President Obama has announced a save-Chrysler plan that includes a bankruptcy filing. Gasp. But wait. This bankruptcy is part of a plan in which virtually all of Chrysler’s stakeholders (love that word), the people, banks, and organizations who have a stake in the survival and success of Chrysler, are volunteering to take a huge hit, making huge sacrifices, to allow the company to survive. How about bankruptcy as the solution to the radio industry mess? Radio is a healthy, viable, operating business. It hasn’t been destroyed yet by the Internet and the IPod. It’s the debt-burden imposed by ten years of speculative trafficking in stations that’s done it in. Radio needs a massive swamp-draining. Like the equity speculators who’re going to take a bath in the Chrysler bankruptcy, the overinflated gamblers who have lived high on their fees and commissions while creating a frail, unmanageable financial balloon for American radio, should be forced to make their contribution to its revival. Bankruptcy is the answer. Let’s follow the Chrysler model, and surgically remove the speculators. We need to find a whole new generation of local businesspeople to take on their town’s radio stations. But, I assure you, the price will be right.
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