Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Watching the Ball Drop, and I Don't Mean Ladell Betts

Dan, LA's great. Be there for us.

This guy. Trying so hard to be Ruth's Chris and coming up Sizzler.

First it was Six Flags, to be pumped up Danny-style with a premium fare, totally tone deaf to the economic realities of his home base in Prince George's County. Then it was Tom Cruise, a totally hilarious partnership because Dan sees himself as the Tom Cruise of the business world while Tom sees himself as the taking Dan's money guy, in this way very much like a typical Redskins free agent acquisition.

Next it was Johnny Rockets, a modest burger chain which Dan thinks can expand over the next five years at a rate greater than 15 times the previous five years' growth. Just don't eat at the Georgetown shop. Then he brought in the war profiteer to focus on takeover targets and then lost his coveted radio guy stolen from ClearChannel.

That takeover war profiteer guy is earning his keep. Now Dan has acquired Dick Clark's American Bandstand holdings. This gives Dan 877 recorded hours of the thank god it finally died TV show, a long-dead show on TV bloopers, a bunch of crappy awards shows, a crappy reality TV show about dancing and (the coolest thing), the New Year's Rockin Eve broadcast. Re-animated Dick Clark not included.

Also included are the American Bandstand restaurants. There are seven of them and with addresses like Concourse D Indianapolis Airport, Terminal A Newark International Airport and Molly Pitcher Travel Plaza New Jersey Turnpike you know not only are you in for a quality meal but that the staff will be A+.

Curly R aside: Even Dan Steinberg thinks this is funny. But to be fair, he thinks everything is funny, even stuff that is not, like Tony Kornheiser and the Orioles.

Business acquisitions are often about 'synergies' and 'dynamism' and 'cross-pollination' and the Dan crew is already installing flat-panel TVs at every food station and ride line at Six Flags, where we will be able to see a random episode of AB while we wait. Yes, they actually said that. That craning our necks up to watch episodes of a TV show that survived 20 years longer than it should have and featured people dancing while artists lip synched would actually be something the masses would be thankful for.

There's your justification for paying the premium entry fee right there, that you can skip food and ride lines just so you don't have to watch that shit.

And it occurs to me that if Dan spent 175 million dollars on this and then will be spending millions more on flatscreen TVs and a closed-circuit television system for the parks that he may have to cut back on staff, which creates longer lines, thus justifying need for entertainment in line. It's a co-branding marketing experiment that sounds better in the pitch session than it will at the park.

At least it's something else for him to do. Maybe the Redskins will benefit.

Editorial cartoon by Nate Beeler / Washington Examiner from here.