The End of Westwood One

It’s a “done deal”.   All the Ts are dotted and the I’s crossed.

Oaktree Capital is continuing to own more and more of what we used to call Radio.   Dial Global, which is a syndicator of satellite music feeds and other radio “stuff”, along with the former Mother Jones Radio (Ed Shultz, Bill Press, Thom Hartmann, Clark Howard, Neal Boortz, Michael Smerconish, et al) has now absorbed the foundering Westwood One.

Westwood One mostly syndicates live sports (America Loves Sports!(tm)) – NCAA football and basketball and national NFL football and NASCAR.

They also carry some talk shows – Dennis Miller, Doug Urbanski and Loveline, as well as Jim Bohannon and Dirk Van and the Wall Street Journal programs.

At least in the past, Westwood One and CBS radio have been closely affiliated in their operations.

Westwood One is enough of a “recognized brand” that the combined company may not walk away from it in order to show their dominance in the merger – that isn’t clear yet.    In any case, another page in the history of the End of Radio as We Knew It has been finished.     While Oaktree is not the Dickey Family, they probably share the idea that the best way to make money in radio is to cut the expenses of the programming.

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14 Responses to The End of Westwood One

  1. briand75 says:

    Question: if the silencing of the conservative media can’t be done via fiat, is it possible that we are seeing it done via the almighty dollar? I mean, let Soros or someone buy up all the radio stations, fire all of the hosts and start the flow of kool-aid.

    • Art Stone says:

      Yes, I believe you are correct, but I can’t prove it.

      It goes something like this: Federal Reserve creates a lot of dollars, lends them through a bank for 0% to a private equity firm. Private Equity firm funds buying up everything in America. Think of it as Nationalization by Proxy.

      There are variations on the theme – Federal Reserve bails out Barclays, Barclays lends money back to company to buy up 1000s of miles of natural gas pipeline.

      Once the Fed thinks it is appropriate to create dollars for no reason and loan them out for free, nothing else really matters. The Dollar is now just a mirage. (of if you’re a pessimist, it always was a mirage)

      Maybe two years ago in an email, I blurted out….. “I’m beginning to believe that money is nothing but a mass hallucination” – like someone seeing the Virgin Mary crying on the side of a barn. If enough people believe in it, then it becomes real.

  2. Parrott says:

    >”In any case, another page in the history of the End of Radio as We Knew It has been finished. ”

    Hate. Yeah if you were traveling late on a Sunday you could generally pick up a Westwood One – CBS station on the east coast and listen to a NFL game in the late eighties-90’s. Back when I was courting my wife : ). Drop her off at school or home and long drive home, listen to NFL. Snickers bar and a coke will get you a long ways down the road. Hate to hear they are going away. Sometimes they would have JackBuck calling a game. He was good.

    now were stuck with stinky hippies drinking kool-aid, being manipulated by puppet master ‘ soros’ and they are too stupid to realize it. “What does democracy look like”?

    • foyle says:

      I was a bit of a pre-Westwood One junkie (back in the 80’s when CBS Radio had the rights NFL games — Jack Buck and Hank Stram were the announcers and did a great job calling the action). Even if I had Monday Night Football turned on the TV (which I rarely did), I would turn the sound down and listen to Buck & Stram.

      On the talk side of pre-Westwood was the remnants of Mutual Broadcasting — consisting primarily of Larry King (when he was actually interesting and had great guests). Larry’s show covered the midnight-5:30 am slot on several hundred stations and spent most of the night taking callers (usually guests were confined to the first 90 minutes to 2 hours of the slot). On Saturday nights Jim Bohannon was live in the same period (he was also Larry’s fill-in for weekday shows. On Sunday nights was the ‘best of’ King with compiled interviews from the previous week. As much as I enjoyed King’s show back then on radio, I had an equal amount of disdain for his CNN show from the very beginning.

      King and Bohannon in the late-70’s through mid-80’s were far superior for the late night slot than today’s UFO/Ghosts/Big Foot show that dominates what is left of the talk radio night time dial.

      The content of those shows in the

  3. Art Stone says:

    Well, I was wrong.

    Dial Global has already pulled the plug on the Westwood One web site, and the Westwood One talk shows are now integrated with the Dial Global lineup.

    So that’s really the end of Westwood One. I’ll be merging the shows now under the same syndicator ID.

    Jim Bohannon is however still IDing his show as being on Westwood One. I guess he didn’t get the memo yet.

  4. JMyrleFuller says:

    It feels like Cumulus and Oaktree are in a race to gobble up as much radio territory as they can get.

    Coincidence or not, I know you’ve mentioned many times how Westwood One has most of its talk shows syndicated on Cumulus stations. Westwood One was in a lot of trouble (as if it wasn’t already) once Cumulus gobbled up Citadel.

    • Art Stone says:

      You are correct. And Oaktree is also buying up more of Cumulus.

      God only knows who actually controls Clear Channel – Bain Capital (the company that Romney created in the 1990s – my guess is they are a front of the Havard Endowment – which has $32 billion in assets and earned a stunning 20% on its investments in 2010/11) and Thomas H Lee… Thomas H Lee and Blackwater are firms fronting the intestors in Cumulus – I have long suspected most of the “loans” being used to control the companies are held by non-American entities. Deutsche Bank in Germany holds a lot of the Clear Channel debt.

  5. jpaulwede says:

    Along similar lines, this was the news in my local market today:

    I will miss Jim Reith. Now there is no more local talk in this area. Sign of times to come.

  6. Art Stone says:

    One positive thing about this – Michael Smerconish now works for the same company as Thom Hartmann and Mike Malloy and Stephanie Miller. It’s much more obvious now what his actual pollitical orientation is, if endorsing President Obama in 2008 and working for Arlen Specter wasn’t enough of a clue.

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