At Citadel, a "Fagreed" Kind of Christmas

Paid vacation slashed by 50% at Citadel.

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Somebody who knows Citadel CEO Farid Suleman real well needs to get him aside and do an intervention -- now!

It's holiday time, for God's sake.

We're in a recession -- you think he would know that.

And he's been picking off employees for slaughter on a whim every time he gets his ass in trouble with Wall Street. After all, you have to work hard to produce a stock worth only 15 cents.

That's right, 15 -- c-e-n-t-s.

"Fagreed" has been a big failure. Forget the stock price. Look at the tons of debt his ego took on when he just had to do that ABC Radio acquisition. Disney CEO Bob Iger should be kissing Suleman on the lips for being arrogant enough to think that acquisition would be accretive to Citadel shareholders.

Now, "Fagreed" is putting coal in the stockings of the few, the proud -- the survivors of his mismanagement.

(I should divulge that Suleman blocks this website and daily emails from Citadel corporate mail which is, of course, his right. He is God. We all know that. But, apparently he can't stop his employees and other interested parties from providing an up close and personal look at a man not ready for prime time).

In an email sent to employees November 26th (for the record, that would be the day before Thanksgiving) Susan Arville, from Human Resources (if that term can be used here) forwarded a policy change under Jeanne Cosentino's name that cut their employees vacation benefits.

On the eve of Thanksgiving.

Just a few weeks before Christmas.

The major changes are:

• A reduction to ten days maximum paid vacation time -- down from 20 -- for all salaried employees.
Less is more, right?

• And, the elimination of any paid vacation for commissioned salespeople -- although Santa Suleman will allow them to take ten days off on an unpaid basis.

Ho! Ho! Ho!

This from a man who made $11 million in compensation last year -- with his company paying all his taxes. How would you like to pay no taxes and net $11 million for spending Mondays through Fridays building your company's stock price to -- 15 cents?

Hell, if I were a Citadel employee I'd email back, "Hey Farid, glad to take fewer vacation days if you will agree to take more -- and keep your hands off this sinking ship".

Then, again -- I've been fired a few times for mouthing off. Don't listen to me.

This whole thing is sick.


"Fagreed" can't save that much money from squeezing his employees any harder.

It almost appears as if he is enjoying this process. I'll hurt you if you don't do as I say. Because there is no reason eliminating some paid vacation from an increasingly shrinking staff will be the economic move he needs to right the ship.

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Certainly, he's insensitive.

No reason to lay it on his employees on the way out the door on the eve of a traditional family holiday like Thanksgiving or weeks ahead of Christmas.

One of my readers reminded me recently that if "Fagreed" decided to take, say, only a paltry $1 million in salary next year because, frankly, he didn't do such a good job of running his company -- that the savings could have employed a lot of key programming, management, sales and on-air talent that would make a difference.

That is going to happen sooner than Nicole Kidman gives up Botox -- if you get my drift.

Look, all kidding aside -- this man is mean.

And I don't think he'd do too well if he had to go on an executive job search with his resume right now.

I wish his entire staff could walk out -- there I go again. Just let me vent. Then I'll play nice -- maybe.

Imagine if all Citadel managers, programmers, salespeople and talent just up and -- quit. Now, I know -- I'm not saying unemployment is better than underemployment, but wouldn't that be exactly what he deserved? If "Fagreed" thinks he has trouble running his company at 15 cents a share, try it without all those talented people who put up with his form of -- "management".

Okay, I'm back to reality.

Just let me say that kicking people when they are down -- robbing them of vacation time when you -- yourself -- take plenty of it is cruel.

Doing it before a family holiday -- cruel.

Weeks before Christmas -- cruel.

I've come to believe that "Fagreed" Suleman firing, extracting concessions and under employing people is not just being frugal in tough times. I used to cut him some slack because he was Mel Karmazin's number one bean counter.


It's about disrespect.

The fastest way to prosperity is through your assets -- and in the case of an intangible medium like radio --- that would be its people.

"Fagreed" is dissing his assets when they are hurting the most.

That's disrespect.

My Italian mother used to reassure me "that every dog has its day" -- and don't think I didn't keep that thought in mind when I was fighting for my life and career against The Evil Empire.

She was right about this dog.

And I hope this same wisdom applies to the fine people who must endure idiotic policies, insults to their professionalism and disregard for their very ample abilities.

Remember, "every dog has its day".

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