News went out far and wide about Clear Channel’s (CC) new initiatives to put options in the hands of its local PDs, while also taking several steps to enhance each of its station’s service to the local community. It also sent off an explanation to key legislator Henry Waxman (D-CA) that pretty much made all the same points. The letter demonstrates that CC is not only aware of what constitutes a PSA but they are also CYA on this initiative. If you want to read between the lines, read RBR publisher Jim Carnegie’s observation and you will notice RBR is already reading between the lines. [View Rep Waxman letter in the attachment box to the right]
It has also been brought to our attention that there are a few broadcasters that will or are formulating a plan to get the FCC to state that PSA’s that are sponsored are not to be designated as PSA’s.
These same sources report that CC is now using alleged PSA’s as a Bonus factor to sell paid advertising. One key executive in a major market tells RBR that agencies in a top five (5) market are treating CC bonus PSA’s as a basis to buy regular advertising packages.
To these radio execs they are screaming this is ‘Not Localism’ and in the opinion of these executives in the market view this move as only greed and crass commercialism.
RBR/TVBR observation: First read the letter to Waxman, see the pdf in the attachment box to the right, and then you can judge for yourself. Also, sources report that CC is planning another series of massive employee terminations, will be using syndicated programming and shift the majority of their operations to national programming by inserting large amounts of PSA’s claiming this is Localism.
Sources hear but yet totally confirmed there will be more firings on the way and will be staggered in small increments so not to appear to be the massive lay-offs recently demonstrated. So, all members of the media including RBR, will have to monitor this closely.
Related Reports follow the pattern:
4/20/09 – Clear Channel waxes Congress
4/20/09 – Early peek at Clear Channel’s numbers
4/17/09 – The Clear Channel mirror
4/16/-09 – CC Radio: Less local programming = more local PSAs
4/16/09 – Clear Channel putting more Non-Local programming on stations
4/14/09 – Clear Channel adding syndicated programming in local markets