As far as exit strategies go, Clear Channel (NYSE:CCU) shouldn't be getting any static. The country's leading operator of radio stations is agreeing to a buyout bid and punching out at $37.60 a share. The all-cash deal values the company at nearly $27 billion, factoring in the $18.7 billion in cash and $8.1 billion in long-term debt that the consortium of private equity investors led by Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners will be assuming.

The price may not appear to be much of a premium, but Clear Channel shares haven't traded that high since June 2004. The climate has changed, even though Clear Channel has to be commended for holding its own in a competitive environment. Two weeks ago, the company posted third-quarter results that saw revenues inching 7% higher, with earnings per share before discontinued operations climbing 19%.

Going out now will spare the company from public scrutiny as it faces some heavy challenges in the coming years. Cars are still the radio listening medium of choice, and many new automobiles are coming preinstalled with Sirius (NASDAQ:SIRI) or XM Satellite Radio (NASDAQ:XMSR) services, or with iPod connectivity. Companies like Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) are ramping up audio advertising, though that may be as much an opportunity as a liability for a company like Clear Channel.

Terrestrial radio won't go down without a fight. Clear Channel has been leading the push to more dynamic multicasting and HD radio initiatives. Turning to Akamai (NASDAQ:AKAM) to help it power its Format Lab Internet-radio offering was spot-on. However, the opportunities can't block out the question marks. It was a good time for Clear Channel to cash out.

Naturally, that's not the universal opinion. There wouldn't even be a buyout offer if someone else didn't feel that the company will be worth more in a few years, with healthy cash flow production in the interim. Bain is no dummy. However, that's not the kind of uncertainty I'd want to be banking on between now and then. If I were a Clear Channel shareholder, I'd be more than happy to sign off on the deal and invest that money elsewhere.

Walking away smiling? That's the ultimate exit strategy.

Akamai and XM are Motley Fool Rule Breakers newsletter recommendations. Discover all of David Gardner's previous growth-stock selections with a free 30-day trial subscription.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz grew up on terrestrial radio -- and was even a DJ for a few years at his WVUM college radio station -- but these days, his ears belong to his XM and Sirius subscriptions and whatever he is loading on his SanDisk MP3 player. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.