Blaw-Knox towers and Nashville

Garrett Wollman
Thu Mar 17 22:17:46 EDT 2011

<<On Thu, 17 Mar 2011 19:52:23 -0400, "Dale H. Cook" <> said:

> It has been more than a quarter of a century since I last lived in 
> Massachusetts. My favorite alternative to fast food there is 
> Friendly's - they have locations in VA and NC, but unfortunately none 
> are near my home in southwest VA. What may have long slowed their 
> expansion was a desire to keep their locations within a day's drive 
> of their distribution center in Wilbraham.

Friendly's has been through a *lot* of issues in the past couple of
decades, including a couple of failed buyouts.  With management's
attention elsewhere, the quality of the food and the service at the
restaurants suffered, and every time I go there, I'm promising when I
leave that I won't go back.

That said, they are also in Florida, which suggests that distance from
Wilbraham is not their most pressing concern.  The need for additional
capital to fund any expansion probably is closer to the truth.  And,
frankly, it's not at all clear that there's a financial benefit to the
shareholders in becoming a weak national restaurant chain rather than
a stronger regional brand.  (This arguably applies to radio, too.  I'm
willing to bet that Greater Media's return on capital far outstrips
Entercom's.  Both companies started out as small, family-owned
companies in the 12/12/12 days, but whereas Entercom brought in
outside capital to expand in multiple markets, Greater maintained
family ownership and exited markets like L.A. and Washington to
concentrate on super-serving their core Boston and Philly customers.[1])

(We saw a lone Cumberland Farms in Florida, too.)

[1] I think radio would be a stronger, more competitive industry today
if Congress had not eliminated the national ownership cap in the
Telecom Act.  At the very least, we would not have seen the asset
bubble in broadcast stations in the first binge of consolidation in
the mid-to-late 1990s, which would have left owners with much more
room on their balance sheets to make the investments in programming
and facilities that have a chance of earning the next generation's

More information about the Boston-Radio-Interest mailing list