A camel is a horse designed by committee.
Question - How many people does it take to write a John Hogan memo?
Matthew Karnitschnig, a Wall Street Journal blogger, revealed that last Friday’s John Hogan “I-can’t-believe-he-wrote-this” memo was essentially penned by a committee of “experts” dispatched to San Antonio from the Boston headquarters of BainCapital.
According to Karnitschnig, “waves of panic that Clear Channel was in trouble and its $19 billion buyout in jeopardy” spread through BainCapital last week, which triggered them to “dispatch a large team of consultants and other experts to San Antonio to help run the business.”
It was their eleventh-hour attempt to salvage this degenerating deal.
We don’t know the exact number of ghost writers involved – but Karnitschnig learned that “members of the (BainCapital) team even helped draft Hogan’s memo and endorse it.”
I’ll say it again. You can’t make this stuff up.
BainCapital finally determined what’s amiss at Clear Channel. There is no valid leadership in San Antonio. It’s a company of over-privileged siblings that set up an organization of empty suits answering to the golden parachute wearing ex-Jacor frat boys.
When BainCapital opened the books it revealed the enormous sums of money and time wasted with HD Radio conversion – at $100K per station - and the other Clear Channel side projects, many since abandoned, all of which helped give the radio industry its bad name.
But let's not overestimate BainCapital. They don't know the difference between Clear Channel and Rubbermaid or Mr. Coffee.
You can’t move it to Shanghai, Chongqing or Hangzhou and have your voice-tracking done in Bangalore.
Efficiency is one thing. Amputation is another.
You can’t cut something that has nothing left to cut.
Radio has to be revalued.
If radio doesn’t find solutions instead of more problems, all of those radio-is-dead prophets of doom will be proven right.
What’s Clear Channel – thisclose to being terminal - really worth? Somewhere in teens.
Here’s the message to Clear Channel. Bite the bullet now and you’ve bought time to rebuild and recover. Sell off your properties at real multiples and keep only what you can realistically run – or, better still, just get out of the business.
If you continue to delay and deceive –you’ll be history. Remember the American automobile industry in the seventies? That’s what you’re doing to radio right now.
Clear Channel put a styptic pencil to its Wall Street bleeding yesterday. It closed at $29.16 but the downward spiral will continue. There’s no bargain here. Not even close.
Wall Street is wise to radio’s highly inflated prices.
The younger demos working the Street see through the ruse. Ask them. They’re not listening to the radio. Not because it’s obsolete – it’s just not providing their soundtrack. Nor is it the soundtrack to anyone under 40– and I’m being benevolent.
Radio’s fast becoming entertainment for those who can’t afford iPods and other options.
There’s a difference between devalued and revalued. Devalued is what Clear Channel has already done to radio.
You want the BainCapital/Thomas H. Lee deal to die. They’d run Clear Channel like Mitt Romney would run the country.
I hate to say it but it’s not even worth the comic relief to see Mark Mays and John Hogan answering to Bain Capital in the same comportment they had their managers do to them.