If you didn’t already know that Dunwoody High School graduate Ryan Seacrest is far more than just an “American Idol” host, here’s the proof:
Clear Channel Media today announced it was becoming a minority partner in Ryan Seacrest Media, infusing up to $300 million into his business through its two major investors, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital. That money will buy and develop companies, content and other properties.
Ryan Seacrest Media, in TV production, has had one big home run: the successful Kardashian shows on E! He also helps put together the New Year’s show with Dick Clark. Other less successful ventures include ABC’s “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution” and E!’s “Denise Richards: It’s Complicated.” Two new shows are forthcoming: “Melissa and Tye: A New Reality” for CMT and Bravo’s “Shahs of Sunset.”
Seacrest already has deep ties with Clear Channel, which is dominant in radio but is seeking an entry into the more lucrative television business. Seacrest airs his daily Los Angeles morning show on Clear Channel’s KIIS-FM and through Clear Channel’s syndication arm, he transmits a daily syndicated program (170 stations worldwide), plus his “AT 40″ countdown on weekends (500 stations worldwide). Star 94, where Seacrest got his start in high school in 1992, locally aired his syndicated show for about a year and a half but dropped it in 2010 to focus on local jocks. His countdown show is still heard on Star on weekends.
He will keep a majority ownership in the company and remain independent.
In another recently announced deal, Seacrest has partnered with CAA (Creative Artists Agency) and entertainment company AEG in purchasing AXS TV, a cable channel that will replace HDNet this summer.
When Seacrest in 2004 told me he wanted to be like Merv Griffin and Dick Clark, I didn’t blink an eye. Now, in 2012, it’s clear his ambitions have actually met reality. And the man is only 37 years old!
I dug through the old clip file and found what he said to me in January, 2004:
“I’ve had a game plan for a long time, ” Seacrest said. “I want to do what Dick Clark did: build businesses out of what we do. Oprah, too. These are very smart business people who’ve created something out of first being ‘talent’.”
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk