Tuesday, July 29, 2008

"What a people talk about means something. What they don't talk about means something." William Saroyan

"Repartee is what you wish you'd said." Heywood Broun

"One today is worth two tomorrows; what I am to be, I am now becoming." Benjamin Franklin

Today's image: Tequila by Felony Fabre. Wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

Much has been written about the pay radio mess. Readers of this blog are aware my sense was the odds of the merger being approved were 6 to 5 against. My thought being the marketplace is almost always the best arbiter in such cases. Regulators, properly, should have simply denied the merger in the public interest. Moreover, the pay radio federal licenses required competition in the spectrum as a condition of the grants. The FCC should have affirmed the spirit, intent and continuing relevance of that original grant. Competition should be encouraged. The marketplace should decide the winners. Clearly, my reading of this entire matter has proven to be wrong.

Now what?

The drama is far from over.

Mel gets to make good on his claim that the combined services can save millions. The pay radio business model gets a radical reinvention. The subs now hostage to one service, the content providers and other business partners now forced into dealing with one player in the space will write the rest of this story, or not. Alternatively, there may be appeals to congress or action in the courts.

Going forward the combined company needs cash to keep operating. The pesky details including billions in debt need to be addressed. Don't count out Mel. He no doubt has a plan and like other CEOs who have found themselves up against it, Mel holds the protections of bankruptcy in reserve.

Seems a significant allocation of resources have been and may still yet be invested in an issue involving players that, in the big picture, deliver a small, niche audience, less than ten percent of the nation's estimated radio listening.

In this case regulatory intervention does not appear to have created any real long term benefit for the consumer. Then again, I may be wrong.

Back to the countdown.

It's official. This is the summer of FriendFeed. There's an amazing conversation going on, join in.

Just finished Buying In by Rob Walker. The Timesman best known for his popular "Consumed" column delivers a well paced narrative, a fresh and entertaining journey into the world of murketing (sic). This is the must-read marketing book of the summer. Highly recommended. [Amazon info]

Please make a note of it: Radio star of Chicago fame Eddie Schwartz has moved. You may drop him a line at his new address: Berkshire Nursing and Rehab Center, 8200 W. Roosevelt Road, Forest Park, IL 60130. My thanks to Robert Feder, Chicago's official scribe of all things media, for the tip.

Congrats & cheers: The legendary Tom Merriman getting his just desserts, a special tribute, more info here.

blog comments powered by Disqus