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Clear Channel Media Buys A Stake In Ryan Seacrest’s Production Company

by on January 31, 2012

Ryan Seacrest is building his empire

Clear Channel Media, the radio company that brings you radio personalities like Ryan Seacrest, Kane, Rush Limbaugh and so many others has agreed to acquire a stake of Ryan Seacrest Productions, which is Seacrest’s company for producing television shows and eventually movies. This is Clear Channel’s way of delving into the television side of showbiz.

Through this partnership, Ryan Seacrest Productions can now use the leverage of Clear Channel’s pop radio stations to promote their shows on various TV networks and reality stars from his shows such as the Kardashian shows and “The Shahs of Sunset” will be more likely to be guests on different Clear Channel radio stations as well as fodder for discussion or they could even host or co-host shows on stations (Khloe Kardashian hosts a 1-hour afternoon radio show on Clear Channel’s Dallas pop station). Here’s more details from the New York Times:

The parties involved in Tuesday’s announcement would not disclose the size of Clear Channel’s investment in Mr. Seacrest’s production company, but it is expected to produce scripted and unscripted TV shows and other types of content for Clear Channel. Ryan Seacrest Productions currently makes “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and related shows for E! and is preparing new reality shows for CMT and Bravo.

Robert Pittman, the chief executive of Clear Channel, praised Mr. Seacrest as a businessman and said the collaboration was a chance “to share in some of the success we think he’s going to have, and to enable some of it.”

This article points out that Seacrest just launched a TV network with Mark Cuban last week rebranding HDNet as AXS TV, could Clear Channel radio show simulcasts fill time on his new network?

Another interesting aspect is who is involved in the new $300 million investment as well as what they plan to go into:

Separately, the parties involved said, Mr. Seacrest also will work with the two private equity firms that own Clear Channel, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital, to identify new investments and acquisitions. The firms have committed as much as $300 million to the initiative, which could focus on music publishers, technology makers or other companies. Mr. Seacrest will help the firms find opportunities and close deals.

Clear Channel is looking for tech startups to make money off of that can interconnect with their radio shows such as their recent deal with Cumulus Media to promote their Daily Deals website. Through this initiative radio personalities give their listeners opportunities to get discounts and coupons for different products from Cumulus Media’s website online in exchange for a fee. They want to be able to invest in the future of the internet and the next Facebook’s and Twitter’s and with a star like Seacrest onboard, they can provide credibility to tech startups that might not have enough star power to promote themselves.

Interestingly, Bain Capital is an investor in this move, which is the same company that Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney used to run.

Does this deal dash any chance he had at Matt Lauer’s job because of the conflict of interest when covering the Presidential election and the extra time he’s gonna need to use these investments wisely to build his company? I’d say so.

Seacrest looks like he’s going to re-sign with Fox to continue to host a Fox reality show in primetime. Whether that is “Idol” or “The X-Factor” is a question for another day (but it’ll most likely be “Idol”). With his primetime schedule filled up plus his new obligations with his own cable channel and the increased budget of his production company from his radio partners, it is very unlikely that he leaves his morning radio show to moves it to the afternoon.

He will most likely sign a new deal with NBC/Comcast but it won’t be that much different from the deal he has now because of the commitments he’s made with his radio partners at Clear Channel and the primetime obligations he’s going to have at Fox. He will continue anchor E! News and their red carpet coverage but he’ll probably also add primetime interview specials to NBC when “Idol” is not airing and will do special features and reports for the “Today Show”, the Olympics, the Super Bowl when NBC has it and things like that.

I suggest that he slows down though, as we saw with Nick Cannon no matter how much you workout, adding job after job can be detrimental to your health but I admire his paper chasin’.

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