The "Tickle Me Clear Channel" Doll

I can't take another day of hearing bad news from my friends in the radio industry who have been let go by Clear Channel in the latest massive clearance sale of top executives in advance of taking the company private.

Forget that it's happening at Christmas.

Clear Channel apparently has.

They say if you don't laugh, you'll cry. These fat cats are wreaking havoc on radio stations and on the lives of many talented and dedicated people who deserve better than a pink slip for Christmas.

So, I've come up with a parody called the "Tickle Me Clear Channel" doll inspired by the very popular Tickle Me Elmo.

When you go to Amazon's web page you get this description of the Elmo doll which makes it easy to juxtaposition Clear Channel reality right into it.

For example:

1. Elmo tickles America's funny bone with three interactive tickle spots on his chin, tummy and toe. But the "Tickle Me Clear Channel" doll tickles America's stock market with three tickle spots -- its low, low price, lack of a future in a dying industry and no plan to win the next generation.

2. Three different tickle spots trigger rounds of infectious laughter and movement. On our doll, the three tickle spots that trigger rounds of infectious laughter are John Hogan, John Hogan and John Hogan.

3. Elmo slaps his belly, falls forward with his butt sticking out (I'm not making this up), stands back up again, topples backwards, and kicks his legs over his belly. Our "Tickle Me Clear Channel" doll pounds his chest bragging about the shareholder value he is creating, falls forward with his butt sticking out to salute non-believers, stands up again to give another remarkably over optimistic quarterly report summary, topples backward again when he hears shareholders are driving the stock price down and kicks his legs over his belly once he finds two Wall Street banking firms to bail him out and take the whole mess private.

4. One of a kind unique toy. Our "Tickle Me Clear Channel" doll can say the same thing and raise you one.

5. Fun for all preschoolers. I'm not going there, but you can.

For all my friends out there who have had to sustain great career and personal hurt this holiday season from a company that hasn't been able to get its $90 share price above $35, I wish you well and know things will get better.

Dale Carnegie used to stay dislike the deed not the person -- and that's important to remember here because there are still many execs at Clear Channel who are fine people.

The radio industry has been dying a slow death for most of the 12 years since ownership limits were relaxed.

The future for management, programming, sales and on-air talent is in the Internet and mobile space. And the skills necessary to succeed are the ones you have -- not the ones the Clear Channel decision makers have proven again and again by their poor share price performance to be the ones they do not have.

Small consolation?


But very exciting and promising.

P.S. Here's another hilarious parody making the rounds about "Christmas at Clear Channel". Click here.

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