Honoring Radio's Lowry Mays

This is how the radio industry loses its way.

The Broadcasters Foundation of America is honoring Lowry Mays -- yes, that Lowry Mays -- as one of the recipients of their Ward L. Quaal Pioneer Awards April 22 in the beautiful Monet Ballroom of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.

Broadcasters Foundation Chair Phil Lombardo made an ass of himself when he approved a news release that has him quoted as saying, "Once again we are privileged to honor an esteemed group of broadcasters who have left a permanent legacy of commitment to the betterment of the radio and television industry."

Okay, let's put a stop to this bull right now.

Lombardo is right that Mays has "left a permanent legacy" on the radio industry but it was not for "the betterment of the radio and television industry".

Are you kidding?

Mays is the problem.

His family is the problem.

His designated hit man, John Slogan Hogan, is the problem.

Less Is More is the problem.

Clusterf#&k radio is the problem -- one person, no vote on how to run your stations.

Executing careers of the most talented radio people is the problem.

Killing of local radio for Repeater Radio is the problem.

And for this you give him an award?

It makes you want to attend this circus of an event just to boo Mays off the stage.

There is precedent for that as Clear Channel President John Slogan Hogan was rejected at the Boston Ad Club where he made a speech that was as negative as the way Clear Channel is running down radio -- by actions even more than words. Adman Neal Bocian was there.

Look, this is war.

You started it.

You manipulated the long standing mission to serve the public interest, convenience and necessity and replaced it with serving the best interests of investment banks and mean-spirited and selfish individuals like the Broadcasting Foundation's poster child -- Lowry Mays.

Don't even start on me by saying, "I know you hate Clear Channel". It is just not true. I hate no man or woman and no company. My personal issues with Clear Channel were resolved in a court of law and by negotiation. I was a lucky one -- I survived their once powerful lawsuit machine. Many others did not.

In fact, I love Clear Channel -- the hardworking people, the under-appreciated managers, the programmers, salespeople and talent. I admire them for being so professional as to work for asses who treat them like sweatshop labor while they continue to distinguish themselves and their company.

That's class

Lowry Mays is not.

He set out to build the world's largest radio conglomerate -- not for the purpose of fulfilling his fiduciary duties to the listeners of 1,100 stations covered by their cities of license, but to wreck a perfectly good industry for one purpose -- the financial gain of Lowry Mays and family.

He didn't even earn a profit for the many shareholders who trusted him when they bought Clear Channel high and settled for selling their stock low.

Mays didn't even do right by the lenders who made his empire possible.

In the end, he found a sucker in Lee Capital Partners and Bain Media and stuck them with a radio group that his company helped become a mere shadow of its former self.

Lee & Bain have absolutely no idea what they are doing or what they should do.

And, Lowry Mays is a guy who is to get a distinguished service award?


At least not without a protest.

Lowry was the leader of radio consolidation and along with the mini-Mays' that grew up out of this flawed initiative led them down the path to destruction where radio sits today.

People getting fired.

Others taking on unmanageable workloads.

Most living in fear -- admiring no one in their company for pursuing excellence.

The award that Lowry Mays should get is the Hoboken Longshoreman's Distinguished Jerk Award -- and I say this with all due respect to Hoboken which is my city of birth of which I am very proud.

Mays' Clear Channel ran down people while his company's mission was to sue anyone who got in his way. One of radio's finest, John Rook, was skewered and roasted by Clear Channel lawyers for doing nothing. They forced him to sell his stations and left him with a house and legal bills after they "settled" with him.

It would be one thing if this kind of story was the exception but it was the rule. Clear Channel didn't earn the name "Evil Empire" for nothing.

And you want their founder to be honored?

No, let the Jersey guys handle this Jersey style.

Forget the Bellagio in Vegas. Honor Mays by the Hudson River near the docks and let's breathe in the smell of dead fish which would be appropriate for this ceremony.

Let's tell him how we really feel. That -- in all the history of radio -- no one name will go down in infamy more than the name Mays.

Tell him why.

Trashing a proud business.

Abusing power and money to disengage competitors.

Giving a new meaning to the phrase "the low road".

How about neglecting Clear Channel's duty to their listeners -- after all, the public owns the licenses, or at least that's the way it once worked best for both owners and listeners.

Thank him for his sons MarkyMark and Randall -- two future candidates for the Harvard Business School Hall of Fame.

And for that great hire -- John Slogan Hogan -- who was in over his head as president from "hello".

For vindictively demoting Randy Michaels who was one of the few people in San Antonio who actually knew what he was doing. Who would you pick out of a lineup for that job? Michaels or Hogan?

I can't sit by and honor radio's most destructive radio executive for anything -- not even in the bullshit industry world that we have become accustomed to tolerating.

It stops with Mays.

Dale Carnegie, the man who wrote the book How To Win Friends and Influence People always used to say dislike the deed not the person.

That's good advice -- and we should all make note of that important distinction -- especially in this case.

But if this man receives an award for anything other than being the "Worst Radio Executive" in the history of the industry, it's outrageous.

Doing anything April 22?

Vegas is nice that time of year.

The NAB Convention is in town.

Payback time, baby!

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