We all know Clear Channel is both evil and the death of independent radio.
Thankfully we have enterprising locals like Lee Anderson and Jim Lockridge to keep local independent radio alive.
But while we’re passing the time until January when I can tap into The Radiator's online stream at work, how about a little story about my own ‘too close for comfort’ experience with Clear Channel? It’s one of those stories perfect to tell on a first date, and let’s face it, we’re now on date number four. Or five? Heck, I’ve lost count. We’re in a full out relationship.
About a year and a half ago, I decided to try my hand at business. I won’t get into here, because you've heard it all before. But I will ask you not to tell me it won’t work, because if you do, I will have to put one of my Veterans on you.
Anyway. In trying to secure a business loan, I got myself a business counselor. A man who, with the best of intentions, set up a meeting for me with one of his good friends. Someone who ‘used to work in the music industry’. It wasn’t until about ten minutes into my meeting with the friend that I asked him what part of the music industry he had actually worked in.
“I headed up Clear Channel,” he said, with a bit of a gloat, and not one ounce of the shame my shocked face was trying to impose on him.
I was speechless. And frankly, a bit panicked. This man was more monster than mogul and I had willingly entered a meeting with him. I tried to remember if there had been a sign on the door on my way into the room. You know, something along the lines of, “If you enter this meeting, Clear Channel will officially OWN YOUR SOUL.”
For the next twenty minutes, I allowed the man to talk to me about how I should raise the proposed salary on my business plan so that I could reward myself with a little sports car and how if I decided to become a nonprofit, I could simply pay myself a large bonus at the end of every year with any profit that the company had cleared.
I interjected once or twice with my business’ actual mission, trying to convince the man that the whole point was to fundraise for other organizations, but he wasn’t having it. Or maybe he just wasn’t capable of conceptualizing it?
In the end the meeting did help me. It gave me a lot of advice on exactly how not to write my business plan. And convinced me to get a lawyer.
It also made me that much more wary of Clear Channel-owned radio stations, and all the more excited for small ventures like The Radiator. Best of luck to you guys! I’m excited to hear what your hard work turns out!