The First Annual "Lowry" Awards

I thought it would be fun to announce the First Annual "Lowry" Awards for "Less Is More" in Music Media named after Lowry Mays, the man who almost singlehandedly created and molded one medium that has turned to gold and then to tin with investors taking it on the chin.

Here's a few categories (perhaps you have suggestions of your own):

Less Is More Executive of The Year
To The Executive Who Personifies Less
The nominees are:
-- John Hogan -- he's the heavy favorite because, well, he thought it up and is a constant reminder to all of us what "Less Is More" really means.
-- CBS CEO Les Moonves because his first name, although misspelled, is still "Les-" for thinking "less" and listening to Sumner Redstone "more".
-- Former CBS Radio President Joel Hollander for his determination to blow up capable revenue producing radio stations and replace them with less profitable ones -- what courage! See, he's less interested in furthering his career than he is in profits.
-- NBC News President Steve Capus for the great courage it must have taken to scuttle the Imus MSNBC morning simulcast when he had absolutely nothing to lose and for reminding us that he was speaking up for the NBC family of employees who wanted Imus dumped. Let's see what happens when these same "family" employees go to Capus with their next request. It's comforting to know he's listening.

Less, Lesser, Least Radio Format Of The Year Award
This award goes to the radio format that is letting it all slip away.
The nominees are:
-- All news for its ability to program 20 minutes of traffic, patter, garden reports and public service announcements along with 20 minutes of additional clutter called commercials leaving 20 minutes of news each hour. What a business model! It gives new meaning to the phrase: "give us 20 minutes, then give us another 20 minutes and then I'll give you the world for just 20 minutes". It's the 20/20/20 news format. Bill Drake, eat your heart out!
-- Oldies for its disappearing act. Radio suits know what is best. Baby boomer PDs are out of touch and should be retired, right? This nominee has an edge because it is really being programmed "less" which endears it to the membership of the academy that oversees the "Lowries".
-- Jack, the house that oldies built, by making way for this brainchild of CBS for its intuitive read of the listening public by touting "we play what we want" at the very same time desirable young listeners who were abandoning radio were saying, "we play what we want and it's not called a radio, it's an iPod".

More Or Less A Record Industry Award
For the best strategy of a less-than-healthy music industry.
The nominees are:
-- Three of the four major labels for the courage and bad judgment to publicly keep fighting the inevitability of DRM-free music when behind closed doors they are already making plans for the music business without DRM.
-- EMI for apparently forcing Apple's Steve Jobs into charging 30 cents more for DRM-free music on iTunes in order for listeners to get what they should have been getting for 99 cents a download -- better fidelity (but not much) and no digital music restrictions.
-- The four major labels for another year of not coming up with a new hit genre that could be a replacement for hip-hop thus enabling sales to continue to tank while they can still blame Gen Y and Steve Jobs. Brilliant!
-- The RIAA for -- well, do I have to say?

The Less Is Manure Award
This is for the worst overall idea in music media.
The nominees are:
-- Clear Channel for getting everyone's hopes up that they were going to scale back to 650 stations while unsuccessfully getting shareholders to accept a modest premium for their devalued investment. Guess the shareholders didn't buy Clear Channel's idea of "Less Is More" to buy back their stock.
-- Clear Channel (again) for shouting "FIRE" in a crowded room or should I say shouting "WE PLAY TOO MANY COMMERCIALS" to an industry filled with advertisers and agencies. Yes, they could have cut their commercial loads and not made a big deal out of it, but would they really be Clear Channel if they had opted to do it that way. This could be the nominee to beat.
-- Apple and Steve Jobs for trying to sell enhanced audio on iTunes (for 30 cents more per download at that) as High Res audio. Their kidding, right? If not, maybe this is your winner.
-- The major TV networks for wanting to be YouTube so badly they are pimping out their programming online and trying to keep their content away from YouTube. Who is actually doing TV programming while the major nets are off being YouTube? HBO? Yes, HBO.
-- Google for trying to convince down-on-their-luck radio companies that selling ads as a commodity over the net is the future of radio sales while at the same time saying they're buying only excess inventory. If radio keeps this up, soon everything will be excess inventory that only Google will be able to sell.
-- The mobile phone companies for their feeble attempt to get into the content business. Perhaps they should concentrate on offering a connection that doesn't drop out, first. Doesn't anyone want to be in the business they are in?

The Less Is More Writing Award
The nominees are:
-- Well, there is only one. It's me -- Jerry Del Colliano for writing only one story a day instead of five pages as I used to do in Inside Radio and now offering it for free instead of $450 a year adding new meaning to the saying "you get what you pay for".

Now you choose the winners -- or should I say losers.

Hope you've had fun and are not too bent out of shape. We poked fun at everyone including me. So if you're offended, please listen to the senior senator from Arizona, John McCain and "lighten up".

We're all in the music & media business. After all, we could have to work for a living. On a bad day, it's all still good.

To email this post to a friend, click the email icon below

To receive my Monday post by email, subscribe below