Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bob Pittman: "If TV Is America’s Hobby, Radio Is America’s Companion"

Jim Carnegie at RBR just snagged a fascinating interview with "The Father of MTV” and former AOL Time Warner COO who has remained an active investor in broadcasting:
"The way I’ve used it as a marketer in the past is I used TV to create desire – I’m going to go visit Six Flags this summer. The problem is people think I’m going to do something and then they forget about it, it drops out of their mind. I use radio to remind them – constantly reminding them, remember we’re going to Six Flags, let me tell you about Six Flags. I’ve created the desire to go with TV. I’ve created the reminder to go with radio. I think it still does that extraordinarily well.

"One of t
he reasons the prices are so low is it’s almost impossible to get much leverage, much debt, much credit and if you own a bunch of TV stations and you already have a credit facility you don’t want to start all over again because you’ll never get a deal as good as what you’ve got now. So I think you’re finding even though everybody recognizes the opportunities are out there, there are some impediments to buying them. I think the second issue is that everybody is looking for deals and everybody who has got the TV stations are like people that have an apartment in New York. The prices are down a lot, thank God I don’t have to sell. All it says is buyers right now are shopping for a deal because of lack of credit and a lot of other issues so they will only buy if they can get it at distressed prices and unless you’re distressed you won’t sell."

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