Can The Cumulus Culture Be Fixed?


Mary Berner says yes. She’s been hard at work trying to change the culture she’s been very critical of since taking over the company after Lew Dickey was pushed out. Berner says the company has new cultural values described by what she calls “FORCE” or Focus, Responsibility, Collaboration, and Empowerment. She says it’s become a rallying cry across the company.

Berner is surprised by how quickly she says the company has embraced the new culture. “The speed and depth of the acceptance of the new culture at Cumulus has been both surprising and heartening.” Changes to the Cumulus culture include a 48-hour response time to employees, enhanced communication with quarterly town hall meetings, revised vacation and leave policies, and the first merit increase in nearly a decade.” Berner says these changes have very clearly and positively impacted the organization. “The excitement across the organization is obvious. Pride is returning and the hope for continued positive progress is palpable.” Berner cited some facts and figures about how turnover was coming down at the company.


  1. It doesn’t take a quantum honey diver to figure out that a “culture” is earned, developed, has the employee group signing on and supporting said “culture” and has obvious and continuing benefits to participate and carry on. Radio, famous for its toxic and suffocating environments, has a very long way to go and a very short time to get there.

    Other than “keeping our phoney-baloney jobs”, one questions if there are any other attributes and advantages to staying engaged with this or any other shoddily-managed radio company.

    It is, unquestionably, a top-down scenario in terms of responsibility. But I fear the leadership is running on noise and fumes.

  2. My name is James Cohen I am a former employee for cumulus I’ve been with the company over 15 years actually I was there when it was Citadel I was with the Little Rock Arkansas Market KIPR Power 92 I was released in April of last year from a phone call from Joe Booker he really didn’t give me a good reason why they let me go I was part time for many years barely making $7 an hour but I love the job and I love radio I want to come back please call me 501 596-1426

  3. First it was the employee survey, then it was programmers make local decisions, then it’s a cute little motto “FORCE”…. STOP EMBARRASSING YOURSELF, and YOUR INVESTORS! Get McVay out of there. That snake spent all his time telling everyone how great Lew and John were, and how he mentored them when they got started… then he pulled an unbelievable reversal of philosophy and said they were bad guys who didn’t know about radio. Fast forward to now: McVay begs for money to re-purpose old, outdated contests, and re-hire old, outdated personalities. He takes care of anyone that won’t dare question him. If The Board cares about their investors, then truly make a change. Berner didn’t make the Dickey move, The Board did… it’s time for her to actually do something; do something bold and do it now. FORCE… Man, I can’t believe she’s pitching that crap after another awful, failure of an earnings call.


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