I take a week off and what happens?
We have the Mays family calling in chits and making threats to get the Clear Channel/ BainCapital-Thomas H. Lee buyout deal done.
So far, the only ones getting rich off this deal are those that wrote it and the lawyers trying to save it. My guess is that the lawyers will have everyone’s money by the time this dumb deal dies.
The banks that stand to lose billions if forced to complete the deal are getting a quick lesson on the Mays family’s rock-solid connections with decision makers in the legal system – and beyond.
On the other hand, no one ever went broke underestimating the ability of Clear Channel to screw up. When betting the over – under on how many days it’ll take for Clear Channel to dead end another deal, take the under.
There are two problems with this Clear Channel-Bain/Lee deal. The first problem is that they could lose. The second is, they could win.
From what I hear Clear Channel did luck out on one thing. No one at their 200 E. Basse Rd., San Antonio headquarters got trampled to death by - and you knew this was coming - the mass exodus of the former Jacor boys bailing from that sinking ship to rejoin their lord and master Randy Michaels at Tribune Corp. in Chicago.
The Clear Channel expatriates plan to do to television and newspapers what they did to radio.
Then there was the HD Digitial Radio Alliance's Idea Summit in Orlando at the end of last month.
My invitation must’ve gotten lost in the mail.
One – ahem – research study had consumer awareness of HD Radio at 77 percent.
That one’s courtesy of Critical Mass Media, a division of Clear Channel, which is located at 200 E. Basse Rd. in San Antonio.
Come to think of it, the HD Radio Alliance headquarters are housed at 200 E. Basse Rd. in San Antonio, too.
That’s like a study conducted by the Mafia claiming there's no such thing as organized crime.
HD Alliance head crony Peter “Sgt. Bilk-o” Ferrara called for “fresh thinking and innovative strategies for growing and converting consumer awareness into sales.”
He claimed that the “broadcasting in HD” announcements lead the “average listeners” to believe they’re already getting stations in HD.
Of course that doesn’t explain the millions of dollars spent in previous campaigns, which played on the fact that HD Radio has side channels. Maybe the "average listeners" weren’t looking for them? Maybe the "average listeners" just don’t care?
They even have a new campaign: HD Radio: It’s time to upgrade! Upgrade from what?
The $100 million – plus already spent by radio chains for upgrading stations for a digital signal no one's listening to?
The $600 million – plus in air time participating radio stations contributed to promote and market HD Radio?
The fact that no one is buying HD Radios because retailers aren’t stocking them?
Or that the one chain that did went bankrupt?
The slogan the HD Radio Alliance should use is: Full speed behind.
It was also announced at the Idea Summit that CBS was launching a new HD Radio station in a number of markets called Psychic OnAir.
I'll say it again. You can't make these things up.
If this is truly for real, it will feature a 24 hour line-up of name-brand psychics. I’m not sure if Miss Cleo is among them. Is she out of jail?
Whatever the case, it's doubtful that CBS Radio will employ real psychics – because those who truly can see into the future already know that HD Radio doesn’t have one.
Another classic Buzzard TV spot here