Clear Channel Radio has sent out orders to its managers to cut more costs, immediately, like:

 “all research monies after 2/1. All advertising and promotion monies after 2/1. All new sales hire guarantees not already implemented, effective immediately (do NOT hire any additional salespeople, effective immediately). All new hires budgeted but not hired, effective immediately (do not hire any additional new employees). Any/all discretionary monies (i.e., travel, meals and entertainment) for your market. Additionally, you are not to replace any departing personnel without specific approval from your EVPO.”

That’s John Hogan, the CEO, speaking clearly to his captains and majors. More at and other trades. These are the top stations in the country. Clear Channel put together the biggest post-deregulation stock play by buying them up with Wall Street money. Now they’re selling to private equity companies because they can’t keep Wall Street’s attention, and they’re having problems keeping the stock price close to its promised sale level. Not a pretty sight. CC already dumped a bunch of longtime employees at the end of the year. Now they’re clamping down on the expenditures you’d need to maintain the old winning ways those stations used to have. Of course, the rest of the big-market radio biz is in equally bad shape, so I suppose they don’t expect the competition to take advantage of this voluntary shutdown of growth-inducing action. Oh, well, when the big deal’s done, CC will no doubt emerge as an agile, progressive, innovative radio company, right? And aardvarks will grow wings.

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Choked Channel.


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