Clear Channel tries social networking while going private

Sections: Audio, Online Music/Video, Web, Websites

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Clear Channel Clear Channel Communication’s online group, Clear Channel Online Music & Radio (CCOM&R), has launched beta versions of social networking mini sites on seven current radio station web sites including KYLD-FM in San Francisco, CA, WKSC-FM in Chicago, IL, and WHTZ-FM in New York, NY. Other markets include DC, Minneapolis, Dallas and West Palm Beach. Five other sites will follow in June 2007.

The backend is served by and offer common features including a chat feature, blog, personal avatar and customizable profile. Each will be designed to fit to the local station’s format, though all will use the same core template.

Meanwhile, at the corporate level, Clear Channel Communications is currently in the middle of considering a leveraged recapitalization proposal by Bain Capital Partners and Thomas H. Lee Partner to become a private company, a deal worth more than $19 billion. This is the second time stockholders have been asked to vote on the proposal, which was increased from $37.60 per share to $39 (stock symbol is CCU). If accepted, which it looks like it will not be, board members would only receive $37.60 per share.

Clear Channel has already sold off many of its smaller market stations during the past year in preparation of going private.

Touching on just a few points:

  • Social networking web site features were proposed internally at CC several years ago but rejected (granted, MySpace and YouTube were infants at the time so “social networking” and “blogging” weren’t even web terms yet).
  • $39 per share is dirt compared to more than $50 (which it has not reached since Randy Michaels was redistributed from CEO of CC Radio to the head of the New Technologies Division in 2002).
  • Shareholders were called at least a dozen times by the company distributing stockholder voting forms even after voting (they’re being so persistent since not voting is the same as voting against the proposal).

Will your feelings about Clear Channel change if it goes private?

Are the online group’s attempts to get social too little too late?

Read [Billboard] Also Read [Wall Street Journal] Site [WildSpace] Site [TheMob] Site [Z-Zone]

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  • Davin Peterson

    Clear Channel's DC Station HOT 99.5 has launched their social networking site called the HOT Spot. The URL is It's like their own myspace. You can blog, chat, meet new friends and more!

  • bob

    So you're asking if an evil company goes private where they don't have to reveal as much personal information about how they are screwing with us, it's a good thing?

    I'm sure it's not a good thing. At least as a public company they had to post stuff to the shareholders.

    I doubt they would be doing this because they think it's a bad idea.