Why were we so mesmerized watching Donald Trump name Bill Rancic over Kwame Jackson as the newest executive in his debt-laden empire last night? Trump's charisma is undeniable, but shouldn't it be worrisome that the $250,000 annual salary earmarked for the reality show's winner would be enough to buy more than 100,000 shares of Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts (NYSE: DJT ) ?
Even after teaming up with Credit Suisse (NYSE: CSR ) to recapitalize the company's debt back in February, the cash crunch is quite real. Methinks it should be The Donald being grilled for the ultimate job interview, don't you?
In fact, even if it was a case of promotional coattail hopping, I think Yum! Brands' (NYSE: YUM ) offer to hire the runner-up at $25,000 for a one-week stint as KFC's Chief Sales Officer might be the more attractive offer. At least there you would get a year's worth of free chicken. In Trump's leveraged empire, you may find yourself out of chicken feed and still fried.
And yet, a toast to Trump -- and producer Mark Burnett -- is still in order. When it's all the fashion to chastise fallen corporate executives at companies like Tyco (NYSE: TYC ) , ImClone Systems (Nasdaq: IMCL ) , and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (NYSE: MSO ) , The Apprentice has tens of millions of Americans learning business basics and valuing corporate leadership.
That's not a bad thing. A sequel is already in the works to make sure that the quest for business excellence continues to command a huge audience. Trump, you're hired!
Did you catch last night's season finale of The Apprentice? Did it feel genuine or does a lot of reality TV feel staged these days? Where do we go from here? All this and more in the Reality Television discussion board. Only on Fool.com.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz enjoyed watching The Apprentice but thinks that Troy or Amy should have won the gig. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story.