Beyond Clear Channel

We'll be hearing plenty about the breakup of radio's friendly giant -- I kid -- but I'm now looking to begin focusing a long conversation on the great beyond. Let's not kid ourselves. The 448 smaller markets Clear Channel is selling could go to one or two mini-consolidators -- maybe public companies -- and then I'm not so optimistic. They could and should sell some to minorities, but they should also subsidize these minority owners not just let them die on the vine. If the "lower 448" wind up in the hands of mom and pop operators, entrepreneurs, my graduates at USC, you'll see a rebirth of local, personality-oriented, music and news&hellip

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Black Friday Special

Inside Radio reports that Radio Shack has a three-day only $99 special on this HD radio usually low, low priced at $199.99 ($174.99 with rebate). Why do I get the feeling this is not PlayStation 3 (okay, that wasn't fair). Why do I get the feeling this is not an iPod (ooh!). Okay, it's not a Walkman! Listen to the selling points the manufacturer, Accurian, lists. (I'll react in parentheses like an average consumer): Receive HD radio signals that increases the clarity of your FM radio stations to CD-quality sound. (The better to hear Less is More -- that's not average -- the better to hear too many commercials). HD offers expanded&hellip

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Universal Lawsuits

Have you noticed what Universal is up to these days. They've been getting "sue happy" over the lofty and worthwhile issue of copyright infringement. They targeted YouTube first, but then took a stake in the company ending that threat. Now, Universal is beating up on MySpace. They are apparently looking to test the "safe harbor" provision under existing law pertaining to Internet companies. Or are they? Many people -- and I'm certainly one of them -- believe no matter what your argument is on the copyright infringement issue,&hellip

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PS3 And Music

When was the last time you remember hearing about riots breaking out to buy a consumer product? How about a music-media related consumer item? PlayStation 3's significance is far more important than a bunch of geeks having to wait on long lines for the privilege of having price gouging performed on them. (And, I am taking into account those "entrepreneurs" or opportunists looking to buy one and then turn around and gouge somebody else). Gaming is the next frontier for the music business. You're not going to see anyone riot over radio ("have to get an HD radio or I'll break the door down"). Maybe it was the high price, but I don't&hellip

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Clear Channel’s Cut And Run

After having its way with the radio industry thanks to consolidation, the Mays family (Lowry, Mark and Randall) will be laughing all the way to the bank as Clear Channel decides to be purchased by Lee Partners and Bain Capital for $18.7 billion. Shareholders will get about $37 a share. The Mays family gets about $1 billion and continued employment as the remnant of the company sometimes referred to in the press as "The Evil Empire" goes private. The Mays reinvest some of their profits in the new entity and if you're cynical enough (or Wall Street savvy), they will be around the next time the company sells (and they'll likely profit&hellip

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