Tom Hicks is changing his program. The buyout investor is ditching a yearlong plan to morph Dallas radio operator Chancellor Media into a multimedia giant. The Texas billionaire, chairman of both Chancellor and Hicks, Muse, Tate, & Furst, says he's bowing to pressure from investors who want him to stick to basics. On Mar. 15, Hicks said Chancellor will focus on its core radio and billboards. And it will do so without CEO Jeffrey Marcus, who is quitting after only 9 months on the job.
Chancellor will undergo a major restructuring that includes ending a $1.5 billion merger deal with LIN Television, cutting debt, and installing Hicks as CEO. But Hicks, 53, who during his high school days was a DJ at one of his father's stations, has lost none of his yen for the radio business. Hicks Muse, he says, plans to spend up to $500 million to raise the company's stake to around 29%. Says Hicks: "Nothing means more to me, personally and professionally, than enabling Chancellor to realize its tremendous potential." Stay tuned.