Thursday, April 3, 2008

No Deal

Perhaps you've heard that the company that I used to work for, Clear Channel, is attempting to go private. If you haven't heard, just go ahead and click here for the latest details.

If you don't want to read it, I'll just tell you that the deal, which was supposed to go through last month, now might not happen at all. Seems the amount per share of Clear Channel stock that the buyers had agreed to pay is now being seen as too high. CC stock used to trade at close to $100 per share. It's now down in the range of $30. Because of this, the apparent buyout is on the rocks. Now I don't hold a degree in business but it's easy to see why the stock has dropped and the deal seems doomed. Step by step:

1) CC is more concerned with the bottom line than anything else. Understandable. They're a business and businesses are supposed to make money. But...

2) This concern for the bottom line means letting go of talented people. Lots of talented people. Me, for example. All in the name of "budget cuts"

3) When you let good people go, the end product suffers. Plus, good people won't want to come and work for CC, knowing their reputation for cost cutting. Big salaries always come with a bullseye on their back.

4) When the end product suffers, the ratings suffer. People tune out. We're seeing this with the ratings of KWNR, especially in morning drive. The morning ratings are reaching historic lows since my removal.

5) When the ratings suffer, the sales department has more trouble selling commercials. Advertisers don't want to buy time on a station that no one listens to. They may be obnoxious, but they're not stupid. Fewer ads sold means less money made.

6) Less money made means the bottom line suffers, which means the stock price goes down, which means the buyout deal probably won't be happening.

In essence, CC has reaped what they've sewn. You'd think this would bring me joy, but as a CC stockholder, I'm now getting screwed in a different way.

Again, I consider myself of average intelligence, so if I can figure this whole thing out, why couldn't the leaders of these giant corporations? Aren't they supposed to be smarter than us?

On the bright side, it's another beautiful day, my dog is laying at my feet, and the Brewers are 2-0. Life's not all bad.

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