It's All So Unnecessary

Boston's fabled WBZ-AM is being sold to the broadcast conglomerate iHeart Media. In an astonishingly clumsy move, it appears that iHeart's lawyers are telegraphing that all employees will be expected to reapply for their jobs. They're even suggesting that they will abrogate two existing union contracts, too, if that is even possible.

I've led communications and public affairs for over 50 acquisitions in my career. Even accounting for the view that some corporate broadcasting managements are not the most enlightened, these initial messages to WBZ employees underscore the liabilities of iHeart's short-sighted, mercenary approach. Let there be no doubt that the self-inflicted wounds perpetrated by iHeart will severely hinder its professed attempt to undertake a "seamless transition."

Why would they do this? Even if they really intended to have everyone reapply for their jobs, which is itself an insulting, counterproductive move, why telegraph it so heartlessly and amateurishly? This is a guaranteed method for eroding trust, building resistance, blunting new ideas and innovation and closing down internal communications - instantly. As a result, it will now cost the green eye-shade crowd and their lawyers far more time, money and frustration to effect any kind of reasonable transition than if they had displayed common sense in lieu of pseudo-macho, tough-guy rhetoric. What a waste. It's all so predictable. Sadly, it's all so unnecessary, too.

Image courtesy of Acronym, Inc.