Tuesday, October 6, 2015

10.6.15 Bee-otches of the Day: Lew and John Dickey

Bee-otch of the Day honors are awarded Monday through Thursday, Bee-otch of the Week is awarded Friday on Chuck69.com.



Names: Lewis and John Dickey
Ages: 53, 48
Occupation: former heads of Cumulus Media
Last Seen: Atlanta, GA
Bee-otched For: getting demoted at the company they started

What works in Atlanta sure as hell won't work in New York City.

What works in Dallas won't work in Toledo, either.

And, just because the Dixie Chicks hate the ex-president of the United States doesn't mean that you should pull their music, either.

Just ask Lew and John Dickey.

Last week, the founders of Cumulus Media were severely demoted because of the free-falling stock price of the company, which finished at 76 cents yesterday. Their stock has fallen 83% of its value since the beginning of the year.

The new president of the company is Mary G. Berner, the former head of Reader's Digest. She will now lead the company, which owns 480 radio stations and the former ABC Radio Network, now Westwood One, which syndicates music programming and talk shows such as Mark Levin and Michael Savage.

Apparently, John is a total goner, but Lew will remain vice chairman of the board. His final day as president will be October 13th.

Under Dickey management, Cumulus was practically a right-winged turd of a company. In the early 2000s, they bought up several companies that owned stations carrying Howard Stern and ultimately dumped the King of All Media on all of them claiming financial reasons. One affected station was the former WBUZ 106.5 in Toledo, which flipped from a popular active rock format to more of a butt rock sound as "Rock 106.5". The station replaced Stern with Lex and Terry - a common show Cumulus replaced Howard with - and they ended up getting beaten to a pulp in the ratings. As a matter of fact, Cumulus ended up flipping 106.5 to alternative as "The Zone" and eventually to its current ESPN format.

Bear in mind that it was Cumulus that bought Ann Arbor's WLBY/1290 and flipped it from progressive talk - which had good ratings - to business talk, which doesn't. Now, it's simply a Cumulus clearing house for its talk shows and their ratings suck.

Let's not forget that it was the Dickeys who yanked the Dixie Chicks from their country stations all because of Natalie Maines' trashing of George W. Bush at a concert in England. Sadly, many other stations followed their lead. I even remember one of my Facebook friends - a former country DJ - getting threats from listeners just because he whipped up "Landslide".

But, it's country music itself that lead the Dickeys down the radio tubes. The rollout of the still-unsuccessful Nash format practically nailed their coffins shut. In over two years of owning 94.7 in New York City, that station has not even made it to a 2 share in the ratings. Dickey did say in an interview that Nash would be profitable by next year, but seriously, a country station in the Big Apple?!?! Even worse, NYC doesn't have a real rock station and the last few new rock stations the city had fared way better than Nash by a longshot.

Even here in Grand Rapids, Cumulus' stations here are a joke. When they bought out Citadel and tossed Matt Hanlon's carcass out onto Monroe Ave., I was hoping for good changes. Sadly, not many were made, except 1) WLAV is now playing more 90s music and 2) Thunder 94.5 is now a Nash station. However, I've heard that they lost the Tigers and Red Wings to iHeartMedia, but no official word was made.

So, if Ms. Berner is reading this (and I doubt it), here's a few things I would do:

1) SHITCAN THE NASH BRAND. Look, I'm not against having country stations, but they should have their own identity. What kind of a shitty name is Nash, anyway?

2) ADD/CREATE MORE ACTIVE ROCK STATIONS. Look: WLS 890 in Chicago is getting creamed in the ratings by a peashooter active rocker, WIIL 95.1 in Kenosha. Look at WRIF in Detroit. I've listened to Westwood One's "Rock 2.0" format and it's good! Here in Michigan, it's carried on WGFM/Rock 105 in the Traverse City market. I think it will work in bigger markets like New York and L.A. I know, people think that alternative/indie is king, but sadly, most of those stations suck in the ratings, i.e. Detroit's 89X.

3) PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE CAN BILL SIMONSON. If iHeartMedia really is taking the Tigers and Red Wings, WBBL will be worthless. The af
ternoon show on ESPN 96.1 does way, way better than Huge in the ratings. Put this asshole out of his misery so he could enjoy his life in good 'ol Ada with his kids Ace, Dweezil, Moon Unit,Porn Star and whatever the fuck this fat turdburgler names his kids.

There's a lot of ways I could improve Cumulus. If I can get that company to go past a buck share, I know I'm doing something right. But since radio types hate me, well, sucks to be them.

I'll just listen to internet radio like normal people.
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