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Re: Radio's Last Contest - Radio's Last Employee

Posted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:44 am
by CarterManGod
I sure hope you're not talking about me whining about my situation. I'm out of radio and halfway to a Computer Science degree. I couldn't be happier. And thank Gid I dont have to sit in a radio career with my fingers crossed that it'll get better.

But 'pay what you're worth' guy- who cares?! It's not like radio pays for ANYone any more, so, save it. Pointing out the few greedy souls who bought and destroyed radio isn't whining, so, save all that crap too.

I'll most likely not be back to read any retorts so, save all that too!

Re: Radio's Last Contest - Radio's Last Employee

Posted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:13 pm
by fozner
Here you go Dano... hopefully this is able to sink in. The difference between those "entertainers" that you mentioned and the CEO's is simply how they are making their salary grow. GaGa, Manning, etc. are paid for performance, radio CEO's are being paid by cutting 1000's from the payroll. You can surely see that one of these methods is very destructive and littered with victims. Not very wise to compare the two.

Re: Radio's Last Contest - Radio's Last Employee

Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:47 am
by CarterManGod
Uh... It's not a tough decision for them, and it's not tough to actualize their decisions. It is not defending CEO's to say otherwise, either, it's just silly.

And if there hadn't been so many greedy changes to radio through legislation, ownership, and other bad business arrangements in more recent times, then all the firings wouldn't be necessary. I don't think anyone is thinking that every single person should still have a job in radio.

I think the real underlying issue is that instead of radio dying due to: no listeners, bad talent, a good 'ole competition between rivaling stations, or a complete shift in music mediums- it's dying due to no-talent suits who could care less if they were selling radio time or pig slop! The only real dog they have in this race, are the silver spoons hanging out of their mouths. The suits only care if radio ends is finding a new golf course close to their new jobs.

And I've met a lot of the higher ups in several if the big companies. Most, if not all of them, never wanted to even meet the talent from any station. Unless they were high-dollar talent, and that was probably just to access how quickly these guys needed to stop making high-dollars. After that, they'd either only show up or send yearly videos expelling why the health benefits were going down in quality again.

Saying that CEO's make the big bucks for making hard decisions is so incredibly 2-dimensional and naive. That kind of comment is made by either an actual CEO who lives in a 'it's just business' world, or a wanna be who buys into every generic peice of 'boss talk' they hear.

Radio's gone. At least all the good parts. If you're a music fan only, then you're still doing fair I guess. But my last 2 years in, it was liking walking around in a ghost of an industry. And my last 5 years in, I just watched people being fired every month it seemed- and not just the small folks. The big one's, in the last year, I watched them fire the market manager, the sales director, the news department and never replace any of them. Do those seem like tough CEO decisions? Because a station cannot function properly without those people. And the product your selling loses value. Then, as my equipment started failing, they didnt replace any of that- more failed product. Do these seem like great CEO choices?

How about at that point you just give up. The product has been stripped to nothing, yet, your ad prices have not dropped a cent? Fire the only talent left in the building and syndicate- still no reduction in ad prices, but you can use your fired employee's lost salaries as gain, and show of quarterly growth to make the public ad buyers and shareholders happy through deceit. Those are the types of CEO decisions you're defending.

They may have no choice, NOW, but to fire everyone, but it's their fault they reached this point. Radio is run by a generation of business men who really are just epic failures. Their legacy, their great American story will be home swimming pools and tennis courts bought with the twitching remains of radio. Radio will be lost to the rest if us, but these CEO's will have a sweet thread-count on their bed sheets.

Re: Radio's Last Contest - Radio's Last Employee

Posted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:25 am
by pbergin
Great piece. Only one thing, however... radio was ALWAYS run by suits with no perception of the intrinsic value of talent. Well, for the most part anyway, I did work for a couple of enlightened souls, but for the most part they were three piece scum-buckets.

It was many years ago that I heard this now oft repeated phrase from a highly regarded programmer at the time "Air talent are nothing more than pieces of meat. Use them and throw them away." It was then and there I decided that I would regard my employers precisely the same way, as a path forward to a better job elsewhere... use them and throw them away. I never regretted that decision. The only thing that has changed is the consolidation factor.

The radio from the "good old days" does exist today, however. It exists in small towns across America. I live in Fredericksburg, VA where the local stations in market #147 sound infinitely better than the ones in market #8. How incredibly sick is that? These stations are run better, and serve their communities MUCH better than the ones in top-10 markets

I had the unpleasant experience of tuning in the station I used to work for in DC recently. To say I was shocked is a vast understatement. I hadn't heard it in years, and I popped in to see what was happening. In a word, NOTHING! The "jock" could've been anywhere in the world, there were no references whatsoever to anything that had to do with DC, other than station promotional blather... you know, the shit listeners tune OUT OF!!

God help anyone still stuck in that zoo.

Re: Radio's Last Contest - Radio's Last Employee

Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:09 pm
by gbarn
A wise old friend shared his unusual perspective on life - he said we're all cattle for viruses and when the feeding is done the host dies.

I mourned this wonderful man's death like I did my father's.... today, I grieve as I witness my lifelong friend 'radio' which slowly slips into irrelevance and teeters at the precipice of being consumed by its own viral infestation.

The destruction before us is reminiscent of Sherman's march through Georgia. Scarlett's words echo in my mind as she laments "I can't think about that now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow."

As a former Marine l tell you the sound of taps marking the end of a long day is sad for some, while for others it's a reminder it's time to rest, regroup and prepare to fight another day. Legendary warriors have said they smell death in the night air before the battle while great leaders strategize to turn the day of death on the field into a morning of rebirth by prevailing over the enemy in battle. Sadly, too many in radio didn't get to see the new dawn having been sent packing with their pink slips.

I'm no advocate for legislating salaries but would certainly support any move away from excess and move toward business accountability. Where else could a John Corzine, Wall Street titan, be able to bring down a century old Wall Street institution, somehow lose $1.2 billion dollars, and there is little reaction because this has become a daily revelation and elicits no more than a yawn despite the ruined lives these people leave in their reckless wake.

As they say in the Falklands............

Re: Radio's Last Contest - Radio's Last Employee

Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:22 pm
by tstone
Having cash alone is not vindication of one's worthiness. The rich executives whose tin ears have reduced radio to, if not oblivion, then surely cultural irrelevance...are they really worthy of the dollars they command?

When you look at the performance of the businesses and their stations...really, is that American business at it's greatest?

Great product, great service, something that bolsters and enlivens communities? That can make you proud to be a part of?

That is the part of any great business. That used to be radio. It can be again...but now while the clueless douchebags in charge now remain so.

Re: Radio's Last Contest - Radio's Last Employee

Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:44 am
by tstone
You write like the economy is some kind of machine, a nimble minx that quickly rewards the worthy and punishes the unworthy.

I think modern history makes it clear that it is clearly not so. All kinds of powerful people parachute from companies going down in flames, while good, hard working see their lives ruined.

What you speak of is the ideal. In the real world, where money, power, arrogance and stupidity combine to shield the unworthy, the callous, the cowardly and yes, the evil from the consequences of their actions, we get a world that is anything but.

For proof...just turn on the dial.

Re: Radio's Last Contest - Radio's Last Employee

Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:45 am
by tstone
And historically, many of these trends are not stopped until enough people stand up and say, "Enough. This is fucked up. This is wrong. No more."

Re: Radio's Last Contest - Radio's Last Employee

Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:53 am
by tstone
Oh, and I would add, that's a sign of our times and how our values have gone, when we think that values and community must be traded for profit. Visionary business leaders of the past, including radio, believed not only you could have it all, but they complemented each other.

Now...tell me how Clear Channel is doing business-wise, how radio in general is and tell me this "bottom line" stuff again with a straight face. Our business is suffering, and it was long before the economy went in the dumper (and about that...).

Businesses need healthy communities. Radio especially, being a media driven business, needs people who give a shit about it.

Why would they, when much of radio has stopped caring about them?

To put it another way...that is one of the fallacies of modern business thinking, that business and generating cash flow can somehow be separated from all that other stuff.

It can't.

Especially in our business, which is ultimately about PEOPLE. For them. Tied to them.

Re: Radio's Last Contest - Radio's Last Employee

Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:27 am
by tstone
Wrong. I do understand business. Enough to understand that it doesn't have to be an either/or proposition, either we settle for ruthless, amoral pursuit of the dollar...or totalitarian Communism. I also understand and know enough about the history of capitalism to know that if it is not checked by a sense of community and responsibility, it will eat itself. The examples, including current events, are proof.

And anyone can fudge a quarterly report about what you are supposedly doing for the community (and what stations have to do for communities have been watered down to the point of meaninglessness).

And as for the "profitablity"....considering Clear Channel is dying a slow death and has yet to turn one, and their stock is in the toilet...tell me another fairy story about radio (their version) and profitablility again.