Ryan Seacrest and Clear Channel deepen business relationship
Ryan Seacrest and his radio show partner Clear Channel Communications are taking their relationship to the next level.
Not only have private equity funds controlled by Clear Channel's majority owners, Thomas H. Lee Partners (THL) and Bain Capital, have committed up to $300 million to acquire and develop propeties with Ryan Seacrest Media, the producer and television and radio personality's holding company, but Clear Channel is also taking a minority stake in Seacrest's production company.
“We aim to build Ryan Seacrest Media into a leading multimedia company with diversified assets and interests,” Seacrest said in a statement. Already the host of a radio show that airs on Clear Channel stations, Seacrest also hosts Fox's "American Idol and has a growing television production company whose credits include E!'s "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" and ABC's "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution.”
For Clear Channel, the investment in Ryan Seacrest Productions allows the radio giant, which wants to expand further into entertainment, to stay in business with the ubiquitous Seacrest even if the radio show eventually goes away. Seacrest has been mentioned as a possible replacement for Matt Lauer when the latter's contract is up on NBC's "Today" show. Such a gig would likely mean Seacrest either moving his radio show to afternoons or scrapping it.
“Ryan is an unmatched creative talent with success across more media platforms and involvement with a greater variety of programming and venues than anyone else in the industry,” said Bob Pittman, chief executive of Clear Channel parent CC Media Holdings.
Seacrest has also recently partnered with entrepreneur Mark Cuban and entertainment giant AEG on a new cable channel called AXS that will debut this year and focus primarily on covering the entertainment and music industries.
-- Joe Flint
Photo: Ryan Seacrest. Credit: Matt Sayles / Associated Press