Clear Channel vs. Tribune

There isn’t a better soap opera developing than the fight that’s a comin’ between Clear Channel (the spurned lover) and Sam & Randy (Zell’s) Tribune Company (the new love interest).

Clear Channel did what it does best last week – it sued Tribune Company.

Back to Federal Court – Clear Channel’s home away from home – to accuse the Chicago-based Tribune Company of stealing trade secrets because it hired Andrew Friedman, who held a VP position in online.

Clear Channel wants the courts to stop Friedman from revealing secrets and even starting his employment with Tribune until his present contract runs out at the end of the year.

Oh, and while they’re at it, Clear Channel is also seeking to stop Tribune from hiring any other employees where they would have to break an employment contract.

Just so you know Clear Channel hasn’t lost any of its warm and fuzziness lately, they are also suing Friedman as part of the action.

Tribune says the whole thing is worthless – which it is.

One thing is for sure, former Clear Channel Radio President Randy Michaels is messing with his former employer’s head – his specialty.

What a show!

Of course, keep in mind that Michaels has also drained the brains of some other key Clear Channel people. In all of radio, never have so many joined a newspaper company that owns so few radio stations.

That’s because someone other than me thinks Zell and Michaels have an encore coming in the radio business once Clear Channel completes its sale to Lee and Bain.

Hell, what do Lee and Bain know about running a radio company – even less than Clear Channel. But they are smart enough to know who might be able and willing to run some of these stations – and that they could stand to profit from the deal.

So, I’m still stuck on – Randy will be a radio operator again. And for the first time, it appears Clear Channel agrees with me or else why would it care if Michaels steals some of their people away to become – well, newspapermen. And, it took Clear Channel long enough to complain.

Before I go to bed at night I conjure up the image of my long-time friend Lee Abrams (and new Tribune recruit) with a newspaper reporter’s hat on – sleeves rolled up – I can just see the ink on his hands. Yes, Lee crossed over to get into a business that is dying more than radio. No, Lee is not that dumb.

Neither are the other recruits. Michaels will continue to recruit. He may even target Clear Channel more now that he knows he’s getting to the Mayses – a family that did him dirt when he was at the pinnacle of power at Clear Channel.

This soap opera is not about sex – other than some people may get screwed.

It’s about revenge – something with which Michaels is quite familiar.

So, if you believe Randy & the Rainbows are gathering to bring Woodstock values to salty old newspapermen, then have a great time. It will be fun conjuring up all those vivid images in any case.

But if you see the latest Clear Channel legal farce for what it really is – the return of the Big Bad Wolf just as his nemesis – Clear Channel is on its way down – then welcome to “As the World Turns” and “General Hospital” all rolled up into one.

They say soap operas are the same story told over and over again.

What were you expecting from Michaels, Zell and Clear Channel – a new plot?

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