Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Radio: Only 590 people nationwide






Click here.  A new Facebook page for former Clear Channel employees.





“I mean, Jesus, John.  It’s only 590 people nationwide, including corporate people this time,” said the voice on the other end of the phone.  “There’s no need to do a hatchet job on us.  This wasn’t an ‘Obama thing,’ not even close.” 

I didn’t realize that January 20, 2009 - the day Clear Channel terminated 1,850 employees, which coincided with Barack Obama’s Presidential inauguration, would be formally referenced by that company as the ‘Obama thing,’ but I digress. 

The voice on the other end of the line belongs to someone whom I promised would remain nameless. He does, in my opinion, represent Clear Channel Communications.  He’s paid by Clear Channel and has a high level management position in a market, which I gave my word, would not identify. 

I wasn’t going to explain the math.  1,850 plus 590 equals 2,440.   In 99 days Clear Channel eliminated 2,440 jobs from the 900 or so stations it still owns. 

The manager called me because, as he put it, “Some of our clients started reading your thing after it the magazines and newspapers picked up on it – and sometimes they give me crap about the stuff you write.” 

“I’m just asking for you to put everything into context.  I mean, everyone is firing everyone these days. Not just us.” 

“I’m going to miss some of those people, for sure,” he added. “Some were good people.” I didn’t ask him whether he was referencing the programming talent or the back office people or both who were unceremoniously let go in the past twenty-four hours.   My guess is that he never got too close to any of them.  It’s like those kids growing up on the farm faced with the realization that the cute little lamb they used to play with would be tomorrow’s dinner. 

 “But, I’ll be honest, you and I should be more concerned about General effing Motors closing between 1,000 and 1,200 dealerships by the end of this year,” he continued.  “Do you know how many effing radio and TV spots that are going to just disappear?   All that effing revenue lost.  That’s the real shame and that’s what you ought to be writing about ‘cause it’s going to end up costing jobs at CBS down the street and Emmis and Citadel and the rest of them.” 

It’s all about point of view. 

True, GM shuttering over a thousand dealerships by year’s end creates a nasty chain of events from even more people than Clear Channel fired on the street looking for work to far less dollars being spent on media in many markets.  

My former programming assistant was among those terminated this morning. 

 She’d already been working at the station when the company I was with bought it.   I just had an e-mail conversation with her a couple of weeks back.  She was proud to say that she’d been with the station – her first major job – for almost twenty years. 

When I read casualty figures of 590 or 1,850 news like this hits harder because we share the same business. Whether it’s a program director, an air personality or one who handles billing – we’re all interconnected. 

Remember when Clear Channel radio CEO John Hogan said he was leaving it up to the program directors to decide whether to go with Premium Choice, their fancy name for voice-tracking and syndication – or stay live and local. 

We now know the identities of the PDs that wanted to stay live and local.   They’re the ones who are no longer under the employ of Clear Channel. 

In at least one market, the entire staff was fired in favor of John Hogan’s Premium Choice.  

I have a sounder for new e-mails.  It’s been making noise all day.  I’ve been on and off the phone three to four times more than usual.   I’m hearing from those people you never hear from until they either lost a job or know someone who did and want to vouch for them. 

Where am I going with this?   Not far.   

It does make me realize what a shallow company Clear Channel has become.  It’s even worse under Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee.   Think about it.  They tried to orchestrate a positive p.r. fest about Clear Channel in advance of the firings they ordered John “I’m only following orders” Hogan to handle.   Too bad they were lousy liars.  

From Scott Sperling on CNBC to the insensitive and transparent Hogan press releases – Clear Channel showed their true color,   Yellow.

These economic times will weed out the weaker chains, stations.  Only a quality product will stand the test of time.  That doesn’t say much for Clear Channel's future.

The people who were let go today are not those who destroyed this industry.  They were the ones trying to save it, preserve it, and make a living from it.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you, John. What you wrote is appreciated.

Anonymous said...

That's right, John - No need to do a hatchet job on clear channel - they're the ones adept at wielding the damned hatchets!

david5258 said...

john--what's sad is that cc/bain cut the creative sources that make triv able to win afternoon drive. marty and paul deserve far better than a 1 minute notice---david9396

Anonymous said...

Just wondering, what in Hell does Bob Struble think of all this - LOL!

Anonymous said...

were all of the cuts just in radio? did outdoor people get cut too?

Anonymous said...

Isn't the rule in radio that once someone does all the firing, they are next -so they are the bad guy? Hey un-identified manager, how's that paper-box supply to move out your stuff next?

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you're making them sweat, John

Anonymous said...

John Hogan severed his company's aorta. Only a matter of time before that company implodes. Enjoy your 'network,' John. Your Premium Choice. It may be the last choice you ever make in your career. I almost forgot. It wasn't your choice, it was Bain and Lee doing the bidding. You are just the errand boy, boy. Your next whether you know it or not.

Anonymous said...

How clueless is that manager? Well others are doing it so it's okay. Anything to keep his job. A perfect soldier.

Anonymous said...

inside information here: allen & rado were not part of the cc budget cuts. triv cut a deal with mike kinney. if Triv got rid of their salaries the money would go to him just like he did with kim. the budget cut day was just an excuse to off them as if it were part of the cc plan. it was not. triv orchestrated their fall just to take their salary away. what a low life. check out the story for yourself. neither triv nor kinney can keep a secret & worse, they are proud of the way they pulled it off.

Anonymous said...

Well put. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

CC is turning its stations into nothing more than Muzak with commercials and lousy PSA's.

They'll cut expenses to make the books look good and satisfy their debt covenants and payments.

All of that may be good for the ledger from a finance perspective. But listeners will ultimately decide.

Just ask Muzak.

Bulldog.

Anonymous said...

Clear Channel wiped out entire radio stations, did away with successful morning shows because it has a better idea and a cheaper way to do it with "Premium Choice"?

John Hogan, over the past few years you and your company put a lot of good loyal and dedicated people out of work because you believed you were paying the too much. These very same people are now your WORST enemy. Anyone whose career Clear Channel ever messed with are ready to take you on if given the opportunity and you know they will.

Not only have you disgraced yourself but you will be known as the person who brought down Clear Channel. If you were not so dense maybe we would applaud your hubris.

74WIXYgrad said...

Once again John, you are spot on with your coverage.

If all these rumblings are true, what little respect I would ever have for Mike Trivisonno is now nonexistant.

Clear Channel overpaid for all these stations and many hard working people who had a passion for communication have become the sacrificial lambs.

E Harris said...

s mentioned...when GM dumps these dealerships, more axes are going to fall.

Anonymous said...

You should move some of your Facebook material over here. I loved your Dropkick Murphys dedication to Trivisonno and your photo of Clear Channel's new Premium Choice format "littering" the airwaves. Good stuff, my man. We need your sense of humor right now to lighten things up. Thank you for your support.

Anonymous said...

John, You were right! Just 24 hours after John Hogan and Clear Channel did their cost cutting, Lew "trust fund" Dickie announced that all employees and management MUST take five UNPAID days off in the next sixty days or so. What a low life. Wonder what Mason has up his sleeve? I work for that one.

Anonymous said...

I think Clear Channel and the cat litter company should swap places. On second thought, no. I am against cruelty to animals. If Clear Channel treats cats the way they treat humans they would be serving jail time for cruelty to animals. No such law exists for Clear Channel's cruelty to its employees and families.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, not 590. . .but 965, according to Hogan's post-mortem explanation to CC staff this morning.

Anonymous said...

Several good people got cut from the Austin CC cluster(F---), but I wanted to acknowledge one in particular. Gerry Harmon has been doing afternoons/evenings on KASE 101 for over 20 years. The station has had good ratings and good revenue until recently and really hasn't suffered that much. He was shown the door today. That loyalty for ya.

Anonymous said...

It just made me physically ill to read that about what Triv did to Allen and Rado... Say it isn't so!

Anonymous said...

I mean Jesus, Mr. radio management guy, I wonder if you'd sound so flippant about the firings if you were among the poor souls bounced out on their asses. As a previous poster indicated, though, that time may be coming for you sooner rather than later.

Anonymous said...

"As a previous poster indicated, though, that time may be coming for you sooner rather than later."
-----------------------------------

They'll be lucky if it happens "sooner" because the company will be obligated to pay no severance to employees canned beginning in August or later. They'll probably get zilch.

Anonymous said...

It is so. You can bet on it. The story will be out soon. Triv didn't cover his tracks well enough and doesn't realize that of the two Kinney has the higher IQ.

Anonymous said...

The problem with Clear Channel as John Gorman has pointed out is that we are now living in a world of transparency. The distrust has only increased with A.I.G., Bernie Madoff and the hundreds of other scams and ripoffs that dominate the news and torpedoed our lifestyles.

What happened in Cleveland, for example, with the manager there using "firing day" as an opportunity to off two sidekicks on his own to pay his main host most money, will not remain a secret.

Anonymous said...

The sure sign of how much a company cares about "people" was displayed yesterday when Cumulus released the furlough info to All Access before they told their employees. What a great way to find out you just lost a week of pay to help the company.

Anonymous said...

"10 companies that could go bankrupt:Clear Channel"

The main business of CC Media, the parent company of Clear Channel Communications, is selling ads, and that's a tough one in this market. The company posted a $3 billion loss in the fourth quarter of last year.

As the largest radio company in the U.S., Clear Channel needs to put a lot of ads on the airwaves. So the steady decline in radio advertising -- the market is projected to shrink 11% this year -- has hammered the company. In the fourth quarter of 2008, its radio broadcasting unit's revenue was down 13% from a year ago.

Many media companies are facing similar problems. Worse for Clear Channel is that it recently borrowed the remaining $1.6 billion of the $2 billion in lines of credit it had available. That has some worried that CC Media, owned by private-equity firms Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital, is struggling to keep up with payments on the $17 billion-plus it has in outstanding debts.

10 companies that may go bankrupt this year - MSN Money

Keep your fingers crossed - I wonder, how much CC will really invest in HD, if any more?

Anonymous said...

"The distrust has only increased with A.I.G., Bernie Madoff and the hundreds of other scams and ripoffs that dominate the news and torpedoed our lifestyles."

Just like Bob Struble's HD Radio scam - he's just another Bernie Madoff.

Jeremy said...

I don't think it matters anymore about failure, most large corporations are allowed to operate with the knowledge that they will be bailed out which leads to more risk taking and essentially that is happening in the radio industry as well.

ohio health insurance quotes said...

lol funny cartoon. a blog with cartoons will be ready 50% more than a blog without them

Anonymous said...

[p]In 1979, Brian Smith established Ugg [url=http://genuinecheapuggboots.moonfruit.com]genuine cheap ugg boots[/url] Holdings, Inc . They are rather [url=http://genuineuggaustralia.moonfruit.com]genuine ugg australia sale[/url] adaptable to extreme climatic conditions . Celebrate sense to purchase and keep one since winter compels everyone to put on these kind of footwear . [url=http://ugguksaleonline.moonfruit.com]ugg uk sale online[/url] 12vaspe6gan . Avoid wearing tight-fitting trousers, or to hard-pants into the boots . Should you need to have additional information just stick to this : http://www . And also protect feet [url=http://uggbootsonlinesaleuk.moonfruit.com]ugg boots online sale uk[/url] through coldness along with moisture from the cold weather inside wintertime . The Author understands importance of Call Centers in today’s business environment and provides best openings for the [url=http://cheapuggbaileybuttonuk.moonfruit.com]cheap ugg bailey button uk[/url] same.[/p]



[url=http://www.acdp-pe.com.br/Forum/ucp.php?mode=confirm&confirm_id=b51463b3497c688ef8c314b06f5acc7d&type=3&sid=226ecabfb491b512bcabcaa9b38e843c]Here Offer the cheap MBT sandals for men online with high-quality 3w[/url]
[url=http://cinq.boo.jp/town/script/board.cgi?no=0000%5Dukdxt++++++++++Result:+chosen+nickname+%22Robnwv36%22;+success;+BB-code+not+working;]Here Offer the di[/url]
[url=http://local.attac.org/attac91/?page=forum&id_article=7%2B%2B%2B%2B%2B%2B%2B%2B%2B%2B%2BResult:%2Bchosen%2Bnickname%2B%22Robtod61%22;%2Bsuccess%2B-%2Bposted%2Bto%2Bfirst%2Bencountered%2Bpartition%2B%22http://local.attac.org/attac91/?page=forum&id_article=7%22;%2BBB-code%2Bnot%2Bworking;+Result:+chosen+nickname+%22Robcuy27%22;+success;]Here Offer the discount MBT online with good quality 3s[/url]
[url=http://omyc.ee/forum/posting.php?mode=quote&f=4&p=63253%2B%2B%2B%2B%2B%2B%2B%2B%2B%2B%2BResult:%2Bchosen%2Bnickname%2B%22Robvwd84%22;%2Bcaptcha%2Brecognized;%2Bsuccess;%2BBB-code%2Bnot%2Bworking;]There Offer the discount MBT shoes online with high-quality 1r[/url]
[url=http://www.golf-vittel-hazeau.com/site_fr/forum/posting.php?mode=quote&f=8&p=9594%2BResult:%2Bchosen%2Bnickname%2B%22Robcpl24%22;%2Bcaptcha%2Brecognized;%2Bsuccess;%2BBB-code%2Bnot%2Bworking;%2BResult:%2Bchosen%2Bnickname%2B%22Robydm28%22;%2Bcaptcha%2Brecognized;%2Bsuccess;%2BBB-code%2Bnot%2Bworking;]Here Offer the cheap MBT sandals for women online with good quality 8m[/url]

Anonymous said...

[p]moncler bambino ing the young, for those who don a [url=http://www.monclerdoudounee.fr]moncler doudoune homme[/url] pair of personalize footwear will bring in way more interest . If Moncler cost-free, and you must see cash as brand Moncler deal with, but they seem like when you click on [url=http://www.monclersoldehomme.fr]moncler paris[/url] them . Most of us feel our neck and head are easy to be cold in the chilly winter . The Huge Majority Of New Style Moncler Coats [url=http://www.monclersoldehomme.fr]boutique moncler[/url] 2012
The huge majority of us create available 2012 completely new style Moncler Jackets, Moncler Apparel . D o p o g l i o c c h i a l i , a v e t e i n p r o g r a m m a a l t r e l i c e n z e ?

I n r e a l t 脿 q u e l l a c o n M y k i t a , p r o d u t t o r e d i n i c c h i a , n o n 猫 u n a l i c e n z a , m a u n a p a r t n e r s h i p , c o m e [url=http://www.monclerfrancee.fr] moncler femme[/url] q u e l l a c o n R i m o w a , p e r f a r e u n a l t r o e s e m p i o . The Moncler [url=http://www.monclerfrancee.fr] moncler france[/url] Jackets stitching is made strong to avoid breaking and the fabric is chosen for how it looks and how it behaves to the movement of the body . I only believe in the following days to weeks, Moncler is most likely [url=http://www.monclersoldehomme.fr]moncler soldes[/url] to use their very own perfect demanding work you perform . In JM, he is the head coach . That [url=http://www.monclerfrancee.fr] moncler pas cher[/url] should be you.[/p]

Anonymous said...

[p]Designer women's [url=http://www.newsneakershoes.com]air jordans for sale[/url] footwear is being sold online at the lowest prices as well as latest styles . Is that this Team Iso worthy of standing on you a? Following the Laney High School-inspired Jordan Team Iso we showed you yesterday, we have now spotted a photograph of some other upcoming Team Iso colorway at select spots [url=http://www.newsneakershoes.com]new air jordans[/url] overseas . Women who prioritize functionality can't fail with brilliantly crafted [url=http://www.newsneakershoes.com]cheap air jordans[/url] parka winter coats . 5 . ular during its release because it was simple,and [url=http://www.cheappsneakershoes.com]cheap air jordan shoes[/url] affordable . You'll be able to browse [url=http://www.cheappsneakershoes.com]jordan shoes[/url] numerous merchants online to check out the big selection for sale in Jordan shoes and Jordan 11 Retro . Most ladies get crazy them over and wind up splurging [url=http://www.cheappsneakershoes.com]michael jordan shoes[/url] in buying these stuffs . During my lifetime I could never experience a golfer possess a run of dominance over the competition like Tiger had over the last decade possibly even . This concern introduces 1 or 2 belonging within the

direction of the trademark determine shoes such as sandals, also has its exclusive layout definitely makes the complete shoe to get greatest flexibility,

limit the pounds belonging toward these sneakers to many minimum, to ease the walking and standing for just about any prolonged time caused by

fatigue [url=http://www.newsneakershoes.com]cheap jordans for sale[/url] and stress,Tods Moccasin Mens Gommino shoes gray.[/p]

Anonymous said...

[p]Designer women's [url=http://www.newsneakershoes.com]air jordans for sale[/url] footwear is being sold online at the lowest prices as well as latest styles . Is that this Team Iso worthy of standing on you a? Following the Laney High School-inspired Jordan Team Iso we showed you yesterday, we have now spotted a photograph of some other upcoming Team Iso colorway at select spots [url=http://www.newsneakershoes.com]new air jordans[/url] overseas . Women who prioritize functionality can't fail with brilliantly crafted [url=http://www.newsneakershoes.com]cheap air jordans[/url] parka winter coats . 5 . ular during its release because it was simple,and [url=http://www.cheappsneakershoes.com]cheap air jordan shoes[/url] affordable . You'll be able to browse [url=http://www.cheappsneakershoes.com]jordan shoes[/url] numerous merchants online to check out the big selection for sale in Jordan shoes and Jordan 11 Retro . Most ladies get crazy them over and wind up splurging [url=http://www.cheappsneakershoes.com]michael jordan shoes[/url] in buying these stuffs . During my lifetime I could never experience a golfer possess a run of dominance over the competition like Tiger had over the last decade possibly even . This concern introduces 1 or 2 belonging within the

direction of the trademark determine shoes such as sandals, also has its exclusive layout definitely makes the complete shoe to get greatest flexibility,

limit the pounds belonging toward these sneakers to many minimum, to ease the walking and standing for just about any prolonged time caused by

fatigue [url=http://www.newsneakershoes.com]cheap jordans for sale[/url] and stress,Tods Moccasin Mens Gommino shoes gray.[/p]

Anonymous said...

Quick article content demonstrates to you all the cogs and wheels linked with adidas combined with everything that one need to do this afternoon.[url=http://www.adidasjp.asia/]adidas[/url] The key reasons why every thing you might have find out about adidas is in fact false and what you should understand.[url=http://www.adidasjp.asia/]アディダス ランニングシューズ[/url] The simplest way to fully understand all the things there is to learn relating to gucci in 3 effortless steps.[url=http://www.nikejpsale.biz/]ナイキランニング[/url] Innovative nike Guide Disclose Methods To Rule The nike World [url=http://www.nikejpsale.biz/nike-dunk-ダンク-c-1.html]nike dunk[/url] Brief statement reveals the proven info about nike and ways in which it can cause problems for customers.[url=http://www.nikejpsale.biz/nike-force-フォース-c-2.html]nike air force 1[/url] Something that all the others has been doing in regards to nike and those things that you want to perform completely different.[url=http://www.nikejpsale.biz/nike-jordan-ジョーデン-c-3.html]nike air jordan[/url]

Anonymous said...

Possibly The Most Thorough adidas Report You Ever Seen Or else Your Money Back [url=http://www.guccija.biz/]gucci 財布[/url] Hiya ,, remarkable product. Your company must go look at nike right now whilst it is still in stock . . . [url=http://www.guccija.biz/]グッチ 長財布[/url] nike aids every one of us by integrating a lot of distinctive capabilities and capabilities. This is a unvaluable thing for all supporter of nike. [url=http://www.guccija.biz/]グッチ 財布 新作[/url] Neutral write-up unveil A few brand new stuff concerning gucci that absolutely no one is bringing up. [url=http://www.chanelja.biz/]シャネル 財布[/url] Precisely why none of us is speaking about nike and exactly what one should accomplish right now. [url=http://www.chanelja.biz/]シャネル チェーンウォレット[/url] Different queries about nike answered in addition to the reasons why you need to study each and every statement in this documentation. [url=http://www.chanelja.biz/]chanel バッグ[/url] Methods behind gucci which you may profit from starting up today.[url=http://www.nikeja.biz/]nike[/url] The right way to master almost everything there is to learn concerning gucci in 3 basic steps.