Clear Channel....

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Clear Channel....

Post by mnfri » Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:46 pm

I know this is something that has been addressed in various ways on this forum so forgive the redundancy.

I know many people have grudges, whether warranted or not, against Clear Channel so I know my chances of getting an objective response are perhaps slim.

All the same: I host a talk show on a small market independently owned station and have been offered a job on a mid-market Clear Channel station. Am I walking into a disaster waiting to happen by accepting the gig? Be honest but fair. If you had a chance to move up in markets to a better daypart would you decline if the offer was coming from Clear Channel?


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Re: Clear Channel....

Post by tvguy2 » Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:37 pm

No, I wouldn't. Sure, there are companies I will (and continue to) turn down flat. I won't name them here, unless you message me.

But Clear Channel is not one of them.

Clear Channel, for many of its flaws, does decent radio by today's definition of "decent radio." In many places, they're awful. In many places, they're bearable. In some places, they're worth working for. I don't know which market you're looking at, so I can't give you an answer.

Some other companies are merely trying to imitate Clear Channel, and they often do it the wrong way. Those are the ones I'd avoid. And some companies like to scream "WE'RE NOT CLEAR CHANNEL!" And I'd avoid some of them, too.

You will have to "sink or swim" with CC. Don't expect to be taught the craft of radio working for a mid-market CC station -- but do expect to be taught the rules of Clear Channel. And, when they fire you (and it's when, not if), the good news is this: Clear Channel is not shy about re-hiring people they have fired. Other companies are.

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Re: Clear Channel....

Post by Spanky74 » Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:42 pm

tvguy-you write as if you have Stockholm Syndrome.

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Re: Clear Channel....

Post by thecheese » Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:33 am

I'm sure the people with syndicated shows on Clear Channel stations think CC is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but from the radio pros i've spoken with over the last few years, their opinions are mixed; and usually fall into one of three distinct camps.

First, there are the guys (and gals) that genuinely love radio. To them, it's not a job, it's an actual art form. It's a living, breathing entity and having a station gobbled up and reconstituted with syndicated programming by a national conglomerate is akin to having your mother defiled by a shiftless drifter in a refrigerator box behind an abandoned A&P.

And like, not even a nice refrigerator box, either.

Chance of accepting an offer from Clear Channel: 0

Next, you've got the people who say they like radio, but complain about it every day, and are constantly bouncing from one station to another. To these.. uhh.. we'll call them "ambitious" individuals, it's all about climbing the ladder.. bigger paydays, bigger markets. These types generally exhibit a touch of megalomania, and use the latest buzz words and phrases repeatedly in the same breath.

Chance of accepting an offer from Clear Channel: 10

Finally, you have my favorite group. The people who love radio, but also have responsibilities and bills to pay. The remaining vestiges of which can be found at the relatively few remaining independent stations and clusters across the country, and occasionally working for a Clear Channel cluster doing quadruple duty as Air Talent, Program Director, Promotions Director.

Chance of accepting an offer from Clear Channel: 5

My singular experience walking into a Clear Channel building was kind of creepy. Big building with 4 or more stations inside, but an empty reception area. A receptionists desk, with no receptionist. Her job was downsized, too.

Just a phone on the desk instructing visitors to dial their parties extension, or press 0 for the operator.

The whole place had a sort of Ghost Ship meets Orwell vibe.. empty studios chatter the hollow colloquy of distant syndicated voices.

No phones ringing, no people in the hallways.. live, local radio dies with a pen stroke and a soft sigh, drowned in a scream of iPods, digital media, and corporate greed.

With that said, the chances that i'd accept an offer from Clear Channel? A solid 6.


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Re: Clear Channel....

Post by luther » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:35 am

Are you happy where you are now? If so...stay. Clear Channel, Cumulus,'s all a gamble nowadays. We all wanted to get to the bigger markets because thats where the action was... they were more exciting, they paid better, bigger toys, louder bells and whistles...and then you get there, and you find out it ain't that way anymore.

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Re: Clear Channel....

Post by robnokshus » Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:23 am

Does this job offer align with your career goals? If the answer is yes, then take it! You will never advance your career without taking a few risks. In this case you will be moving from a small market to a medium market. Hopefully there will be a raise in pay comensurate with your step up in market size. That's the type of career trajectory you want.

Obviously you must be a capable talent to be offered a position in a larger market by a company that is downsizing in other areas. That is a good sign as well.

All companies have their good points and bad. Clear Channel's good and bad points are displayed quite prominently on a daily basis. At least you know what you are getting into with them. the "Devil You Know," as it were. Just make sure you get everything in writing, with a signature, before you pack up and move.

Honestly, this sounds like a great opportunity for you. Hopefully we will be seeing a post from you in a couple of years asking whether or not you should take that major market gig (of course by then, you will know the answer). Good luck to you! There are a lot of people who wish they were in your shoes right now.

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Re: Clear Channel....

Post by spokesgoddess » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:55 am

How do I "like" Robnokshus' post?

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Re: Clear Channel....

Post by pdjobs91462 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:36 am

Ask yourself this. Are you happy where you're at? Do they take good care of you? Do you earn a good living. If the answer to those questions is yes, then don't go. I left a great job and took a job in a bigger market (Cumulus) and a little over a year later I was a RIF victim.

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Re: Clear Channel....

Post by tvguy2 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:54 am

"Stockholm Syndrome" -- quoting an earlier poster -- may actually be an apt description of what it's like to work for CC. Many of their managers bitch just as much as the rank and file staff -- albeit privately -- about how "Clear Channel Is Ruining Radio." Also, there's a huge concern in what's left of the middle management in the company that come 2013, when some of the payments come due, as well as 2014 (same story). There's still a mentality of "they can only cut so far" within many CC stations (probably most) before the whole company becomes top heavy with no discernible local product to present.

At which point, they become Pandora, and the terrestrial sticks do them no good.

Honestly, I believe this: if you can get to CC AND you have a chance at surviving what will become of CC in the next two to four years -- do it. But only if you can almost guarantee your survival. What will happen will not be pretty for either CC or for radio in general, and I don't think anyone knows what that is -- even Pittman and Hogan. The true decision-making power at CC is at Bain -- and the employees acknowledge it.

But that's a hard proposition -- survival. Could mean spinoffs. Could mean complete walkaway ops in major markets where the spots, imaging and all the content is inserted from elsewhere, with no local shows or even local voicetracking. Could mean sales of stations. Could mean all of the above.

Probably means all of the above.

Last time I worked for CC, I decided it might not be the last time I worked for CC. And that's still true. For the right offer, I'd go back, but I'm pretty ensconced now where I am, so it's not too likely.

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Re: Clear Channel....

Post by pbergin » Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:43 pm

Your chances of being out on your A$$ in 6 months to a year are pretty good anywhere in radio today. "Back in the day" our chances of being out on our A$$es in 6 months to 2 years were pretty good. The one year difference, and fewer opportunities are about all that have changed.

Years ago I regarded CC as the essence of evil, and in fact they were. Nowadays they seem to have an appreciation for how their Hell-bent acquisition phase for everything from radio stations (no matter where, no matter how over priced) to outdoor, to concert venues has essentially strangled them. They're a bloated behemoth, with no practical way of shedding the excess blubber.

Bottom line, as the current operators go they're no better or no worse. Unfortunately, that's not saying much.

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