Saturday, May 24, 2014

Your Power Suits at the Cumulus SF Cluster: Just Who Is Steve Sklenar and Kevin Crespo? The Men Behind The Shield at 55 Hawthorne


In an ongoing management restructure in one of its largest markets, Cumulus Media appointed Steve Sklenar Market Manager and Kevin Crespo National/Regional Sales Manager of the San Francisco Cluster one year ago, almost to the day.
Crespo has the bigger hand, as he is the money guy.  He's the one who had the talk with Sklenar, from what I hear.  I would think the ad rep has, for a large account, an open door to talk with the Sales Mgr. (both national and regional) of the cluster.  He hears something in the wind from Sklenar and goes right back to Crespo ... and so it goes.
Both worked together for Lincoln Financial Media in San Diego.  Cumulus SVP Gary Pizzati had been serving as interim market manager in San Francisco for seven months until he left.  Sklenar was assistant VP and director of sales and Crespo was national sales manager at Lincoln’s San Diego cluster.  
Pizzati left while he was "interim market manager" of both San Francisco and Cumulus' Minneapolis cluster.  He is now back in Atlanta "coaching"  local sales managers and local marketing and sales managers in 25 - 40 markets for Cumulus, and doing "development of revenue" for those markets. He also does development of regional VPs for Cumulus as well as "sales talent." He is Cumulus' "sales trainer" and coach for "senior management." Pizzati also is the lead in implementing the many "Cumulus systems" in all levels of sales.
Pizzati has been with Cumulus 16 years after a tenure with Barnstable Broadcasting.  He has been Senior VP since 2005 and covers both revenue building and operations for many Cumulus markets.  He works with both Ron Escarsega, Sklenar and Crespo.
They all answer to him in Atlanta. The "meetings" and "internal communications" go up the food chain.



  1. Seen this act before. With all this "experience," you would think they would have gone back to talk with solid hosts; instead, they try wooing Gil Gross? Really.

    Not to brainiacs in Atlanta: I have seven children. NOT ONE OF THEM listens to AM or FM radio. They are all in their 20s or early 30s. Only one (she's the oldest) has ever listened to talk radio (and it was conservative talk).

    Meanwhile, between a car and things I use for my business, I've dumped more than $100,000 into the Bay Area economy in the past three years (not counting regular expenses and minor purchases), but I'm deemed the "too old demographic."

    Atlanta needs to hire people who have actually operated radio stations, rather than suits who come in to tell others what to do until they are forced to move to the next gig.

    I will NEVER listen to KGO again as long as the Dickheads own it. I don't care who is on it. Oh, sure, I will occasionally tune in to Karel for my Comedy Central infusion over the weekend.

    I do like Thurston.

    Ronn sounds tired. He never was that good. White bread for the middle class, which is shrinking.

    1. Nice post. However, that is an absolute insult to Comedy Central. You should be ashamed. An infusion of Comedy Central? There is a meeting about you in New York this very minute.

      Remember, it's not about the on-air staff at this point. It's harder than that. It's a design for the whole dame format bottom to top, on an AM radio station (as you pointed out so well) that the transmitter alone costs upwards of a few thousand dollars a month operate. They know the odds they have going uphill.

      As for "too old a demographic" -- it may be true, however, expecting a group of younger real talent to give KGO the "numbers" they need is going to be a tough call, as, again, you've pointed out with your own "young adults." They are not AM listeners and never have been. Unless, maybe, it's Howard Stern, the train has already left the station and now, those "children" know full-well what Sirius / XM is. They don't need an AM radio station.

      As for the older audience, advertisers know that as creatures of habit, we are very brand loyal. Convincing us to change our likes and tastes is a hugely expensive proposition. We've been chased by advertisers for decades to get where we are. It's easier and cheaper for advertisers to repeatedly target advertising more frequently to younger audiences than it is for them to target a 55+ audience who may spend, but are already set in their ways and are fiercely brand loyal. To advertisers, it eats up more dollars going for us, than younger people who are open to change and trying new things. Not to mention, there is more money with still working younger people who have much more discretionary income to play with

      I love big AM radio stations, but as a broadcaster, I have been there - done that with this scenario. "At the end of the day" -- younger ad media specialists (called media buyers) buy younger radio stations as a rule. It was different 35 years ago.

    2. @ 2:37: I totally agree with you. People who are still clinging to some hope that traditional terrestrial radio has any kind of future are just fooling themselves. A couple of examples of why I believe this:

      Every young person I know couldn't care less about radio. They're all hooked up to their pods/pads/etc. Why listen to radio for music when you can hear exactly what you want to hear on your I-pod/Android without the commercials?

      A couple of years ago, I went to Target to buy a radio for the house. I was shocked to find that there were no radios. What I thought were radios were actually "I-pod docking stations" and they did not have an AM/FM tuner.

      My car radio crapped out on me back in December. I didn't bother replacing it because I didn't want to spend the money. Instead I used my phone to stream music when I was on a road trip. I finally broke down and bought a new radio for my car just this week. This thing has so many bells and whistles on it that I'll never figure it all out. It has built-in Pandora and Iheart and Sirius/XM, along with Bluetooth for streaming things on my phone. The "radio" is such an afterthought that the guy doing the demo didn't even mention it. Before I decided on it, I had to ask the guy if the thing had an AM/FM radio. After thinking about it for a second, he replied affirmatively.

      For me personally, radio is no longer the necessity it once was. I can stream whatever music I want on my laptop or my Android phone. And I'm an old fart who just aged "out of the demo" on my last birthday. I'm also a 30+ years veteran of broadcasting. I started my career as a high school kid in the 70's and never had a non-broadcasting job until recently. If you've lost me, you're kind of screwed.

  2. I still believe KGO could catch that Youth Audience with TALK RADIO.
    When you picture how many people KGO Broadcast reaches at night: From Canada to Mexico bouncing-off-that-beautiful-Pacific-Ocean as clear as a bell!

    In all my Boomer years...
    I've seen so many Old things become New again.