Time For The Clear Channel Kumbaya

A lot of you are in no mood to help Clear Channel do anything. You're not very forgiving right now.

Some of you had careers ruined by them.

Some of you had unfavorable outcomes to lawsuits they had with you back in the day when Clear Channel was radio's answer to Law & Order SVU. And some of you are just like me -- still lamenting the damage consolidators like Clear Channel (but not limited to them) wrought on a radio industry that could only have been killed off by greed.

Some of you think it's personal with me but it isn't. The Mays are three of the few people I never met in my former life. I don't dislike them personally -- hell, I don't even know them. And I certainly was one of the lucky ones -- I came out fine when we went head-to-head.

But enough already.

It's time for an industry-wide Kumbaya.

I have a lot of friends at Clear Channel -- although admittedly not the four letter kind beginning with "M" and ending in "S". If you think we've had it bad, how about their handcuffed employees.

Clear Channel was at first run like Jacor on steroids.

Then, the lawyers took over.

Then, John Hogan and the suits gave added meaning to the phrase "less is more".

And finally the cleansing phase or "wrap up and get the lights on the way out the door".

It's in exiting that this company needs our help and forgiveness.

Little did they think that being a Texas company would hurt them -- ever. But in Texas when you move to take a company private all shareholders must be counted in the votes including the ones that don't vote (don't get any ideas, Florida!). And the non-voters are counted as no votes.

So Clear Channel has been having a tough time slamming the door and getting the lights on the way out. Shareholders smelled a less-than-generous deal, that's why Clear Channel has put off its privatization vote several times now.

This poor company has been asked to sweeten what some consider a low-ball bid to get out and go private and now there are signs that the shareholders might just approve the exit plan.

Of course, as in real life, Clear Channel still has total control. They can still just cancel the voting at any time. You can't blame them. They didn't make the rules. They are just living and dying by them.

It's time for all of us to help our great consolidator out in their time of need.

If you own stock or know someone who does, urge them to vote "yes". You can't put a price on your Clear Channel stock -- it's not worth anywhere what it used to be anyway.

It's time to let Clear Channel have its way one more time -- win one for the Gipper, if you will.

See, they've actually brainwashed me into believing less is really more.

Fewer stations. A little old small company of a mere 600 plus stations or son surviving for now. How could that be the Evil Empire incarnate? Let them get rich one more time -- it won't hurt.

I believe they will hold the stations for a number of years and even sell off some of them reducing their total holdings while making continued profits. After all, that's how Wall Street does it. Hey, if a money group could buy Chrysler at the bottom of its game, do you think they are really in it to run the automaker or just fix it and sell off the parts for a -- you guessed it -- profit?

No matter what your feelings may be about Clear Channel join me in celebrating the one victory their hard-working employees, their competitors and their enemies can relish.

In the end Clear Channel couldn't run the stations they were privileged to own.

No further ill-will is required. That's vindication enough.

The number one consolidator failed to listen to their managers, programmers and sales people at the height of their power. They listened to Wall Street instead.

The number one consolidator failed to invest rather than cut costs.

The number one consolidator failed to see the Internet, the next generation, mobile media or the mistakes of the record industry.

They failed.

And how do we reward failure in today's media business?

Let them sell for a huge profit.

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