The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

12 February 2008

CNBC's Cramer Calls Radio "Dead" Industry


Cramer Slams Egotistical Industry Managers

Is radio dead? CNBC madman Jim Cramer's assertions that the traditional broadcast industry is finished has corporate suits in a tizzy, while what's left of the rank- and- file nod their heads in full agreement.

In a scathing assessment of what he considers an industry with no future, Cramer also assails the arrogant and defiant leadership that has brought broadcasting to its knees through a long series of strategic blunders and overall incompetence.

See the video clip that is taking radio by storm here. And check out reactions here, here and here.

While Cramer focuses on how declining listenership, ad revenue, iPods and satellite radio are combining to wipe out traditional broadcasting, he's forgetting the one format that can save FM radio: news/ talk.

It's the only type of programming that isn't threatened by portable media devices (in fact, it benefits from their use through podcast downloads). And because XM and Sirius really don't have a clue when it comes to talk, land- based radio could survive by switching more FM stations to the format before the overall industry collapses.

In addition, more local talk programming could hedge against the risk that a merged XM - Sirius might finally gain a clear understanding of the medium.

Finally, if the corporate suits would step aside and allow experienced talk programmers to once again call the shots at individual stations, the format could quickly steal market share away from everything else.

While this site has been tough on Cramer in the past, the Mad Money host's assessment of the radio industry couldn't possibly be more accurate. His prediction that broadcast CEOs will continue to "talk big" rather than change their ways couldn't be more on the mark.

Because radio is stuck with its failed executive leadership, remaining staffers need to plan for their post- broadcasting careers.

You've already seen so many of your co- workers get sacked, when will it be your turn? Even worse, if your employer's shares currently trade at $1.39 on the New York Stock Exchange, it's time to have a back-up plan at the ready, NOW.

FOR New England regional talk radio updates, see our other site. NEW: the local angle on radio's decline

Volume Two in Robert Ferrigno's "Assassins" Trilogy is finally available! See the Amazon box in the top right corner for details.

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  • Jesus, Brian. This is twice in two weeks!

    You are abaolutely spot on with this assessment. It has been a point I have been arguing for years as music format after music format splintered to the point of insanity. Radio missed the boat. We could have owned the download world and had radio stations serving as hubs for music purchases. Instead, music radio took that attitude that they weren't in the business of "selling music" and relied upon their traditional relationship with the music industry to narrow their playing field.

    Talk will be the salvation of FM. AM is an anachronism that few under 45 ever listen to. In the not too distant future there will be a plethora of talk radio options spanning a variety of formats. But if you want to be a chief advocate of radio than you have a vested interest in seeing all forms of talk including...yes... even liberal radio succeed. Rather than demonizing the format, why not instead offer sound critiques when radio is bad and even praise when liberal talk is interesting and engaging?

    If you and your apparatchiks can get over your partisanship and be open to diametrically opposing viewpoints, we can save the format. But if you are going to continuously cave to the same old partisan hackery, you will do nothing to invigorate the format. You'll just be one more bludgeoner driving one more nail into radio's coffin.

    By Blogger Dave Carroll, at 12 February, 2008 13:06  

  • Yeah, thats the solution for radio's problems, replace every music station with wing nut radio shows. NEVER will work, 90% of America are not wing nuts, your pipe dream of all wing nut radio all the time, would be the biggest failure ever.

    we all know what you want on the air Brian, 100% wing nuttery

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 12 February, 2008 13:11  

  • "If you and your apparatchiks can get over your partisanship and be open to diametrically opposing viewpoints, we can save the format."

    Dave, what have you seen or read on this blog that would lead you to believe that "Brian and the apparatchiks" have any desire or intention to be open to "diametrically opposing viewpoints", or to form ALLIANCES with non-neocon radio professionals?

    "You'll just be one more bludgeoner driving one more nail into radio's coffin."

    Again, do you seriously think, after what they have done to destroy talk radio so far, the neocons will hesitate to choke the last gasp of life out of the medium itself?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12 February, 2008 14:40  

  • What Che Hashhole and MoPoop want is all Lenin and Marx all the time. They don't want and diversity or sanity on the air, just their insane ravings.

    MoPoop just how many listeners do you have??? The Felon in Boston has more than you do.

    By Blogger PCD, at 12 February, 2008 15:59  

  • Brian's ideal world would be all right wing nuts , all the time, on every station. These people are crazed, in their world John McCain is a "lib", imagine if they controlled radio 100%, the only word you would hear on the radio would be the shrill shrieking of Mark levin going lib lib lib lib lib ib lib lib ib lib lib ib lib lib. All it takes to be a talk show host these days is to be a wing nut, and moan about "libs". I can hear it now, on every spot on the dial lib lib lib!!!!

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 12 February, 2008 17:24  

  • Ahh, Hash. What can I say. I'm still a starry eyed idealist.

    I know you are probably right and that Brian's thinking that the salvation of radio means frequency after frequency of Rush O'Hannity clones. But I'm hoping he is more of a radio guy than a Republican partisan and realizes that what will save radio is not all-reich-wing-radio-all-the-time but, rather, a vartiable cornucopia of opinion, ideas and topics. And not just politics. There is actually more to life and talk radio than punditry.

    You see, what I think separates a radio person from a partisan hack is the love of the dialogoue and the pitch of the battle. My little show was sandwiched between Bill O'Reilly and Michael Savage. I loved having those simple minded dim wits flanking me. I loved the fact that I could deconstruct the simplistic, one dimensional arguments of Rush and Bill in my first segment and then actually predict the frothing xenophobic drival that would spew from Savage mouth based on what was the right wing talking point of the day. I wanted my listeners, particularly my detractors to puff themselves up with the horsecrap of the right wing so I could flay them like bloated fish. Not only was it fun but it ratcheted up the TSL and Cume for 10 hours a day for my station. As the marketing and promotion director of the station that was my whole reason for being.

    Higher Cume/TSL means higher ad rates which translates into higher wages and bigger bonuses for our local staff of talkers. I may be a rabid leftist but, even more importantly, I am a radio guy through and through.

    My hope is... so is Maloney. My fear, Hash, is that you are absolutely correct.

    By Blogger Dave Carroll, at 12 February, 2008 18:04  

  • As a neocon, I must say our plans are moving along nicely. We've reduced the Minister's internet radio listenership to one. Hashfanatic is actually a neocon agent, giving a bad name to all unemployed trolls. Carry on, all.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12 February, 2008 18:14  

  • PCD

    They don't want and diversity or sanity on the air, just their insane ravings.

    projection once more, the views of the right are insane, after all you continue to follow the failed concept of trickle down and embrace trickle down, as it resulted in a recession.

    Who's insane? The individual who thinks for himself, or the sheep, who listens to an elitist billionaire named Rush, who tells them to support tax cuts for the rich??

    90% of the world would think YOU ARE INSANE

    I do not need Talk radio, to tell me anything, without talk radio PCD, you do not even have a single idea in your head.. Your insane, the right is insane, after all the right thinks a war-mongering Bush lackey like McCain is magically a "liberal". The right is so insane the Republicans themselves do not know what to do, their base is so mentally sick, they have to pander to these mental patients. 70% of Repukes still think Bush is a great president.

    They are insane, they project their insanity onto the sane 80%, anyone who still embraces Reaganomics and George W Bush is INSANE.

    Anyone who trusts the slime, degenrate, anything for a buck talk show hosts is INSANE.
    People like PCD are destroying America, I support the swift removal of their citizenship. The enemy is here, they indeed are the small sliver of this nation that embraces Bush and neo-conservatism. Solution: Arrest, detainment and deportation to their ideal nation: Saudi Arabia and Dubai.

    All my radio show was created to do, what to give me an outlet to vent against enemies of my country , the radical right. I hate YOU Pcd, I hate every last thing your Anti-American ideology embraces, it is time you degenerate, smug, elitist trash, meet the wrath of patriots, enough is enough. Your killing our future by embracing the elite, it is time we defend our future and expose and remove the radical right form America. The only solution is deportation. As long as they exist and their mouth pieces exist, America is in danger. PCD, you will not murder America, you filthy, Reagnite traitor

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 13 February, 2008 10:42  

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