In the past we’ve seen large, well-connected businesses run into trouble, and then run to government to keep afloat and unafraid of competition. The airlines do it, GM did it, the banks did it, and every time Democrats and establishment Republicans oblige.
We appear to have found the next industry cozy with politicians that’s going to ask for one.
The biggest radio station operator in America is $20 billion in debt. Radio stations have great relationships with politicians. And that’s a lot of debt. As Bloomberg says, “Clear Channel Outdoor shares closed at $5.48 Wednesday. They have lost more than half of their value in the past nine months.”
We don’t know what form this requested bailout will take. Special tax deals? Regulatory favoritism? Direct cash infusions through some new program?
Watch for it. It may come through FCC, and it may come through regulation, but someone’s going to ask for something. This is a heavily regulated industry that already gets perks like copyright exemptions not granted to Internet radio.
A new perk would be so easily to slip right under our noses if we’re not watching for it.