Snyder buys Dick Clark’s company

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder’s RedZone Capital investment company yesterday bought Dick Clark Productions for $175 million in a deal that brings the Redskins and the “Bloopers” television show into the same corporate family.

Under the deal, RedZone Capital acquires a 60 percent stake in the TV production company for $135 million. Amusement-park operator Six Flags — a publicly traded company that has Mr. Snyder as its board chairman and RedZone as its largest individual shareholder — gets the remaining stake for $40 million.

The deal expands Mr. Snyder’s presence in the entertainment world. In addition to the Redskins and Six Flags, Mr. Snyder is a partner in a film-production company co-owned by actor Tom Cruise. Mr. Snyder’s company also owns the Johnny Rockets chain of ‘50s-style diners and several sports-themed radio stations in the D.C. media market.

Los Angeles-based Dick Clark Productions produces or holds right to a stable of television programming, including the “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” broadcast that has regularly featured Mr. Clark counting down the famous ball drop in New York’s Times Square.

Other programs include the Fox television hit, “So You Think You Can Dance,” the Golden Globe Awards, the American Music Awards, the “Bloopers” television show and nearly 900 episodes of “American Bandstand,” the music show that made Mr. Clark, 77, a star in the 1950s.

Mr. Snyder said in a statement that “Dick Clark Productions is responsible for some of the most enduring brands in entertainment. This was a rare opportunity to acquire a powerhouse portfolio.”

Mark Shapiro, chief executive at Six Flags, said the deal provides a host of cross-marketing opportunities for the theme parks, including dance and concert events at the parks featuring the Bandstand and “So You Think You Can Dance” brands.

The Six Flags parks have struggled in recent years to overcome a reputation of teen rowdiness. The parks have worked to change that image into more of a family destination.

“This transaction is another step in that evolution,” Mr. Shapiro said in a statement.

Under the deal, Mr. Snyder will serve as board chairman for Dick Clark Productions, and Mr. Shapiro will join the board. Terry Bateman, formerly the Redskins‘ chief marketing officer, will take over as chief executive officerat Dick Clark Productions.

Shares of New York-based Six Flags Inc. dropped 11 cents to $6.40 in trading yesterday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Dick Clark Productions had been a publicly traded company, with Mr. Clark controlling 70 percent of the shares, until 2002, when a group of investors took it private for $140 million.

Mr. Clark, who suffered a stroke several years ago, no longer has a management role with the company. But he said in a statement yesterday that “Dan Snyder and his group will bring energy and new direction to a company that has meant so much to me. … They have my full support.”

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