UPDATE: Paul Finebaum’s fight against Citadel/Cumulus

T he fight between Paul Finebaum and WJOX corporate parent Citadel (soon to be Cumulus) has become a high-profile fight of on-air talent versus unpopular corporate leadership. The top radio industry columnist Jerry Del Colliano of Insidemusicmedia.com writes about the Paul Finebaum situation in today’s column: Top Citadel Talent Refuses to Work for Cumulus.

According to the column, “Finebaum is alleging Citadel has cheated him out of his split of network revenue by not paying him and ‘playing games with the money they owe him’.”

But it gets worse because the new Cumulus ownership is unpopular.

Also, “these owner barons think they can buy and sell people like they buy and sell radio stations. But Finebaum may be opening the door to others who do not want to take their chances with Cumulus, a radio group considered by many to be a hostile workplace. In the end, the owner barons may finally find themselves in a pickle.”

While a major fight unfolds in the Citadel fold, Cox Radio has launched its plans for a new sports talk radio station in Birmingham at 97.3 FM. Eli Gold has agreed to host a sports show on the new station. It is highly rumored that Cox wants Finebaum for its new sports station. (See more on Eli Gold and the new station in Birmingham.)

Unfortunately for Cox, “The matter will probably not be resolved for weeks,” according to Jerry Del Colliano’s column.

However, it already appears the fight is nasty and Citadel is desperate to hold Finebaum. Would WJOX be valuable without Paul Finebaum? Would anyone listen to that station with its weak lineup if not for the anchor?

7 Responses to “UPDATE: Paul Finebaum’s fight against Citadel/Cumulus” Subscribe

  1. finebammer August 29, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

    “Would WJOX be valuable without Paul Finebaum? Would anyone listen to that station with its weak lineup if not for the anchor?”

    Simple answer:

    No.

    Paul followed Barker to JOX. He did it for the money. He literally took one for the team with the lasic surgery fiasco. His show and credibility has taken a hit for it.

    Now it seems Cumulus is f’ing with his money.

    Unfortunately, you can’t go back home. The halcyon days of WERC are gone.

    Paul has beat the shelf life of talk radio hosts like few others have. He’s now a national figure of sorts.

    He may pull this off again, but it looks as if it won’t be with JOX.

    (thankfully)

  2. Pluto August 29, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    I agree with that. It is a business. A very hard ass business . On the surface – after reviewing what is available – the lack of notification of bankruptcy – is suspect. Paul was complicit with the “results” of the action. As far as revenue – it bears in mind that we are in one of the worst economic times in modern era. Selling Ads – or trying to maintain any fiscal targets – in this environment – is crazy. I can see why the money or the numbers – could not reach. I think – bottom line – the suit will be tossed and he will have to chill until 2013. Or he could just resign – the no-compete clause will govern that. All in all – especially during these times – a bird in hand is better than nothing.
    Aside from all of the obvious money benefits – I think that working 3 hours is preferable to 4 for Paul. XM may have a problem with that . Paul might be forced to do XM only for the first hour. That is – if Tinkerbell allows this. I will close that if the new show comes on – the load limit is going to hit 30 minutes per hour and the show will be highly scripted…..those of you that missed those good old days at ERC – may wind of wishing for those good old days at Citadel – Cumulus …… just saying….

  3. Finebammer August 29, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

    When did you first listen, Pluto?? (just askin)

    You’re right. It is a hard ass biz in the best of times. But Paul knows if he let’s this go down, word gets around.

    As far as a return to the ERC days, just screen a few of the idiots out, Paul. Even if it means screening me.

    Full disclosure: I don’t have the time anymore.

  4. Pluto August 29, 2011 at 11:44 pm #

    I can’t give you an answer Ray. You were with him before me. It seems like I’m been calling forever . LOL
    I want to post that when you make that call – it’s like that E.F. Hutton commercial…. LOL

  5. Ben August 30, 2011 at 5:38 am #

    Who needs WJOX, Who needs XM now when you stream over the net for free or a modest subscription. Besides, it’s so shady around the Ham with all of the trees, XM reception suffers. As for the radio old guard, seems that’s shady too.

  6. Pluto August 30, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

    I need it Ben – because I’m roaming the fruited plain.

  7. Spanky Smurf September 1, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

    Most people stream with Wunderradio on iPhone. I can’t find the Zone on the app yet however.

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