I don't know about you but I wouldn't advise a child to take candy from a stranger.

And I also wouldn't tell radio listeners to find a job from Clear Channel President John Slogan Hogan.

Since yesterday when Clear Channel announced that it is going to help five unemployed in each of 21 of their markets find a job each week, my email, Facebook and text messages have been on fire.

That's one station per market -- not all stations -- and we're talking about hard hit places like Detroit.

And they're not giving away a job, just a chance that some lucky listener might be hired by someone other than Clear Channel.

This guy can't get away from less is more.

Do I smell a publicity stunt here?

That's right -- the dean of mean is offering a candy bar to find jobs for the unemployed.

Here's the headline as it appeared on the official Clear Channel news release -- "Clear Channel Radio Kicks Off Initiative to Assist Unemployed Listeners".

Say what?

Now they're really playing with our heads, right?

The Evil Empire.

The Lean Mean Firing Machine is all of a sudden becoming

This calls for psychoanalysis:

"Clear Channel Radio launched a new initiative this week to help local listeners who are seeking employment to market their skills and unique features on the air to attract the attention of employers with available positions".

So tell us, Mr. Slogan -- why aren't you using your airwaves to help find jobs for all those thousands of people you fired?


Thought you didn't have an answer for that one. If I remember correctly, you couldn't wait to get them out the door and in some cases your minions even escorted them out of the building -- sometimes without their personal belongings.

Sorry to bring all of this up when you're in the middle of a PR blitz, but, really.

"Twenty-one Clear Channel Radio stations across the nation will encourage listeners seeking employment to visit their websites and submit entries via an online form. Each station will choose five entrants per week to record their own thirty second radio resume where they will provide basic personal information and qualifications, and direct interested employers to the station’s website where the entrants’ full resumes will be posted".


Only five winners per city per week -- my God, you're so generous. I know you've got plenty of airtime available since you're not selling advertising these days but for a San Antonio-based who-ha news release PR effort, isn't this -- well, cheap?

Even "The Last Contest" gave away more prizes.

And by the way ...

Making a contest out of helping the unemployed. It's almost as bad as "the ninth caller wins".
Except in this case they don't really win anything.

Don't puke all over your computer, you're going to be sick ...

“We realize this is a difficult time for many individuals and families and want to support our listeners who are out of work in any way we can,” said John Hogan, President and CEO of Clear Channel Radio. “Radio is all about community and serves as the perfect platform to connect job seekers with employers. We hope that job seeking listeners will take advantage of this special opportunity.”

My God, when did John Hogan become Mister Rogers? Won't you be my neighbor?

Such compassion for human beings that I didn't think the big Slogan guy had in him -- at least, not from the way he has butchered and quartered so many talented radio careers to save money.

But here's the line -- exactly as it appeared in yesterday's news release -- that is the giveaway for why the most insensitive employer of human talent can morph into a candidate for Secretary of Labor ...

"According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonfarm payroll employment continued to decline in April with another 539,000 jobs lost, and the unemployment rate rose to 8.9 percent. Since the recession began in December 2007, 5.7 million jobs have been lost".

Well, I sure don't need Labor Statistics to know people are unemployed and neither does Hogan. All he has to do is look down the hall.

That curious line is in there to show the right people this Evil Empire now gets it -- to keep abusing the public interest it must act like it cares about people.

The Keystone Cops of Radio have done it again.

They have made it so by saying it is so.

This paltry excuse for mass employment is a circus.

If Slogan Hogan really wanted to help people, all he had to do is read a blog post of mine from about a year ago where I related the story of how I handled unemployment when I was a program director during a recession.

In short, my station actually went out and recruited jobs of all kinds -- then advertised them in on-air promos (really creative promos) inviting listeners to call in inquiring about the jobs for which they qualified (no email then) and apply.

If being a construction worker wasn't your thing, just keep listening and next half hour there would be a nursing job. You get the idea.

Good radio (average quarter hour) and good citizens (helping lots of people to get interviews -- not 5 for window dressing purposes).

It wasn't a contest.

Wasn't a PR show.

It was the desire of Buckley Broadcasting to serve the city of license (Philadelphia) where they operated. Corporate never got involved. It was all local.

After I invited today's more-than-interested program directors to update my constant on-air job promotion, many contacted me frustrated by how cluster mangers and regional execs would not allow them to do it.

I know -- I don't have the clout of John Slogan Hogan.

But now, all of a sudden, this least competent of all consolidation executives comes up with this zany idea to make a mockery out of a sad situation.

Damn -- Hogan wants to be me!

You might be calming down right now -- if you are a Clear Channel victim -- or you might be getting even hotter under the collar, but there is one important question.

Why an employment contest?

I lied -- three important questions.

Why issue a release like it is a mandate for action?

Why now?

The answer...

Clear Channel is scared shitless -- forgive me, but there is no other way to say it.

In my opinion Hogan doesn't care about the unemployed. He cares about the employed. Like himself.

And this is a company that is in serious trouble with the FCC and Congress. Certainly you can sense the shift of sentiment in Washington away from deregulation.

Clear Channel sure can.

Clear Channel is one weather or news emergency away from a scandal in Washington because their nationally-syndicated Repeater Radio is shortcutting local news and emergency information.

The FCC is threatening to force stations back into localism -- a direction that is opposite where Clear Channel is headed.

Clear Channel, of course, is bleeding red ink and is increasingly using its licenses as cheap repeaters of repurposed content.

The only reason Clear Channel isn't in bigger trouble is because fired employees have not professionally lobbied Congress to put the pressure on Clear Channel. If they did, Clear Channel would be all but stuck with 800 or so stations and forced to follow the intent of their FCC licenses.

They're getting away with firing people, calling syndicated radio local, making the public think three news reporters in San Diego can cover an earthquake 24/7.

But now, John Hogan has become his own bad self in Monster dot com -- not the online employment resource but Hogan the ogre.

Let's keep it real for a second.

The fact that this unemployment sham is coming from Clear Channel corporate is significant. Like Hogan and San Antonio have nothing better to do while their stations are falling apart.

This corporate intervention by radio's chief executioner into "helping" the unemployed -- all five of them -- is a strategic move to paint Clear Channel as a fit local operator that responds to local issues.

It's a decoy from issues like how the emergency-alert designated station in San Diego, Clear Channel's KOGO, is down to three reporters while it is delegating hourly news reports to "news hub" station KFI, Los Angeles most of the day, and is unmanned by reporters overnight.

No one at corporate would want to wake Congress up with this accident waiting to happen.

And the phony employment initiative that Clear Channel says it portrays can't hide what Clear Channel actually does -- recruit for jobs it doesn't have (view their KOGO recruitment piece from their website):

"If your organization distributes information about employment opportunities to job seekers or refers job seekers to employers, and would like to receive job vacancy notices for Clear Channel Communications, please provide your name, mailing address, e-mail address (if applicable), telephone number, fax number, and contact person and identify the category or categories of vacancies or which you would like information specified above to the following person at Clear Channel Communications..."

Oh, now you want us to believe that the Evil Empire is hiring!

It's simple.

Clear Channel was created when consolidation was allowed to go wild. No one ever saw a crippled radio industry as a possibility. A handful of consolidators in cahoots with the greedy Wall Street investment banks bought all the big real estate but wound up not being able to pay their mortgages.

As long as people who love the radio industry play dead, Clear Channel can continue to get away with selling Repeater Radio as local, foreign newscasts as responsive and responsible, few employees as a fiduciary licensee's obligation instead of a dereliction of duty and now responding to the national unemployment crisis as if it were a contest.

If you don't like it -- and don't like being dicked around by the Dickeys, Hogans and Sulemans of the industry then do one thing -- if you do nothing else.

Have a good laugh.

Then, bombard your local Congressional representative with protests, petitions -- call the local TV news stations and raise the issue publicly.

There is a reason the National Rifle Association almost always prevails on Capitol Hill and no -- you can't count on your NAB to represent local radio operators. NAB is on the side of the bad guys.

Grassroots protests in every consolidated city.

Demand that stations be required to:

1. Air 80% of their programming originated locally by local talent.

2. Meet the public interest, convenience and necessity or else mandate that the FCC should remove license holders who don't.

3. See to it that all aspects of a radio station's operation be local including retention of local management.

By the way, do I have to say -- there is no time to waste.

When the next disaster happens in San Diego or elsewhere -- God forbid -- listeners are way ahead of the FCC and radio consolidators.

They know to pull out their phones, text a friend, go online, hit the Internet for updates.

Who is kidding whom?

Monster.Hogan is really CareerBuilder.Hogan.


Not yours.

For those of you who would prefer to get Jerry's daily posts by email for free, please click here. IMPORTANT: Service doesn't start until you verify an email from "Feedburner" immediately after you sign up (may have to check your filtered mail).

Thanks for forwarding my pieces to your friends and linking to your websites and boards.