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Mason, Herman Meet With Record Labels


If you work at a Clear Channel station or live in a market with a Clear Channel cluster you are certainly aware of the big promotion the company is running with Taylor Swift. It's a direct result of the relationship Bob Pittman and Big Machine CEO Scott Borchetta cemented when Clear Channel cut a direct deal with the label to pay artists for their music over-the-air. CBS radio is on a mission to do the same.

Because of the popularity of mega-star Taylor Swift, the promotion is crossing formats giving the artist a ton of extra promotion and Clear Channel more value for its promotion. The new relationship between record labels and radio is catching on. Entercom also announced a deal with Big Machine, and this week, CBS Radio is touting meetings it's having with labels in New York City.

At the Radio Show in Dallas last month CBS Radio President Dan Mason made it clear he wanted to improve the relationship CBS had with record labels. He said, somewhere along the way, that relationship went south. "I want to help revive that relationship between radio and record labels. It needs to step up an entire notch, on steroids. We have a long way to go to reposition music like we did in the heyday of Top 40 radio. Up until the '90s, music was sold passionately by DJs. Then something happened and the industry became homogenized. Let's rekindle that spark. Radio really can sell product."

This week Mason and his CBS team are meeting with record labels hoping to improve that relationship and the company has released a few comments from those meetings. From Jon Borris of Columbia Records. "With regards to CBS, specifically their CHR stations, Kevin Weatherly stepped out and really opened the door around Rita Oras single R.I.P.As Kevin embraced the single, others within the chain felt more comfortable too, and Michael Martin and Tim Rainey were very early champions. What weve seen in these markets (and others) is a significant airplay to sales correlation.  This week alone (10/17/12), the overall national increase on the single was +5% (rank moving up from #161 to #148), but we saw significant gains above and beyond that in a number of markets where CBS CHR stations were supporting:  Boston (+26%), San Francisco (+27%), Detroit (+11%), Tampa (+35%), and Charlotte (+7%) to name a few."

And from Richard Palmese of Azoff Music, "The power of radio has never been greater. CBS radio has been instrumental in breaking so many of our artists.  The airplay is everything and the power rotation is really special."

CBS says announcements will be "coming soon" about new programming initiatives the company will be launching that "promise to bring music fans closer to their favorite artists."

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