Sirius XM Creditors Consider Ejecting Chief

Mel Karmazin

Mel Karmazin

Sirius XM Radio chief executive Mel Karmazin may be removed from his post by creditors if the company files for bankruptcy instead of making a deal to remain operational, the Wall Street Journal reports. Among the satcaster’s options to stay afloat are making deals with either EchoStar or Liberty Media Corp. The New York-based Sirius XM is supposed to repay $175 million in bonds held by EchoStar Corp. by tomorrow’s (2/17) deadline, or bankruptcy could be imminent. Some reports say word on the outcome could come as early as today (2/16).

Performance Rights Act Back in Congress

The Performance Rights Act, which would create a sound recording performance right for terrestrial radio, was reintroduced to Congress today (2/4). The bill would require radio stations, which already pay royalties to songwriters for broadcasting their music, to also pay the artists and musicians performing the songs, as well owners of the master recordings.

Under the proposed legislation, the parties involved would negotiate rates amongst themselves, or those rates could be set by the Copyright Royalty Board and paid to SoundExchange. The bill also makes accommodations for small broadcasters, public and religious radio stations.

AM and FM radio is the only music platform that does not pay a fair performance right to artists and musicians for the use of their work. Satellite, cable and internet radio compensate artists when they play their music. The Performance Rights Act would bring the United States in line with almost every other nation in the world.

Among those supporting the legislation were Tennesseans Bob Corker (R-TN) in the Senate, and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) in the House of Representatives.

CRS Offers One-Day Rates

Single day registration will be available for those attending Country Radio Seminar on March 5 “Music Industry Town Meeting Day” or March 6 “Radio Sales Day.”

Admission to the Music Industry Town Meeting is $265 and includes the Sony Music Nashville Luncheon with Miranda Lambert and Jake Owen, informational panels about technology and small markets, and WCRS Live! with Bobby Pinson, Paul Overstreet, Josh Turner and Jamey Johnson.

Those signing up for Radio Sales Day will enjoy that evening’s New Faces of Country Music Show, sure to be a highlight of the week with performances by Lady Antebellum, James Otto, Kellie Pickler, Chuck Wicks and The Zac Brown Band. For the $370 one-day registration fee, attendees can learn from panels focused on consumer habits, promotional and research ideas. Also included is the Managers’ Breakfast, and Capitol Nashville’s luncheon with Darius Rucker and Little Big Town.

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, who has officially proclaimed the week of March 2, 2009 “Country Radio Week” in the city, will greet CRS-40 attendees on March 4. Registration for the full event, to be held March 4-6, 2009 at the
Nashville Convention Center, will be $699 until Feb. 6. On-site
registration will be $749.

Propper (ly) Official

CO5 Nashville has officially announced the addition of Heather Propper to its team. She will serve as Director/Promotion and Marketing Southeast. “CO5 remains committed to finding the absolute best talent our industry has to offer,” says David Newmark, VP/Country Promotion CO5 Nashville. “We are dedicated to being the leader in radio promotion.”

Propper’s music industry career began at KMLE/Phoenix. She later moved to the promotion side of the business joining Equity Music Group and specializing in secondary promotion. She can be reached at 602-317-0551 or [email protected]

Carolwood Adds To Promo Dept.

Trudie Richardson-Daniell

Trudie Richardson-Daniell will join Carolwood Records on Feb. 9 as Manager, Regional Promotion. With 13 years of music business experience, she will be based out of Atlanta and will work the Southeast and Southwest regions. Prior to joining Carolwood Records, the Belmont graduate worked in the radio promotions department for CO5 Nashville. Lyric Street/Carolwood Records VP, Promotion Kevin Herring announced her hiring today (1/26/09).

Clear Channel Cuts Official

Clear Channel Communications has officially confirmed cuts that reduced its workforce by approximately 1850 employees or 9%.

CC CEO Mark Mays wrote in a company-wide email:
“As I’ve mentioned previously, we are facing an unprecedented time of distress in the general economy—and the ripple effects have hit some of our largest customers hard.
Today, we had the unpleasant task of bringing our Outdoor and Radio businesses’ staffing in line with these challenging economic conditions. In doing so, we enter 2009 as a solid company and in the most competitive position possible.
We have thought carefully and at some length about the steps we need to take as a company to succeed during this unprecedented downturn. As a result, we have eliminated approximately 1,850 positions across Corporate, Outdoor and Radio. While a significant portion of these positions represent a realignment in our sales departments, the positions span all departments and represent approximately 9% of the total Clear Channel Communications workforce.
One of the things that has kept Clear Channel strong throughout our history is a willingness to deal with difficult situations in an immediate way—to make the tough decisions today in order to secure a strong future. It is this trait that has gone furthest in enabling us to weather many difficult downturns in our 37-year history. It always requires clarity, collaboration and courage.
Please know that these have been difficult decisions—yet necessary ones. We will miss those who are departing—even as we renew our shared commitment to success among all of us who will stay.
Everyone in our investor group, on the Board, and in the executive leadership team remains bullish about the long-term growth prospects for Clear Channel. We continue to believe that the Outdoor and Radio businesses offer excellent opportunities.
We need to remain highly entrepreneurial and innovative. We also need to remain focused and compassionate. If we continue to manage our business carefully, and invest with discipline in the right strategic opportunities, we will navigate this downturn effectively and emerge even stronger and better positioned when things improve.
Starting now, it is our ability to bring creative thinking to the current business climate—to focus on the benefits we deliver for customers – to show extreme focus and commitment—that will create results.
Clear Channel Communications has more resources than any of our peers. The tools are here. The support is here. It’s time to use them to create lasting competitive advantage for our customers—and for our company.
Please know that we continue to be extraordinarily appreciative of all of the passion and hard work that each of you continues to commit to this phenomenal business. We will get through this together.
We’re in this together. We have the best team. And we all have important work to do. As we head into the New Year, I know we will meet the oncoming challenges with focus, determination and grace.“

Clear Channel Hires Lindy, Despite Looming Layoffs

Clear Channel Communications will begin restructuring across the board next week, making changes expected to save the company $400 million, according to The NY Post. With 30,000 employees worldwide, CCC’s plan includes laying off workers in its radio, outdoor advertising and international divisions. In an attempt to consolidate duties and cut programming costs, CCC might also adopt a “national programming” model that would require less local-level staffing, the Post says. Bain Capital Partners and Thomas H. Lee Partners purchased CCC last year for $17.9 billion.

••••

Scott Lindy, Sirius’s former Sr. Country PD, is taking over as Clear Channel Atlanta’s Director of Operations, as well as handling PD duties for the cluster’s WUBL (94.9 the Bull)/Atlanta. He left the satcaster in September during its merger with XM. Succeeding the recently promoted Clay Hunnicutt, Lindy begins his new duties in Atlanta next week.

1720 Hires New VP Promotion

Tim Burruss is on board as the new VP Promotion (Nashville) for 1720 Entertainment, replacing Bill Macky who has exited the company. Most recently, Burruss was VP Promotion and Marketing for Capitol Records, based in Los Angeles. His more than 25 years of experience also includes time as Columbia Records’ Regional Promotion Director for the Southeast, and VP Promotion for Interscope Records and Hollywood Records. 1720 is home to Jamie O’Neal, Rissi Palmer, and newly signed singer-songwriter Jesse Walker.

Carson James Joins BBR

Broken Bow Records has named veteran radio promotion executive Carson James Senior Vice President of Promotions. He most recently spent nearly 10 years in the same role at Curb Records.

“When
Jim Yerger (Broken Bow Executive VP) first approached me about this opportunity, I jumped at the chance to work with a group of people that I’ve had such respect and admiration for over the years,” says James. “It’s a great way to kick off a new year, and I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work.”

“We’re extremely thrilled to have Carson join our family,” says Yerger. “His experience, confidence and enthusiasm made him the logical choice as the newest addition to our team.”

James is already at work and may be reached at the Broken Bow offices at 615-244-8600, ext. 16 or [email protected]

CRB Accepting Nominees For Radio Awards

Country Radio Broadcasters is accepting applications for the 2009 Radio Humanitarian and Promotion Awards to be given at CRS-40, taking place March 4-6, 2009. Both awards will be presented to stations in large, medium and small market categories. Details and applications, due Jan. 9, 2009, are available at www.crb.org. Radio Promotion Award winners will receive a free trip to this year’s Country Radio Seminar.

CRS-40 will be held March 4-6, 2009 at the Nashville Convention Center. Complete seminar information may be obtained by contacting CRB at 615-327-4487 or by visiting www.crb.org. Advance rate registration is still available for $599 through Jan. 15. The regular rate of $699 expires Feb. 6. On-site registration is $749.