Which Half of Clear Channel is working?

If there was ever a group of executives that couldn’t figure out which half of their advertising was working its Randall and Mark Mays.  Brilliant in their own right, they have had a heck of a time over the last five years trying to figure out how to move radio into the New World Order/Web 2.0 World.  Sales are down.  The hype is that radio as an ad medium is dead.  And what do they do?  Cut their sales and marketing/promo staff.  Huh?

After laying off 9% of their employees yesterday they announced they were taking pay cuts for 2009.  I know what you’re thinking.  Wow, that’s really great of them.  Not so fast.  Both will still make $500,000 this year according to AllAcces.com.  Before the cut they were set to make a combined $1.77 million.

Now I’m not one of those lefty, bleeding hearts but I think the Mays brothers could’ve have worked for free and saved some of those jobs they just cut loose.  That would probably amount to 50 jobs or so, depending on salaries of course.  What they gain with respect to employee morale would go a long way on the path to financial recovery.

Other CEOs are working for free.  I’m pretty sure they don’t need the money.  Plus, they still get bonuses at the end of the year.  They ask their local and regional guys to take less money during the year with a very convoluted bonus structure (if any).  So, why can’t they do the same.  It might even give them an incentive to innovate and move the whole radio industry forward.

And that’s the main idea.  Radio is still a VERY viable and popular media.  But, as with anything in life it must adapt to its new surroundings.  Clear Channel IS an innovator.  I think they just forgot what led that innovation, the employees of Clear Channel.

Good luck guys!

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