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Clear Channel's Anselmo out of a job

July 10, 2007

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StarTribune.com

Clear Channel's Anselmo out of a job

The news came as a surprise to the longtime Twin Cities radio executive.

Last update: July 10, 2007 – 12:54 AM

As of Monday morning, local radio powerhouse Mick Anselmo is out of his position as president and market manager of Clear Channel Radio Twin Cities.
 
Anselmo, who helped launch K102 as the first FM country station in the Twin Cities in 1984, will be replaced by Mike Crusham, regional vice president of Clear Channel Boston.
 

Anselmo, who was out of the office on Monday, said Clear Channel's move was unexpected.

"I'm up at remote wilderness lodge with one of our biggest advertisers, so today's news is a surprise to me," Anselmo said in a voice message to Star Tribune columnist C.J. on Monday afternoon. "I haven't even talked to anybody about it."

Tom Mooney, regional controller for Clear Channel Minneapolis, told C.J. that Anselmo's departure was "effective today."

But he declined to comment further. Sanda Coyle, a senior vice president of marketing at the company's headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, also declined to comment on Anselmo's situation.

Nikki Mills, a disc jockey at KQQL-FM, one of Clear Channel's seven Twin Cities radio stations, said she was aware of Anselmo's departure but could not provide further details.

Other Clear Channel employees referred questions to Mooney.

Of Clear Channel's five FM and two AM stations in the metro area, KEEY (102.1 FM) and sports talker KFAN (1130 AM) are among the biggest revenue producers.

Clear Channel has 12 other radio stations in Minnesota, according to its website.

Anselmo, who had survived six ownership changes at K102, is a nationally known and well-connected figure in country music. He is a director-at-large for the Country Music Association and has been a board member since 2001. In 2005, Anselmo was honored when K102 was named major-market radio station of the year by the Country Music Association.

Crusham was in Minneapolis on Monday and will begin work here next week, said a person with knowledge of the situation. Tom McConnell, a Clear Channel executive, has been named Crusham's replacement in Boston, according to his office. Crusham could not be reached for comment Monday.

Tom Taylor, news editor of Radio-Info.com, said Anselmo's leaving is significant considering his longtime presence in Minneapolis, a "very stable" radio market.

"He's certainly a fixture in the market ... a market that traditionally has not had a lot of turnover," Taylor said.

Companywide broadcast revenue at Clear Channel has dropped slightly in recent years while sales from its outdoor advertising units have grown nearly 9 percent since 2004.

Taylor said radio listenership has dipped, especially among younger age groups, and that revenue in the radio industry has been flat for about six years.

"It's putting pressure on radio groups because they would like to show growth," said Robert Unmacht, a Nashville-based media consultant. "A lot of changes are made to simply decrease the cost structure."

Unmacht said a career like Anselmo's is highly unusual in the industry.

"Radio has always been a revolving door," said Unmacht. "A long career with one group or one market, that's a rarity in radio."

Star Tribune staff writer Judd Zulgad and columnist C.J. contributed to this report. Cari Tuna • 612-673-4148 • ctuna@startribune.com

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