Does everyone remember when talks cooled in hot July vis-à-vis some sort of attempted takeover or merger between industry elephants Warner Music and EMI? Whaaaat? You didn't? Acquisition shareholders meetings weren't four-and-a-half star video fodder on YouTube that month? Lil' Johnny Stewart didn't invite Warner's Edgar Bronfman Jr. onto "The Seat of Heat"? Has B-to-tha-ronfman completely lost his credibility with the youthful boobs and 18-35 lefties of today? Well, if it wasn't news then, it won't be now. But here it is anyway.
The Times Online contends that if at first you don't succeed, go back for another bitchslap. Then another bitchslap and another bitchslap. If these bitchslaps are just preliminary bitchslaps or if they are little parts of a grander, more elaborate bitchslap scheme, then you have no choice but to go back for more bitchslaps. Despite quashed efforts in the past to meld our two favorite major labels into one stupid superbeast, Bronfman has again made advances to get to third base with EMI. If you remember correctly, it was in July that the two companies issued statements of disinterest in a possible union. But you can count on Bronfman to forget quickly. In September, Bronfman flew to England to butter up EMI investors and hedge fund shareholders. One wonders: what is the hold-up? Although these kinds of things get tripped up with every little bit of hassle, I half-suspect that EMI just can't deal with Bronfman's real-ness. Could he be too much of a risk for plain ol', staid ol' EMI? Maybe EMI likes its business dealings like my grandma likes her Bloody Caesars — with "no ice, no spice."
Jeeesh, Bronfman... cut the cord for Crissakes! You are starting to remind me of someone who gets dumped by his girlfriend only to come back twice as headstrong with a plan to win her back with constant phone calls and drive-bys and then buys a Whisper 2000 so he can sit in the neighbor's bushes across the street from her house crying while doing lines off a cracked Silverchair CD case trying to hear if she is talking to a guy on the phone, then following her and her friends to a bar and sitting across the room creepily drinking beer after beer while burning holes in her with his eyes every time she laughs, or looks at anyone, or comes even remotely within inches of another male body...
Yikes, I was really starting to creep myself out there. Many apologies... must be visions of past restraining orders dancing in my head. Absurd suspicion stories aside, there is something afoot. Following the news of Bronfman currying favor overseas, MSNBC reported that current EMI Music Publishing chairman and co-chief executive Martin Bandier is looking for pastures new, possibly with Warner. Apparently Bandier, a song publishing mogul and a "legend in the music publishing business" — hey, I've thrown a LOT of money at acquiring a lot of songs and a lot of albums but noooo, that doesn't make me a legend, does it? — has already had talks with Bronfman Jr. ("BJ") and will meet with EMI execs next month in London to discuss his future with his present employers. As far as a reachable union is concerned, it has been unclear from the get-go whether this will be a merger or an outright acquisition by Warner of EMI, or of Warner by EMI. Who knows. I guess some things should remain floating above my head, just as they did when I was sleeping through my business journalism courses last year. You can be sure there will be news soon because these two companies seem to love their ongoing game of boardroom bag-tag. Our money is on Bronfman to make the first move, because if he has a problem, yo, he solves it... check out his savvy financial moves while his accountants revolve it.