Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The SEC Could Make the FCC Seem Like Stern's BFFL

CBS suing Howard Stern over the manner in which he used CBS airwaves to promote his moving from the "terrestrial" airwaves to satellite radio is interesting in more ways than simply the usual vicarious thrill one gets from watching ridiculously rich, pampered people use their considerable charisma (in the case of Stern) and their considerable corporate clout (in the case of CBS chief Les Moonves) to smear one another.

I'm far from an expert in securities law, but it would seem to me that if there is any merit whatsoever in the CBS claim then it may be a matter of interest to Eliot Spitzer or the SEC. The "acceleration clause" by which Stern would recieve 34 million Sirius shares, $220 million worth, if his new program reached a certain subscriber level at a date as early as this year is both at the heart of the CBS claim and what may be of interest to regulators.

Is a media product the size of Howie obliged to inform all concerned what his incentive and ownership position is in any new venture? If not, why not? If the claims are valid, Stern could have bigger problems than simply just the CBS suit.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Manute 911

In recent months, perhaps even years, former NBA freak show Manute Bol has been canonized by a sporting press looking for a hero. While the 7 foot 7 native of the Sudan seems to have been tireless in his pursuit of aid and assistance for Darfur and his homeland in general, it always struck me as odd that Bol celebrity boxing, taking a shift for a minor-league hockey club and even taking a turn as a jockey has bee acclaimed as a great man doing great things. Fine, so not every crusader can accomplish the Bono-esque, telling George W Bush to fuck off one moment and hobnobbing with the Davos ecognescenti the next. However, I was surprised when I stumbled upon the story of Bol's domestic incident this morning. I was immediately reminded of that old Mark Eaton commercial wherein the ugliest big man in the long, horrid history of ugly big men stared down long and hard into the camera and said something along the lines of "You intimidated by me? Imagine how your kids feel." That having been said, Bol isn't that intimidating; also, if his wife is also a Dinka, I'm sure she's 6'6" herself. I was secondarily kind of spooked. I thought, "Isn't he one of the good guys? I mean, I've read so much about what he's done for the internally displaced in Darfur." Or at least, that's what I read.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Levon Likes His Money

Makes a lot they say. While "separated at birth" is not usually my thing (neither, quite clearly is photoshop), I couldn't help but notice the physical similarities between American Idol contestant Taylor Hicks and Mark Cuban. Yes, yes I'm sure more people watched Hicks perform Elton John's "Levon" last week than the entire run of "The Benefactor". I'm guessing that Cuban is over it. However, I'm not sure Cube wouldn't do well to lay off the Grecian Formula. When streaks of grey lend gravitas to an American Idol contestant, think what they could do for a billionaire.