Monday, December 10, 2012

Bad Timing

The Mays family's decision to sell Clear Channel in 2005 following the family patriarch Lowry's stroke might have been termed "great timing," since it took multiple lawsuits to force the buyers to actually do the deal after the financial collapse of 2007-2008, which put him at #1062 on the year's list of the world's wealthiest billionaires.

Bad timing, of course, for Bain Capitol and its investment bankers, who have been helped at least a bit by the low interest rate environment even as they have been wacked and wacked again by the years-long no-growth economy.

One trade publication last week, as the axe fell again just before yet another year's Holidays, estimated that 10,000 people have lost their jobs since Clear Channel and the other post-deregulation consolidators starting enlarging their holdings in the mid-1990's.

Bad timing for so many people to hit the ranks of radio's unemployed all at the same time, making it even less hopeful that many of will land on their feet until well into the coming year.

Radio Info/Talkers editor Michael Harrison put it bluntly last week in an interview with The San Antonio Business Journal“I think Clear Channel is run by extremely intelligent people.  They have tremendous muscle and collective powers, including economies of scale. They are doing the best they can with a difficult situation. The jury is still out. A lot of this has to do with the economy,”

He was even more blunt in his own pages, calling it "iHeartless radio."

It's hard to disagree with him.

Bad timing all around.

As usual, A&O&B is currently looking for experienced people for a number of our client stations, so many other radio companies are expanding and hiring. 

Those folks are going to have a lot more people to choose from than they would have expected at this time of year, but - knowing that there are far fewer opportunities than there are newly-employed - it's hard to call it a good time right now for anybody involved.

1 comment:

Mark Ramsey said...

As more layoffs roll through the radio industry, it’s useful to remember that while almost no trauma is greater than the loss of a job, nobody can take away your ideas and passions and interests and your opportunity to connect those with others of like minds and like hearts.

Radio has always been about people, not technology. The latter is only a mechanism to make more of the former. And at a time when technology is ever more central to our lives, the importance of personality – of people – has never been greater.