Thursday, April 30, 2009

Radio Killed the Radio Star

Imagine that you're on a ship that has taken on water and has begun to sink. That's ok, you think. I'll just get on a lifeboat and I'll be fine. They have lifeboat drills on cruise ships before you sail for just such an occasion. You gather only your most prized possessions and make your way to the lifeboat station. To your horror, you discover upon your arrival that the crew has begun cutting the lifeboats away and setting them adrift. "What the f**k are you doing?", you scream, incredulous about what you're seeing. "Relax", says the crew member. "The lifeboats are weighing us down so we're cutting them loose to lighten the load. We'll sink much slower then". You're now certain to die. It will only take a little longer and there's nothing you can do to escape certain death.

In other words, you're in radio.

600 more Clear Channel employees were fired this week. Since the beginning of the year, CC has fired 11 percent of its workforce. Has it improved performance? No. Increased revenue? No. Made them more respected as a radio leader? No. Made anyone with any sense want to go work for them in the future? Hell no. CC is more concerned with cutting expenses than creating revenue, so once again a lot of good radio people who have suffered through the whims of the company have, like useless lifeboats, been set adrift. Meanwhile, at least locally, upper management that has presided over recent periods of historically low ratings continue to get a free pass.

CCLV rolls out something this week called "Premium Choice". On the surface, it sounds like something that Cox Cable or Dish Network would offer, not a radio group. Listeners don't get to choose a jock that they want to hear. The station (KWNR) that has bathed itself in the motto "Vegas Country" will now be importing jocks from all over the country to fill in weekend time slots with taped shifts. All the while, someone perfectly capable of doing the same thing will be monitoring the board just in case (how could it?) something goes wrong. So far the only person I know of who'll be on KWNR this weekend (besides Country Chuck on Sunday morning, thank God) will be a guy who goes by the name Broadway, sent to us courtesy of that radio hotbed of - Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Man the lifeboats before they're gone, my friends

1 comment:

DIH said...

Another great read. And as a guy who loves boats and boating analogies, I appreciate the sinking ship/lifeboat mentions. It's why I sadly had to leave; the ship was sinking and there was no other boat to jump to. Sometimes your choices are swimming for shore or drowning and I always say, "Don't let the f*#kers drag you down." Love you, Mitchy...