Clear Channel is bragging again about how popular its iheartradio Apple iPhone application is.

One million downloads so far -- and growing by 13% per week.

You've gotta love a business of spinmeisters who can make a dying industry seem like the digital future.

Take a look around and watch people under 25 years old.

They are not "hearting" radio.

They are texting and talking. But if the radio industry feels better saying that this isn't so, go right ahead.

The business is still dead -- and they killed it.

Take the latest RADAR report on radio's national audience. You know what RADAR time is? Time to make it seem like everyone listens to radio.

The new RADAR shows 234 million 12+ listeners in an average week. That translates into a 92% exposure rate according to Inside Radio which points out that the growth rate "is steady despite growth of MP3 players".

Facebook, for context, has 160 million users who spend even more time with it. And its main growth is in the over 30 demographic.

Radio losing teens?

No problem if you are drinking the establishment Kool Aid. The latest RADAR shows 89% of teens (12-17) also tune in to terrestrial radio each week -- that's in spite of the fact that you can't find two teens who listen to a radio unless there is no other choice.

But, no problem -- radio is red hot because it lies.

It lies about the problems that it is not facing.

Take the recession.

No problem if you're in radio. Yes, it hurts to see revenue down but that's only because of the economic downturn. However, radio started its official recession years ahead of economic decline when it could barely post a 1 or 2% growth rate, then break even and now, well -- it's the economy.

It doesn't matter if even Wall Street thinks radio is done. After all, what do you think a penny stock means? Shareholders are not exactly high on the medium. They valued it by establishing the few pennies they are willing to pay. And what does it mean when Cox is the leader with a $3 stock?

You've got it -- it's got to be the recession, that's it.

It can't be that the radio CEOs have made all the wrong decisions because they never understood how to run more than 14 AMs and 14 FMs at one time -- and most could barely do that.

Or, why Ryan Seacrest is right for every locality in the country because it is right for Clear Channel's investment "partners" Lee & Bain. What do they call that?

Great radio.

The radio industry has its head so far up its butt that it can't see the problems clearly. And now, you're a doom and gloom soothsayer if you don't buy their garbage about why radio has fallen and cannot get up.

Some radio people are atypical. They know that consolidators led the others down the path of destruction. They don't like it, but they know it. Others are still trying to peddle this stuff and only the diehards are buying it.

Here's reality:

1. Radio will never be a growth business again. I don't like this anymore than you do, but in spite of our distaste for it, that projection is true. You lost the next generation at hello -- AOL's "Hello, You've Got Mail" and everything that followed. You didn't even fight back.

2. Kidding yourself into believing that 234 million people make radio healthy is living in denial. If it were true, radio would be a growth industry.

3. Teens don't listen to radio. They text and talk. They own iPods. They participate in social networks. They are online. Radio lost them in their supreme arrogance during consolidation -- and you have to pin the blame on our great CEOs -- because they took this audience for granted. Thought they would always have the kids. They don't and won't. Sorry to have to say it, but look around.

4. Streaming the terrestrial signal is not the digital future -- new content delivered by new technologies is -- and look around and see where traditional radio companies stand on these issues. No budget. No commitment. No clue. Webcasting could be big but not without a better deal on royalties with Sound Exchange.

5. National radio won't work now or ever.

6. But local radio is a business -- although not attractive to the arrogant people who don't want to do the things that local stations do best. It's not Hollywood. It's Main Street and Main Street is where the money is. And you'll note, I'm sure, that your consolidation CEOs are moving away from local radio to save costs. Spin that one?

7. Radio is disconnected from its listeners more today than ever. Social networking is free and works in a quick, viral way and these fools don't listen to their own staffers who know how to make Facebook, Twitter and all the social sites work to their advantage.

8. Consolidators are in denial over the future of mobile communication. They think it's a radio -- thus, the silly bragging about radio apps that will never make a difference. Good content makes a difference. I downloaded iheartradio for my iPhone the day it came out. Now, anyone who has an iPhone knows you have to listen or use your phone -- choose one, can't do both. Most of us use our phones. Listening is secondary. Texting and talking is not.

9. Podcasting is the future -- give me a local station and I'll show you 100 local podcasts that can be developed with no increase in expenses to form an ever growing revenue stream. Or, forget it, wait for the recession to end before you figure out that radio isn't in the future of the next generation -- the one you need for growth.

10. The Radio Advertising Bureau is in the wrong century.

11. The National Association of Broadcasters represent the few who fund their efforts -- and they sell out too many of their smaller members.

12. Radio possesses the greatest talent pool for podcasting, mobile content creation, local terrestrial radio and new Internet brands. They need very little training -- just inspiration. These are great people. Hard workers. Loyal -- and they've proven it. To fire them is to fire your future.

13. Write this one down and hold me to it -- all the cutbacks that consolidators have made and the ones they will continue to make -- will not work. They will fire people anyway because they are -- all together now -- in denial. Do you think Lee & Bain doesn't believe that their Clear Channel investment will come back and be worth more than they paid? See? In denial. They bought a company and gutted it to cut losses.

14. Yield managers are a joke -- there, someone has said it. I'll show you a less expensive and more effective yield manager. They are called general managers -- you know, the kind this industry can't wait to fire. And I can name hundreds of them that can do a better job than a John Hogan Yield Manager. Why don't you hold Clear Channel to the fire when these yield managers yield to the next cockamamie idea Lee & Bain comes up with?

You can't solve a problem until you admit you have a problem. Why wait until radio becomes the newspaper business -- in denial for decades and now shutting down their presses.

That's the bone I have to pick with the radio industry establishment and the hangers on who act as cheerleaders 24/7. Radio is in deep trouble.

Their reassurances are as creepy as Secretary of State Al Haig proclaiming at The White House and that he was in charge after President Reagan was shot.

A day doesn't go by that I don't hear from several radio people who have been fired or fear for their future. This is now an industry that doesn't care about people -- an industry run by patricians who have never been fired from a job.

Even a job they are doing poorly.

In radio, a program director used to get fired for poor ratings. A GM for not returning a profit to meet the budget.

For radio CEOs, not making the numbers is a call for more stock, more bonuses, more raises and more perks.

So, let's hold these weaklings to the fire.

Yesterday it was announced Cumulus was down 11% in the fourth quarter of 2008 -- 5% for the entire year even before the economy went to hell. Cumulus stock is now trading under a dollar and if it doesn't suddenly become worth a dollar it could be delisted.

Out with Lew Tricky Dickey.

Citadel is off 13% for the same period. Its got $2 billion of debt hanging over its head. Negotiations are underway to ease it -- and you know what that means, higher interest rates, more debt. Citadel was recently kicked off the New York Stock Exchange and closed over the counter yesterday at four cents. That's three cents more than a penny! (And you thought that Fagreed was the only one who could count pennies).

Out with Fagreed Suleman.

And the same goes for the other non-achieving radio CEOs.. You know who you are and we do, too.

Radio people didn't cause the gloom and doom.

They did.

Don't let anyone pin that rap on you.

That's why ibrokenheartRADIO.

I hate to see so many incompetents get cut so much slack when they are the ones who are ruining the industry we love.

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