Tuesday, September 29, 2015

BREAKING: Dickeys BBQ'd (H/T Confessor Shaggy)

Dickey Brothers Out at Radio Giant Cumulus Amid Board Shakeup

The article notes the massive decline in earnings, and states:  "The news of the Dickeys' departure was first reported by music blog Hits Daily Double.  The blog suggests a huge reorganization of the company is on the way."  

I'm sure Confessor DA will have more on this breaking story, but I gotta get back to the plow.

But not before posting this: 

"Goodbye, Lew."

And apologies for the cheap headline.


Nonononever said...

I posted late on the last thread, but here's a note of interest with regards to advertising. I heard the one from the wealth management company where the guy is saying that he's been in the wealth management business for 30 years and he's never seen the market like this. Really? You've been in the business for 30 years and you've never seen volatility in the market before?

Anonymous said...

I would think what is to be feared most in a reorganization is a tightening of the belt. I'm not sure what the Ticket can do with an edict to do more with less.

Anonymous said...

@4:26 For a real tightening of the belt, The Ticket could cut the JVs/Ticker guys loose, run network on Sunday's and maybe even Saturday's. Not saying they should or I would like it, but a significant belt tightening could have some guys sweating.

Gopher said...

It might also mean the station could be up for sale and someone could come in and do it right. Mike might get his wish.

The Plainsman said...

Cutting JV cuts almost nothing -- those guys and other staff are paid bup. Nope, the personnel dollars are in executive and host salaries. The hosts have contracts, but contracts expire.

But are we sure that belt-tightening is the issue? DA has told us about Dickey cutting programming around the country. Perhaps the issue is insufficient investment in programming and promotion, or even sales effort, rather than wasteful spending on talent.

Or are we seeing DA's prediction of the death of terrestrial radio coming true? Hard to say; annual radio revenues have been steady at around $17.5 billion for awhile, suggesting little growth but also not suggesting impending death -- but Cumulus was getting killed under the Dickeys.

So I'm doubtful you will see any difference at all at The Ticket in the short run (after all -- it's one of Cumulus's brights stars). Longer term -- well, the Dickeys weren't run out of town for no reason.


DA said...

The Plainsman,
I attempted to post within the previous thread via my phone at around 2:30 PM and it went through however it did not show up. So...

1-The new CEO is Mary Berner, who while has no radio experience, she is familiar with another media which has been hurt in the internet age: Magazine publications.


The largest shareholder of Cumulus is Crestview Partners with 27%. Crestview is a private equity firm and one of their partners, Jeff Marcus, is now the Chairman and has previous radio management experience.

2-While Cumulus earnings have been flat, their inability to reduce their $2.5B debt over the last 18 months is part of the Dickey downfall. The debt issue is the same for iHeart (formerly ClearChannel), but at a much larger scale.

3-While Corby and Danny bag on country music, it is the core of that Cumulus and Lew Dickey tried to corner the market on with their NASH format and streamline production nationally out of, you guessed it, Nashville. The intent was to market the format with print and online media, and even licensed merchandise

4-While the JV staff is of concern to the listener, it's the sales staff, who must not only get advertisers for The Ticket, but the rest of the cluster, are the ones who will have salaries cut the most.

5- Keep in mind that Cumulus has a glut of AM stations and as I have said here for years: Nobody under age 30 listens to AM radio! Those are going to be difficult to move.

The Plainsman said...

Sorry, DA. Your comment did not hit either my email or my Blogger "Awaiting Moderation" list. So I usually have a fail-safe for Confessors submitting comments. No idea why yours did not arrive. Thanks for checking in with the industry news.

cactusflinthead said...

Dag I was hoping DA would weigh in.

Cumulus shares were trading at 69 cents when I started down the google trail on this story.

#3 that NASH thing(and why does it need to be capitalized? am I not bro enough to get it?)
was it a money sink? losing money on a failed bit?

the other thing and I am somewhat reluctant to push the idea, but how much does Rush's diminishing ad sales have to do with this? Aging consumers? Pushback from Sandra Flake and beyond?

Is there even a ghost of a chance somebody buys parts and pieces of the station holdings?

Shaggy said...

Didn't DA say he's not in the radio business in any way?

Anonymous said...

I think we will see a major change if not major changes to The Ticket. By Jan 1 I bet there is a shakeup in the lineup and in the day to day operations. RARELY do takeovers mean business as usual. Even if said business is doing good. Which, by the way, The Ticket is. . . . . .but. . . . . they aren't doing what they once did, and are slipping in some areas--ratings.

Anonymous said...

What a buzz kill it is to tune in for pennant race Diamond talk after the game tonight only to hear Preseason Stars post game - although there are some benefits from contractual arrangements with local teams, I would think preaseason hockey is a ratings killer.

blergoyen said...

Plainsman, because it's NEVER affected the on-air talent in 20+ years, this penny stock trading talk is maybe a half-click more relevant than Cowboys talk. I know someone will bring up the time a major corp change led to the firing of "Asscrack and Backsack in the Morning"(credit Adam Carolla) in Poughkeepsie, but we've NEVER seen it at KTCK, and probably won't.

deezy said...

Gordon's death row reenactments = "They can't do what we do."

KP in Dallas said...

Yeah the death row reenactment by Gordo was awesome. Its been awhile since I almost cried laughing at something on the station. Craig's reaction was great.

DA said...

Honestly, I am not going to break any news here, but with the hiring of Mary Berner and her past at Reader's Digest, the writing is on the wall.

Cumulus will "miss" an interest payment soon and file for Chapter 11. The board put her in place to lead/manage in a similar manner which she has done before. She may even have arranged the similar compensation package for Chapter 11 which she had at Reader's.

Granted, Reader's again filed for Chapter 11 four years later in 2013, without her at the helm, but the track record is still obvious. You may want to read about the August 2009 filing which she was apart of.

Anonymous said...

JV may be low-dough employees, but you got to start somewhere. One of the results of that kind of short sighted move is nobody to sub during drydock.

Chris K said...

I have to agree with you. I like the stars and make it to a couple games a season but anytime the ticket runs the pregame over the HL or has Jim Neal etc on its total tune out time or me.