Steve Shaw booted from Katz Radio Group
Has left the building for the second and final time as Katz Radio Group (KRG) President of Katz Radio, Christal Radio and Eastman Radio. Refresh your memory to November 2003 11/17/03 RBR #225 (which is worth a read) when the headline read - RBR Exclusive - 'Days of thunder roll over rep business; Katz Radio and Christal Radio, where are you?' Early Friday morning (11/14/03) Steve Shaw, Tucker Flood and Mark Gray, the three top executives at Katz Radio Group resigned and walked across the street to Interep to establish two soon-to-be-named national radio rep firms. Well it all fell apart within days and the three walkers walked back to across the street. In short the bill of goods they sold to Interep boss Ralph Guild did not happen as no group followed them as planned. That did not mean there was not tremendous concern and nerves on edge for those few days with Shaw explaining why they did it - 11/18/03 RBR #226 RBR Exclusive - 'Steve Shaw: Why he did it' It was like a re-enactment from the scene in "Jerry McGuire" except that this time the whole staff said yes, we will go with you. More than 130 Katz staffers did. It was just a circus atmosphere backing November 2003.
Why was Shaw booted? An RBR source thinks they know why: "They blew him out. Supposedly a letter went out saying the group heads were not happy with him-The Greater Media's, Cox Radio guys, for example, were not happy with his performance." RBR could not confirm such a letter but RBR can only assume from knowledge and experience that it deals with money and guarantees. Money that is guaranteed to groups if the rep can not meet budget and we all know how national spot has been since the end of 2003 - Flat to down or just glance up one story on May revenues. Oh, do not forget the signing bonuses which again nobody will admit to. So in short Clear Channel most likely has been paying out some heft cash payments since 2003 to meet those contractual agreements. Now RBR does not expect any Rep firm to shout about their guarantees but it has been a practice as long as RBR has been publishing and that is 23 years.
As for the assumed letter circulating about Shaw's performance Katz spokesperson Anne Kenny: "The only note I saw was I think Stu sent a note to his group heads saying it was a tough decision and he has total faith in Brian and Mark and Tucker and the two GSMs, and everything is staying the same going forward." Presidents will now report directly to Stu Olds, CEO Katz Media Group. Shaw's replacement will be named fairly soon. The only fact RBR knows is the next six months radio is in for a hard ride so save the horse and ride the radio cowboy.... Local is your path for revenue gains.
Stu Olds letter
I will be reaching out to you individually in the next couple of days, but for the moment a note will unfortunately have to suffice to alert you about a personnel change that is taking place today. Effective immediately, Steve Shaw is no longer the President of the Katz Radio Group and is no longer employed by our company. Until a new President is named later in the year, The Katz, Christal and Eastman Radio leadership will report to me.
This was a very difficult decision for me to make in light of Steve's many important contributions to the growth of the KRG.
I am very confident about the future of the KRG because of their great depth of talent. I have respect for the leadership team of Mark Gray, Brian Benedik,Tucker Flood, Christine Travaglini and Kerry McFeetors who will continue to best serve your needs.
I look forward to speaking with you soon. In the interim, please do not hesitate to contact me.