Saturday, May 24, 2008

Riverdeep, Mountain High

Do I love you, my oh my.....If I lost you, I would cry....

Don't you love the old songs? The songs you grew up hearing on the radio?

There was once a pirate station in Dublin, back in the early '80's. And there was a young Barry O'Callaghan, dreaming of founding an educational publishing media empire, with his ear pressed to the radio, tuned in to Radio Nova.

His minnowish publishing firm engulfed a couple of whales, but Mr. O'Callaghan still has a few euro in his pocket. He's joined with his pal Pat McDonagh and a few other friends to form a consortium which has applied for a radio license.

Radio Nova is going back on the air, swinging to the oldies....well, we like to call it classic rock because old is what our parents listened.

The radio gig is small beer, and not only when it's compared to HMH Riverdeep. Forecasts call for an initial cost of EU3.8 million, which is a far cry from the billions of euros in debt that financed the publishing conglomeration. With no synergies to decrease expenses, again unlike the massive merger recently completed, Nova will bring in around one million in its first year.

The Broadcasting Commission will hold oral hearings in October, to decide if the father of Riverdeep will get his license.

No word yet on how much time will be given over to commercial spots, but you would imagine that there would be frequent mention of textbooks and on-line products and the occasional advert for Harcourt's latest product.

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