Monday, March 03, 2008

Three Takes on Citadel's "Bloody Friday"

Yesterday's post I talked about the firing of long-time radio veteran Chris Core from WMAL. In it, I tried to make three points:

  1. Long-time successful air talent connects with an audience and builds brand equity.
  2. To callously dismiss such talent to improve the bottom line is shortsighted and ultimately damaging.
  3. Although the decision for such firings comes from the corporate offices, its the local stations that have to live with the consequences of such bone-headed decisions.
Interestingly enough, it seems I'm not alone in my opinions...

  1. "Brands and reputations will matter more than ever. Familiar call letters, program names, personalities and institutions will have countless new ways to leverage their incumbent advantages, and to relate to their listeners and viewers." Do you think recent and pending industry restructuring will promote and foster our content-creation capabilities? - Mark Ramsey
  2. [Citadel CEO] Farid's first response to each financial crisis at Citadel is to fire the staff. He shows a total lack of understanding on how to create and market content. That's why he's shown little sensitivity to the fact that Paul Harvey is his biggest star at 90 years old. The bean counter will try to slash that expense when his contract is up soon. Unable to grasp the business he is in -- programming and marketing content -- Farid does the only thing he knows -- playing with his -- numbers. - Jerry Del Colliano
  3. WMAL is doing everything possible to let their angry listeners know where the decision came from. In addition to posting a letter from the fired DJ on their site, they also addressed it on the air in the Grandy and Andy morning show. They were much more candid about the process than I suspect corporate would have let them be -- had the suits been within broadcast range to hear.

- Ralph

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