some of them don't even know it. It is truly pathetic to read comments from former or current Clear Channel employees who profess their undying love for Randy and say they would work for him again in a moment. I am sure John Hogan spends his days asking himself when Randy is going to call him. Mr. Hogan, Randy is through with you. The same with you other love sick puppies. I wonder how Tom Owens feels knowing that he lost his love to Lee Abrams.

Anonymous said...

You wrote the real bio on Randy. The crap they print in Radio Ink portrays him as the savior he is not. He ruined an entire radio industry with his half baked ideas. I do give credit where credit is due. He had all the other big chains waddling behind him like penguins on the way to slaughter. I beleive he even set himself up to get caught abusing his T&E. He got himself ousted at the right time, so others took the fall for Clear Channel's stock nosedive. He and Sam Zell will sell Tribune off to foreign interests once they raid the vault. Whoever buys it will get an empty shell. Michaels found his true lover in Zell. They think a like, they screw over other people alike.

Anonymous said...

I second those kudos to Mary Beth Garber. Don't let that husky hooligan bother you. He is a meaningless bully in a company that is desparately trying to pawn it off to foreign investors. The fact that he is already playing his Randy tricks so soon shows what problems the Tribune has.

Mary Beth. We are on your side. Randy didn't forget where he came from. He was never radio. He was and is strictly into being a professional pilferer.

Randy, what is growing faster? Your waist size or your head?

Anonymous said...

"most here are not slamming radio as a medium, they are slamming the way it has been mismanaged."

The result is the same. You have issues with radio management, and so does Randy. You're all on the same side now. Congratulations.

Anonymous said...

The pronlem with bottom feeders like Zell and Michaels is that when they finish dining on whatever is left on the floor they will turn on one another. Zell and Michaels are counting on the same hype that made him look like a hero while he was at CC and the stock price was inflated. This time Wall street is wise to their scams and he may not get out of this one as easily. Sure they will take the money and run but the Tribune is in terrible shape and all the smoke and mirrors and Randy's little team will not provide them the cover this time around to rape and pillage the stockholders. If Randy feels he is blood brothers with Zell he has rude awakening. Zell will dine on Randy's remains.

Anonymous said...

Two names I thought I'd never see in the same sentence: The Chicago Tribune and Randy Michaels. When did he learn how to read? Did he get his GED?

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Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.