A Clear Channel Christmas

It's very easy during the lull in the Clear Channel sell-off to think everything is going to alright. But it's not alright for the employees of Clear Channel who are being let go or for the ones having to endure the holiday season wondering if they will be the next to be fired. If consolidation means anything, it means doing more for less. And now that Clear Channel's dynasty Mays family has decided to cash out for about $1 billion and take the radio division private there's still lots of housekeeping to do. Like tidying up the bottom line. This should be no problem to the radio industry leader that cut, combined and consolidated itself into a lousy share price for investors. So, the fine people at Clear Channel who have fought the good fight and held on for dear life are faced with becoming the next casualties. Separately, employees at the 400 plus radio stations that Clear Channel plans to sell are not exactly going to have job security until their fate is resolved. That may not be until the sale of those stations are approved and new owners take over operations. Happy Holidays again! We blog about the future, the potential of a new generation and the technology they bring with them, but I don't want to lose sight of the casualties of an unwinable war. Consolidation has proven beyond a doubt that you can't win by letting people go. Google hires. Yahoo hires. Apple hires. Clear Channel fires. It's little consolation to the families of these proud radio people who have endured so much in the name of free market consolidation and deregulation. And what's wrong -- very wrong -- is that while many radio employees are getting coal in their stockings this year (not bonuses), the three bears -- papa bear, sonny bear and baby bear -- get a bounty of presents under their tree. Drive shareholder value down, drive your personal buy out number up. And while all this is happening, radio's leading radio group is leading its industry into the dumpster.