Michaels: "Merlin STILL Not For Sale."
It was just two weeks ago when Randy Michaels told Radio Ink Merlin Media was not for sale. Technically, that may be true, that the entire company is not for sale. Yesterday one piece of Merlin was sold to CBS for $75 million. Michaels, in the memo to employees wrote, "Merlin is not for sale, and is looking at possible additions to our portfolio." Here's what one insider believes is going on.
One Radio Ink source close to the situation has told Radio Ink that the GTCR is not marketing the stations for sale, that in fact Michaels is trying to finance them out. "If you check out the GTCR investment strategy, it sort of matches the old New York Lottery slogan of "a dollar and a dream." GTCR invests in a person and their vision. In this case, they invested in Randy and his vision of building a company of FM spoken word radio stations, specifically all news. The first chinks in the relationship occurred when in Philly he didn't put all news on but instead FM conservative talk, but it was still spoken word."
It's no secret that GTCR was losing buckets of money on the Merlin attempt to launch spoken word formats. No ratings, constant format tweaks and eventual format changes have lead to the situation we are watching unfold today. GTCR trying to recoup some of the millions of dollars it has lost investing in Merlin and Randy Michaels, if possible, attempting to keep what facilities he can.
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