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June 23, 2010



Informative article, totally what I wanted to find.

not fake

That's the kind of image that i really thing is super image like. If more images very real like this were out there we'd be super full of graet images in the world.

home loans

I opine that to get the business loans from creditors you ought to present a firm reason. However, one time I have received a secured loan, because I wanted to buy a building.


Reading this post and the responses bring strong mixed feelings.

When the government opened the flood gates and said "Screw it, own as many stations as you can grab" I knew radio was going to get screwed.

When Wall Street looked at radio, I really knew it was screwed. Wall Street is a deadly parasite that sucks the life out of industries like broadcasting. Why did broadcasters ingest that parasite? Feels great at first (for the lucky few who benefit) but then you have to keep feeding it blood. The blood of people's livelihood.

When Clear Channel had to bow to the broadcast business-killing mandate of "get me a better quarter now now now!" because of Wall Street, I wept for the magic and specialness of local broadcast I knew would disappear.

Worst of all was the horrible bloodletting of the many thousands of people's jobs. But they were not just "jobs" that were cut. Those decisions had far-reaching impacts on the affected people's *families*, a chain reaction ripple effect that affects generations even.

As a manger, I always took a big hit before I would ask my staff to sacrifice. Frankly, I have to say the Mays should have done the same as they could easily afford it. And I'm one that's all for earning what's right and what one deserves. But walking away with Billions after overseeing such a large scale of human misery? I believe they truly did not understand the real pain and soul-deep struggle some had to withstand just to keep their job, doing 4 times the work (literally) for 1/3 or less pay than before. I also personally know some who struggled just to keep their sh*t together so they wouldn't commit suicide. Seriously.

And because of personal knowledge I was a first-hand witness to this carnage where CC rid itself of a whole division that set it back (and all of radio) for a decade in digital media. Really stupendously stupid move. And it once again affected many people's lives and finances. All on a whim. I really wish I could say more but those who know or can guess the division I speak of know what I say is true. Because of it, radio is still having to fight for relevancy to agencies and buyers in this digital age. Make no mistake about it.


This is known that money can make people independent. But how to act if someone does not have cash? The only one way is to get the loan and just financial loan.

Tack Nail

Boy Eric, you and Mark's resignation really stirred things up.

Daniel P Mitchell

WOW! reading those comments. What a ton of hurt. Let me remind you radio folks that consolidation is American business. Local radio when I joined in southern florida 1963 working for Howrd Kester at WLOF was local in all ways not only the station but all the advertisers, even the chains like MikeyD's had a local meat packer as the owner. Now in my present market Palm Springs California we scower the landscape for local owned clients. Big box, chain,franchise own every thing. Clear Channel and Lowry Mays are not unique. My personal experience of Lowry is he is a radio guy no different than any of us. To point a damning finger at him is at the wrong person, aim it at your self and all of us. In the end this industry is struggling because we have all gone for the numbers and not for the soul.

Eric Rhoads

No good deed goes unpunished. I have had many chances to slam Clear Channel (and others) over their decisions over the years and thought it would be the right thing to do to point out the good things as well. Guess trying to be a gentleman does not pay. It wont stop me just the same. You dont have to read it (or believe it).

By the way Clear Channel has not spent a dime with this publication for about five years nor have I been paid in any way AND they own a competing trade publication Inside Radio. However when they were an advertiser I still slammed them as needed, as I have with other advertisers like Citadel and Arbitron.

Eric Rhoads

Im not interested in defending the actions of any company, including Clear Channel and the decisions they made. The blood which ran in the streets in this industry can never be forgotten. We as an industry were in the unfortunate position to watch as we went from being a mom and pop business to being one driven by Wall Street. A big part of Radio became part of the world of big business and joined the ranks of General Motors and others whose knife cuts deep in the interest of profits while they shed that blood and wounded our brothers and sisters in this industry. My take on this is that whether it was Lowry Mays in that position or any other corporate CEO who took on that much debt and did not have the ability to grow the business in any other way than cuts, it would have happened. I cannot say that you, or me or any other person who faced the pressure for quarterly earnings would have been able to do much else. Yeah, I would have fought hard to save jobs and the positive benefits of the industry but the real evil which created this environment was allowing this industry to consolidate so deeply without concern about the ramifications.

Unfortunately its not just our industry brothers damaged by this action but the service in local markets. Though Im not big on over regulation Congress could have prevented some of this by mandating a certain level of local service to our communities, which I called for upon deaf ears. One of the great joys of my life in radio has always been experiencing local flavor in radio as I drive through small town America. Sadly they now all sound alike using the same voices, same programmers, same playlists and though one can make the argument that a major market talent is better than a local small town talent; my take is that local wins. Polish and slick are not what matter. What matters is being the focal point of the community. The charm of radio, of tradio,lost dogs and local police reports, of unpolished talent who everyone in town considers a personal friend, of talking about local events AS a member of that community instead of being a paid voicetracking outsider has been lost in much of this industry.Its a national tragedy.

No, Jim. I cannot repair the damage. No one can. And financially this industry can never afford to hire back all those who were forced out. About the only thing any of us can do at this point is to try to stop repeating our mistakes and to push hard to convince others to make decisions on behalf of the industry as a whole instead of their own personal financial legacy. Im publishing a scathing editorial in our 40 Most Powerful issue and can only hope even one of those people will listen and respond with positive action. Sadly, its much to ask because boards push for profits with little concern for how radio is implemented. Though Im not against business, Im also not in favor of destroying an industry or lives associated with that industry so make a few shareholders wealthier. And as long as there is business there will be cuts and job losses, whether Clear Channel, Cumulus or Citadel. I am thankful that some companies resisted the temptation to buy every station at the highest possible price and that companies and as a result are still focused on LOYALISM, ENTERTAINMENT, LOCAL TALENT, and quality overall. They are the true heroes who resisted the temptation to buy just because the money was available.

Jim News

Sorry Eric, but I'm forced to think of the hundreds, thousands in fact, of great talented radio people forced to leave the industry. I think of the many who are still around, who qualify for public assistance to pay their gas bills because of endless pay cuts. I think of the reckless way CC operated and still operates. I think of the legions of CC Wannabees they bred and how an entire industry suffers today because of them. I think of the overworked, unappreciated and ultimately lost "radio people". Clear Channel and those like them have done more to destroy broadcast radio than the internet, CD's, cassettes, 8-tracks and satellites could ever have hoped to. Who, pray tell, is going to repair the damage. You?


"ride off into the sunset" (to quote the article) with their pockets lined with cash leaving the legacy of being the greatest (or worst) contributer to creating the radio equivalent of the sub-prime mortgage mess...forgive me if I'm not in a big hurry to join you in "tipping my hat".


Eric. . .

How much did they pay you to write this BS?



actually CCU may have done the business a huge favor. it may not be so apparent now but my guess is someone will remember what radio was prior to the sad experiment.

however the greatest quote from a CCU market manager i ever heard was; "it not about content (programming) its about shareholder value." i wonder how that's working for you now?


I have never posted on any board before. But I began my Radio Sales Career in 1987, at the age of 22. I left Clear Channel last year (after 11 years at Gulfstar/AMFM/Clear Channel) and have joined the TV Ranks. THANK GOD.

I am sickened by what CC has done to Radio. Local Radio basically is non-existent in my market.

I can't WAIT to subscribe to XM.

It's very exciting what I am able to provide to Local Clients vs. the "radio" that is left behind. It's sad to sell against what I believed in.... However what is left in radio. IS NOT what I believed in.

And again, what is VERY SAD... is the talent that CC "LET GO" and are now in other industries... They amputated some excellent people...

Well - this is GREAT for TV....and I am VERY BUSY these days... and doing QUITE WELL!


WOW!!! Don't sugar coat it people... How do you really feel?

Peter Tripp

Eric, none of the negatives have disappeared or softened. They are now egregious than ever, and there is plenty more to come. The Mayses screwed their listeners, communities, employees, investors, lenders, and in the end, even Bain/Lee. The Mays family was ultimately the sole beneficiary of their "big, Texas-sized vision." Fueled by greed and avarice, they led the charge that cheapened our industry and made it less important to Americans. Evil is as evil does. Mr. Mays's politeness to you notwithstanding, we should not applaud. Broadcasters must repudiate all that the Mayses did and stand for.


All the earlier posts communicate many of my feelings far better than I could myself. And it sounds like some express their thoughts with some direct CC experience. Can't say that I was a former CC employee.

I too feel for those who were left jobless because of CC. It's a double whammy in that many good broadcasters completely left the biz because of the way they were treated along the way.

The questions to ask are: Did they leave Radio in better shape than when they first took over? Arguably, no. Did they listen to the feedback that you (Eric & Radio Ink) and others gave along the way? Doesn't appear that they did. 20+ years from now, what will be their lasting legacy? Probably not something any of us would be proud of.

I understand you wanting to take the high road in this farewell. Admirable of you. In trying to not stomp on the "Mays' graves" however, you may be stepping on others'.

Eric Rhoads



When you write a piece you wouldn't expect the author to come back three times and defend or correct his comments twice. Eric Rhoads talk about pathetic. CC only made the Mays family wealthy, the industry suffered, credibility, and revenue growth because of the arrogance of that company and its management. They made bad decisions and people paid for it with massive layoffs. CC destroyed, along with Citadel, Cumulus and all the other pretenders who followed their lead in the radio business. They killed the personality of local radio.The only board you should be on is the one radio's floating on down the waterfall along with your blog.

Eric Rhoads

Thanks Cliff. I stand corrected.

Cliff Hunter

When Lowry Mays purchased WOAI from Avco Broadcasting in 1975, he already owned an FM in San Antonio and a combo in Tulsa. The name for Clear Channel came from the fact that WOAI was a clear channel station on 1200 KHz.

Eric Rhoads

Dear CC Victim:
I have tremendous empathy for the thousands of employees from Clear Channel and other companies, which have lost their jobs as a result of the economy and consolidation. I have stood many times in the face of Clear Channel and made my feelings known, which I also stated. My personality is not one of vitriol, however. Clearly, as stated, there are many issues, which I disagree with Clear Channel over, and some of those issues have happened with every consolidated company though CC took the lead in many cases. Though it does not make it right, the true evil in all of this consolidation business was the belief that paying exorbitant prices for stations to consolidate would work. It did not work and the quarterly pressure to perform had a disastrous impact on this business and its employees. Nothing can heal that and this business, its communities and its listeners are worse off. Though its easy to blame anyone named Mays, we cannot blame them for trying and believing it could be a good thing. (It was good for them financially of course). The real blame should be the government who approved the telecom act. Though there are few who do a good job as consolidated operations, and there are some who pay attention to their local communities, overall I too feel it is an experiment, which has failed. Will the pendulum swing back the other way to bring jobs back, more loyalism, more talent locally instead of voice tracking? Probably not. But it would be best for the communities we serve and I believe that where demonstrated its ultimately better at generating revenue.

CC victim

Clear Channel has done more to ruin radio then just about anything-EVER! The Mays boys may be gone, but the carnage they did will NEVER be! The copycats also still remain: (Lew "little' Dickey, Fagreed Suleman, etc.) to continue casting their pall over radio. One thing I DO agree with you about is that Bain capital is not finished cutting-and MORE bloodletting will soon be happening at a CC station near you. BUT let's not forget who SOLD to Bain-and cashed out-to the tune of a billion and a half dollars: the MAYS family!
What a good gig if you can find it: Use your greed and incompetance to ruin an entire industry-lay off close to half your employees (THOUSANDS!)-personally put the entire industry into a slide it may well not recover from....and then walk away with 1.5 BILLION dollars!
Shame on you, Eric-I thought you had more empathy for the thousands of people and their families the Mays family are PERSONALLY responsible for ruining then you apparently do!

Steve Casey

Wow! Eric, we all love you. But that has to be one of the most "tone deaf" piece I've read in my life. It seems like something that could only be writted by the CC PR department. There is nothing good to be said for any aspect of the Mays approach to radio. I can't imagine who you thought would read this post and think "Yes! That is a really good way of thinking about this."

Evil empire? No. Evil men? I think that nothing written by you or me or anybody else today will change the conclusion that all these years have led most of us to.

Eric Rhoads

Not intended to suck up. Certainly no reason to do so. No chance Ill ever sit on that board. Clearly there were many decisions which I dont believe were good for radio, which I outlined. Guess you missed that part.

Reynolds Chase

I was nearly moved to tears when I read your article Eric...

for the thousands of folks screwed over by CC over the years thanks to these greedy scumbags. Thanks for sharing.


The Mays family bought their way to greatness and then rode it into the ground despite the best efforts of literally thousands of talented, dedicated individuals.

David Aamodt

For all the carnage and destruction the Mays family has caused to individuals, families, and the broadcast industry, perhaps the words to a Bob Dylan song says it best...

"Let me ask you one question...Is your money that good? Will it buy you forgiveness? Do you think that it could? I hope you will find, when your death takes its toll, all the money you made will never buy back your soul. (Masters of War, 1963).

Personally I hope the Mays and Lew Dickey's of the world rot in hell.

Barry Cohen

Eric & Friends,
I drove six hours and waited six more hours to testify against consolidation at an FCC hearing. As a broadcaster--salesman, former station manager and a current agency principal,author,speaker, RAB workshop presenter and Mid-Year Radio Symposium panelist, plus former R&R columnist...I have to say the Frankensteinian experiment failed. The monster collapsed under its own weight--as I predicted it would in an unpublished article submitted to one of your former editors (Reed Bunzl)10 years ago. America has spoken. It wants localism; Clear Channel destroyed that. The industry has lost untold jobs through this model. Any time one media conglomerate controls that many news outlets, we risk compromising the public trust granted to us as broadcasters. Then there is the difficulty in getting competitive advertising quotes when one company owns all or nearly all of the stations on your agency's avail list for a client. Of course, Clear Channel also thought they could do everything better themselves--in-house creative/production, training, traffic reporting. Obviously, they could not. They have given up on some of those initiatives. Evil empire? Maybe just not the smartest empire.


I have seen some namb-pamby pieces in my day but this one is the new King! All Hail the departed radio killers, the Mays family, Regent. I didn't like their view but they were nice guys. All right I sort of did like their view. Did I mention they are good Texans? Nowhere did I see good Broadcasters. Good for the business - or more importantly - the Industry. But if you keep sucking up you just might get that invite to join the board!!!

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