Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Radio: The NAB Radio Show - Philadelphia Fiefdom
Radio gets no respect.
Even in the City of Brotherly Love.
NAB Radio Show conventioneers woke up this morning to an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer that reads Radio should pay those who make it rich.
The answer to the question is “yes.”
The question – Did the National Association of Broadcasters fail to do advance p.r. with the local media for the NAB Radio Show?
The answer to the question is “yes.”
The question - Did the Record Industry Association of America not forget?
The RIAA kept it live and local by merely inciting a small local indie music production company, Philerzy, to compose a prudently timed and positioned op/ed piece on the evils of the radio industry.
How many radio groups own stations in the Philadelphia market? Not a single one thought of commissioning their promotion and marketing department to work the local media and promote the NAB Radio Show as a constructive event?
The NAB has been planning its Radio Show convention in Philadelphia for – what? - over a year now? You’d expect the NAB would've spent a few bucks for some upbeat advance p.r. on their event.
After all, it squanders millions with the Radio Advertising Bureau on its worthless, pointless, no results "Radio Heard Here" promotion while continuing to hype the dead-on-arrival HD Radio swindle.
That’s okay. The NAB Gang of Four will blame the p.r. bumble on Fumbles. Chalk it off as just another one that David Rehr let fall through the cracks during his brief reign as NAB Capo di tutti capi.
Amazing. Yes, it’s going to be that kind of week.
The NAB should've hired Judy Collins to sing "Send in the Clowns."
So the official meeting mode is one of guarded optimism. We keep hearing the economy’s already hit bottom and now we’re slowly and cautiously rebounding. Radio stocks are slowly uptrending. Billing should be back to normal any day now, right? R-r-r-r-r-r-right.
Now, repeat after me. Farid and Citadel are an exception, not a rule; Farid and Citadel are an exception, not a rule. Got it? Good. Keep saying it until you believe it.
Another one. If you’re reminded that radio listening, sales, and stock prices went to hell long before the economy tanked, just keep repeating the word bellwether – as in that’s what the radio industry is to the economy.
Yes, I hate to say it. Radio continues to mire in denial.
Dickstein Shapiro proclaims that radio is still profitable (But, shhhhhhhhh! Only if its many debt issues can be resolved) so we’re as good as being back in black.
Entercom CEO David Field even mentioned a potential for radio revenues to hit double digits next year. With ham like that you’d expect a side of eggs.
I’m not exactly sure what radio plans to sell or to whom. The last time I checked one out of six U.S. consumers, who make up 70 percent of our economy, are either unemployed or underemployed or have taken have taken pay cuts.
The free spending days are over. Consumers are trying to save whatever they can. The average home is now worth a third less than two years ago.
The only consumer upticks we’ve seen came from government induced “cash for clunkers” and tax credits for environmental home improvements. Put another way – the only money that circulating in our economy right now is government money. You say housing is up slightly? It better be considering we’ve propped up Fannie and Freddie. You say the financial sector is showing growth? It better be. We’ve propped up the banks, too.
You're kidding yourself if you don't believe the banking system is still fragile. We still haven't seen bottom with commercial real estate yet. Those deals were bundled and packaged together like the subprimes and sold off to investors a few years back, too.
There are some realities radio just fails to recognize. What if we go through another double-dip recession, for example? Just asking. Have an answer?
Here's the facts, kids. Some radio groups will be history. Consider this NAB Radio Show their last hurrah.
Look at Farid. He’s about to have his suit cleaned with him in it.
How many other stations will get dumped by owners due to heavy debt, tight credit, and falling values?
Some radio CEOs are so long in the face that they look like hound dogs. When the valuations really hit the skids they’ll be the hounds of silence.
I think we'd be better off if the NAB set up a makeshift morgue in one of the ballrooms. It’s better to get the body count done before credit begins to flow. It’ll provide opportunity for new groups and those former broadcasters who’ve been sitting on the sidelines waiting for the moment when the adults will take away stations from the children who’ve broken them.