When you say "Randy Michaels is back", people's ears perk up.
And though it's not radio - yet - the statement is now based in reality, not rumor.
The suburban Cincinnati-based former Clear Channel radio head, who rose to prominence with Jacor, is officially "back in the media game", as new company Local TV LLC has named him chief executive officer.
Local TV LLC is the operating arm of Oak Hill Capital Partners, an private equity firm which is buying the nine New York Times Company TV stations.
That'll be the first item on the plate for Michaels, and long-time associate Bobby Lawrence...the ex-Jacor executive who'll be alongside as president and chief operating officer.
And though it's not radio - yet - Michaels and Lawrence are already sniffing around Clear Channel...albeit the company's for-sale TV division, which owns stations like Cincinnati CBS affiliate WKRC/12 (and its associated digital CW affiliate subchannel).
An article by Cincinnati Enquirer writer Cliff Peale notes that Michaels' non-compete with Clear Channel actually lasted through the end of 2006.
Though he has not been fully away from broadcasting, with his RadioActive LLC winning small city radio construction permits, Randy is back to full speed.
And it's not hard to imagine that while talking to his former employer about buying part or all of the Clear Channel Television group, some radio stations may end up in the Local TV portfolio.
Clear Channel, of course, does have 448 small and medium market stations on the sales block...and Randy knows many of them better than anyone on the planet. A noted engineering mind, he's probably got every transmitter and antenna height of stations he acquired for Clear Channel - including literally dozens in Ohio - memorized even to this day.
So, we'll have to see about the possibility of the new company expanding into radio. Their only statements about expanding into "broader media platforms" would appear to point to the Internet, a place where most local TV stations have been expanding rapidly the past few years.
Like RadioActive and the former Clear Channel and Jacor radio operations, and Randy himself, Local TV LLC will be based in the Northern Kentucky suburbs of Cincinnati...