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Money, Honey
December 16, 2004 2:00 PM   Subscribe

If you've been paying attention, then you're probably aware that Clear Channel own your favorite (or least favorite) radio station, your local concert venues, the promoter who organizes shows for them, the billboards that advertise the show, and the company you bought the tickets from. And now they own your favorite dead rock star. SFX Entertainment, a promoter owned by Clear Channel, has bought an 85% share of Elvis Presley's estate and name from Lisa Marie Presley. That includes Graceland. Wow, do they ever suck. (Salon agrees.)
posted by logovisual (37 comments total)

 
I dunno. Radio is undergoing a difficult time, and most business models don't work for them. In the current market, it seems like Clear Channel actually deserves to dominate, and small stations need to lose their Better Than Thou attitude and find new ways to create a self-supporting system.
I certainly don't like the Clear Channel Stations, but smaller and indie stations need to find a way to increase revenue, and fast...
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 2:05 PM on December 16, 2004


I thought Johnny Thunders was my favorite rock star. But hey, thanks for dictating my life for me.
posted by Smart Dalek at 2:07 PM on December 16, 2004


Oh for God's sake, it was a rhetorical device. My favorite dead rock star is Joe Strummer, personally.
posted by logovisual at 2:14 PM on December 16, 2004


What's radio? Is that some new thing I add to my iPod to make it better?

Actually, this sucks. Who thought it was a good idea to leave Graceland and Elvis' legacy in the care of his retarded daughter?

Looks like almost everyone on MeFi put their underwear on backwards and inside out today. Geez, short fuses or what people?
posted by fenriq at 2:21 PM on December 16, 2004


Actually, ticketmaster is owned by InterActive Corp.
posted by howa2396 at 2:24 PM on December 16, 2004


and that link should have pointed to iac.com, not aic.com.
My apologies.
posted by howa2396 at 2:25 PM on December 16, 2004


Damn, that AIC link's motto is creepily Vulcan. Buy. Hold. And Prosper.
posted by fenriq at 2:31 PM on December 16, 2004


RTFA! The guy who founded and sold SFX to Clearchannel bought 85% of the dead Elvis. The company SFX and it's parent Clearchannel have nothing to do with it. Don't post something if you haven't read what you're posting for chrissakes!
posted by dchase at 2:33 PM on December 16, 2004


BUGGER. I did read the article, but I was under the impression that Sillerman still ran SFX. Strike this post if necessary, mathowie.
posted by logovisual at 2:39 PM on December 16, 2004


Indeed, dchase.

Also:
The new partnership will conduct all business activities concerning EPE, Graceland and tour operations, however the transaction was structured so that the title to Graceland and its 13.6-acre grounds in Memphis, TN, and most of Elvis's personal effects remain with Lisa Marie Presley.

So, yeah, the first corporate rocker, having died quite some time ago, is now owned by a corporation...up to a point.

It's not like they're moving Graceland to Vegas... Oh! Christ...
posted by dash_slot- at 2:40 PM on December 16, 2004


Strike this post if necessary, mathowie.

Still discussion-worthy. Stay of execution please, Mr. Matt.
posted by Smart Dalek at 2:47 PM on December 16, 2004


I have to say that $100m/£52m sounds dirt cheap for what they got, too. Is Lisa-Marie going bankrupt or something?
posted by dash_slot- at 2:49 PM on December 16, 2004


Clear Channel actually deserves to dominate, and small stations need to lose their Better Than Thou attitude and find new ways to create a self-supporting system.

Funny. The college radio station I listen to plays better music, brings me *really* local news, and has no ads. I send them money every year. This radical "new way" seems to be working for them. ClearChannel deserves to lick my ass. Their stations suck.
posted by scarabic at 2:54 PM on December 16, 2004


Colonel Parker's ghost must be very proud
posted by matteo at 2:55 PM on December 16, 2004


fenriq: why isn't that obvious ? They put their underwear on their pants to show they wear clean ones, that should be mandatory ! Mutanda mutandis indeed !

Anyway, nice move Lisa. Music is already valueless and rights are fast becoming less valuable, as the presence of toooooo many rights on toooo much music dilutes the average value of a right.

On a more objective note, I find it disgusting that one person can live off another dead person abstract intellectual work so go to hell Lisa you leech.
posted by elpapacito at 3:09 PM on December 16, 2004


"Clear Channel own your favorite (or least favorite) radio station"

Your favorite radio station sucks.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:10 PM on December 16, 2004


scarabic

Ditto, I listen to http://www.kcrw.com/ out of Santa Monica College. I send them money and they play a fantastic mix of music. Plus much of their schedule is archived so you can refer friends to particularly good sets.
posted by Mr_Zero at 3:13 PM on December 16, 2004


Thankfully, Graceland Too is still indie.
posted by bunnytricks at 3:37 PM on December 16, 2004


(Disclaimer: huge fan of the King)

I don't know. It could be a good thing. Lisa Marie seems like a bit of a fruit loop, there was talk of her closing down Graceland but if this keeps my Mecca open to the public then I say cool. Most of what Elvis is about now days is crappy commercialization anyhoo.
posted by bdave at 3:41 PM on December 16, 2004


I want to register my EXTREME DISAPPROVAL that my idiot daughter sold off the rights to my own damn name.

I guess you could say that I'm all shook up.
posted by Elvis Presley at 3:46 PM on December 16, 2004


And now they own your favorite dead rock star.

and they are welcome to him!
posted by quonsar at 3:48 PM on December 16, 2004


Bdave, what makes you think that most of what Elvis has always been about wasn't crappy commercialization?

And yeah, anyone dumb enough to willingly marry Michael Jackson is more than a few donuts shy of a dozen. I've seen smarter and more animated mannequins. Come to think of it, Lisa Marie and Paris Hilton have the same "This Space For Rent" dead eye thing going on. Maybe that's why I can't stand either of them?

Oh that and the fact that they have done nothing and are famous because they've got money. Oh boy.
posted by fenriq at 3:49 PM on December 16, 2004


Considering that the big revolution Elvis brought to this culture was shaking his butt, I'm confused about what legacy there is to sell.

[shrugs]
posted by scarabic at 3:49 PM on December 16, 2004


LA's top radio station isn't owned by Clear Channel. Power 106, ya'll heard?
posted by lbergstr at 3:53 PM on December 16, 2004


Obligatory WOXY props, list-o-philes might want to check out the recently-posted 97 best of 2004.
posted by marlowe at 3:54 PM on December 16, 2004


Y'all, please. I'm RIGHT HERE.
posted by Elvis Presley at 3:56 PM on December 16, 2004


And 'scuse me for contradicting you, scarabic, but life in this country before the butt-wiggling revolution wadn't hardly worth living.

Don't EVER underestimate the power of my swivelly man-hips.
posted by Elvis Presley at 4:00 PM on December 16, 2004


For bargain hunters: Act now and save—my name and estate are available for a short time only for the low, low price of JUST $80 million! You won't get this price once I'm dead, so act now!

Disclaimer: Purchaser must wait until I actually die to take possession.
posted by rushmc at 4:15 PM on December 16, 2004



posted by rushmc at 4:15 PM on December 16, 2004


I have to say that $100m/£52m sounds dirt cheap for what they got, too. Is Lisa-Marie going bankrupt or something?

You'd be surprised at how much auditing it takes to clear those body thetans.
posted by MikeKD at 6:07 PM on December 16, 2004


And 'scuse me for contradicting you, scarabic, but life in this country before the butt-wiggling revolution wadn't hardly worth living.

Agreed. I should know.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:19 PM on December 16, 2004


KEXP, from Seattle. I've just been listening to the Arcade Fire live session recorded in October, and I've barely scratched the surface of the performance archives. Nicely done site, too.
posted by jokeefe at 8:56 PM on December 16, 2004


In the current market, it seems like Clear Channel actually deserves to dominate, and small stations need to lose their Better Than Thou attitude and find new ways to create a self-supporting system.

Totally. It's just like how Microsoft deserves to dominate the software market, and how Standard Oil used to deserve to dominate oil. And how Fox, which just inked a deal to provide news throughout the Clear Channel network, deserves to dominate the airwaves with its fair and balanced information on current events. What are you nay-sayers, communists?
posted by paul! at 2:34 AM on December 17, 2004


Let me precede this statement with the fact that I'm a graphic designer for a Clear Channel promoter ("The Devil" as we refer to corporate down in the art department).

jokeefe, The Arcade Fire is playing here in Philly at the TLA, an Electric Factory Concerts owned venue, which is a CC owned concert promoter. Most of the indie/alternative acts that come through town play at the TLA or Electric Factory although there's a few notable exceptions. Whenever Yo La Tengo comes to town, for example, they always play places like the Trocadero (not CC) or another non-CC venue like an auditorium at UPENN or a Unitarian Church. To that I applaud them for taking a stand against CC - But everyone else talks trash all day long until they need a place to play or a radio station to promote their new album. Many of the people that play at the Khyber (non-CC, only about 250 capacity) are newer, smaller bands that wouldn't be able to fill a larger place like the TLA or Factory. Most of these people would play these CC venues if they could fill the rooms and make a profit. It's funny, but everyone here should be reminded that IT'S A MONEY DEAL. Your favorite artist is probably just as concerned about whether they're making dough as how good the music they're making is. It's sad but true.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan of how CC homogenizes our culture or the company in general, I just wanted to point out that most people are kinda hypocritical when it comes to CC - Wanting good radio & a more eclectic group of artists coming to their area, but buying tickets when a group they like comes to town, no matter where they play or whatever the absurd ticket prices are.
posted by password at 6:26 AM on December 17, 2004


the problem is where to draw the line, paul. once a corporation gets to successful, is it time to legally break it up?

I can't tell what's Clear Channel and what's not in my area; DC's channels are all moving towards a single pop-music point. Our rock channels are playing 50 Cent, our rap channels are playing Linkin Park and Lindsay Lohan, and our pop channels are...well...multiplying. So we have 8 stations that we can't tell apart, that all have irritating DJs, similar contests, similar shows, and only the slightest difference in features (All-Request Lunch or 80s Lunch? 5 Most Wanted or Top Ten Countdown?)

I don't know who's CC and who isn't, and that's a bad sign. If CC ate any of these stations, I wouldn't feel it was unwarranted at all: Clear Channel is able to reduce operating costs on stations by supplying the whole country with similar pgramming, so it makes perfect sense that a CC station that's identical to a non-CC station should dominate, profit-wise. They also have a national budget behind their advertising and program-buying.

This just reminds me of the local coffee bar girl dissing Starbucks whenever I visit. Some small coffee shops prosper because of their ability to adapt and personalize and mesh with the community, they flourish under Starbucks because they have the flexibility and image that draws people away from the mainsteam.
Other coffee shops, however, like the one coffee girl works at, die because they do the same thing Starbucks does, only with worse coffee and at a higher operating cost. There's no reason to go to her store except to say "screw you, corporation!" The product is the same, only I'm supposed to enjoy it more because of some weird self-satisfaction that comes with Not Liking Corporations, and to 95% of Americans, that's not good enough.

This applies to so many markets, and historically, every time one corporation gets big, a lot of people gripe (and in some cases, rightfully so), but seem unwilling to make competitive efforts. Americans: If you try to do the exact same thing a huge corporation does, you will often lose, because they can do it for half the cost. If you can turn your customers against the corporation, or offer a level of personal touch or unique goods that a corporation can't, you'll actually get customers. Sitting around and saying "I sure wish people came to my coffee shop/radio station/supermarket" may be fun, but it's not going to help much.
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 7:14 AM on December 17, 2004


You'd be surprised at how much auditing it takes to clear those body thetans.

We have a winner!
posted by Optamystic at 7:30 AM on December 17, 2004


...swivelly man-hips?
posted by jackiemcghee at 7:42 AM on December 17, 2004


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