Does This Mean Media Consolidation Doesn’t Work?

Or that Clear Channel was just bad/hamfisted at it? Clear Channel to Spin Off Its Entertainment Division

Analysts trace much of the company’s troubles to its decision to expand into the concert business in 2000 with a $4.4 billion deal to purchase SFX Entertainment, a live-event concern run by the media entrepreneur Robert F. X. Sillerman. Critics in and out of the entertainment business quickly complained that the purchase gave Clear Channel too much leverage.

But results at the concert unit frequently trailed the rest of the company. Just two years after purchasing SFX, Clear Channel took a write-down to reflect a 75 percent drop in the value of the business.

[…] Mr. Sillerman, who now runs a venture called CKX, said in an interview that the concept of combining radio and concerts “was something that, intellectually, seemed like it would make sense.”

He added: “But it’s a different time now. Investors viewed things differently in 2000. The most abused word in the English language was ‘synergy.’ It was crazy. Now investors are interested in focus and single purpose.”

[…] Mr. Miller added that “ultimately, what did them in is, the Clear Channel Entertainment brand name doesn’t hold a lot of good will in the live entertainment community.”

(As you ponder the answer, don’t forget the News Corporation!)