Chancellor Media Corp. formally announced last Wednesday
that its next CEO will be Jeffrey A. Marcus, the founder, chairman and CEO of Marcus Cable
Marcus, who will continue as chairman and general partner
at the Dallas-based MSO, moves over to the radio broadcaster on June 1. He will continue
to be involved in the cable operator's strategic direction, as well.
"It's a really unique opportunity to take my
skill set, whatever that may be, and translate it into a business" eager to grow
beyond its radio base, the 51-year-old Marcus said in an interview.
Chancellor, with a $7.5 billion market capitalization,
wants to expand into television and outdoor advertising, creating media clusters with
cross-platform advertising opportunities, he said.
Marcus confirmed that Paul G. Allen, who recently bought
out all of Marcus' partners for $2.8 billion to take a majority stake in the MSO,
knew in advance of the Chancellor opportunity and provided for it in Marcus'
three-year employment agreement.
Marcus said the executive recruiting firm Spencer Stuart,
of San Francisco, has been hired to help search for his replacement. Top candidates would
have extensive cable experience, financial skills and Wall Street contacts, he said.
Marcus said he still hopes to join the National Cable
Television Association's executive committee as treasurer, and said his colleagues
there have not raised any objections over his job change.
He will replace Chancellor chairman Thomas Hicks as CEO.
Hicks, who is chairman of the Dallas-based leveraged-buyout firm Hicks, Muse, Tate &
Furst Inc., became acting CEO after Scott Ginsburg resigned on April 14.
Hicks and Marcus are close friends. Marcus said yesterday
that Hicks now refers to him as "the $600 million man," based on
Chancellor's share price rise after the announcement Wednesday (up $3.88, or 9
percent, to $46).
Other Marcus executives said last week that employees were
happy he would continue to be around.
"I think most people are reacting extremely positive
to this," executive vice president and CFO Thomas McMillin said.
Lou Borelli, also executive vice president and chief
operating officer, said, "What people are concerned about is the guy who led and
built this thing may not be around as much. But we're going to plow ahead here.
"I don't think there's any undue
concern," Borelli added. "It's just that so much has happened in so short a
period of time, people are having a hard time adjusting."
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