Cumulus Ratings Plunge and $25.9 Million CEO Pay Could Spark Shareholder Revolt

Tanking radio ratings and an exorbitant $25.9 million compensation package for Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey may spark tough questions from investors at the forthcoming Cumulus shareholders meeting, reports top radio industry analyst and author of Inside Music Media, Jerry Del Colliano.

As Breitbart News reported last month, since its 2011 Citadel acquisition, Cumulus has suffered dramatic ratings erosion across 39 of 42 major stations, including:

WABC-AM, NY down 77%

WPLJ-FM, NY down 44%

KABC-AM, LA down 67%

WLS-AM, Chicago down 72%

WLS-FM, Chicago down 42%

KGO-AM, SF down 52%

Across all Cumulus rated radio stations, Dickey has overseen a 9% decline since 2011, despite bagging $25,960,500 in 2013 total compensation including bonuses, reports Colliano.

“No other radio CEO takes $25 million in compensation even when he misses his stated bonus goals,” said Colliano. The industry expert counsels Cumulus shareholders “to demand answers and vote a limit on the executive pay of a CEO who has by every standard failed his fiduciary responsibilities.”

Dickey and his brother, Cumulus VP John Dickey, raised the ire of conservative talk radio fans with their controversial decisions last year to soften conservative content and blast Rush Limbaugh for costing them “millions” of dollars in advertising in the wake of the Sandra Fluke controversy. Sources close to Limbaugh refuted the Dickeys’ claims and said they were a failed attempt to blame Rush for the Dickeys’ lackluster executive leadership.

The Dickeys also presided over the loss of Sean Hannity who fired Cumulus last year and went to Clear Channel. They filled Hannity's slot with Michael Savage who continues to lose massive audience share in top markets, including a 50% loss in the critical 25 to 54 age demographic on WABC-NY and a 59% ratings plunge on WLS-Chicago.

Colliano reports that Cumulus has recently gone on a firing spree, laying off 11 people just last week, despite Dickeys’ $25,960,500 compensation package.

Cumulus reported a $9.27 million first-quarter net loss.


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