Clear Channel hears the writing on the wall

March 28, 2008

ccu.jpgClear Channel may be fighting its banks with guns blazing in a Texas court, but it’s singing a softer tune to Washington regulators.

The company told the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that its pending $20 billion buyout by Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital Partners may not close, saying it wanted to caution the markets not to hope for an easy resolution.
The deal was supposed to close by March 31, but six banks who agreed to finance it have since balked as debt markets deteriorate. As far as Clear Channel is concerned, all the other closing conditions have been met.

Keep an eye on:

  • Tom Cruise dined at a Beverly Hills hot spot with Viacom chief Sumner Redstone, who severed the actor’s long-running partnership with the company’s Paramount Pictures in 2006. Cruise is widely thought to want to renew the “Mission: Impossible” series, which Paramount has the rights to.
  • WiMax could prove a bigger risk than its worth for top U.S. cable companies, especially as they plunk down cash in a tough economy for an unproven technology.
  • David Marash, the most prominent American anchor on Al Jazeera English, has quit the 24-hour international news channel, citing an increased level of editorial control exercised by the channel’s headquarters in Doha, Qatar.

(Photo: Reuters)

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