Undercover Boss Live Recap: Mood Media Mogul Overcomes Personal Issues while Addressing Employees’ Concerns (01/04/13)

Happy New Year, Nerds!

Undercover Boss is back with its latest episode featuring the man steering a big media specialist. Here we go!

Lorne Abony is Mood Media’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. The company has made a name by providing its clients full in-store media services to help them effectively communicate their messages to their target market.

Having started 75 years ago, Mood Media has grown into a global player. It currently operates in 590,000 store locations which are spread across 48 countries where it plays about 140 million songs a day.

Mood ensures that its media solutions for retail shops (such as gyms and restaurants) will make consumers feel and stay comfortable in the shop, eventually leading to a sale.

Before embarking in his journey, Abony mentions his close relationship with his single mother, quite the opposite of what he has with his father. He claims that his childhood has affected how he is now.

Abony starts his undercover work in Austin, Texas where he engages in dispatch work for DMX, a company that addresses the technical problems of Mood Media’s clients. DMX is a former competitor which Mood has merged with.

At DMX, Abony meets  Leila, a dispatcher who orients him on the technicalities of the job. Leila shares that DMX veterans (herself included) aren’t ecstatic about Mood’s merger with the company. She relates that Mood and DMX’s merger puts a dent on job security. Nevertheless, Abony observes that the former DMX employees still provide remarkable services to Mood’s clients.

Abony also meets Jon, a technical specialist, who teaches him how to install a background music system in a restaurant. His time with Jon makes him recognize that the company’s sales and tech people don’t meet eye to eye. Abony realizes that he has been so focused on Mood’s end results and less on the needs of his employees.

In Atlanta, Georgia, Abony learns how to install a video system with the aid of another Mood employee, Eileen. This endeavor forces Abony to come into terms with his fear of heights as he attempts to install a CCTV camera in a gym. Abony gets through the ordeal and also learns more about Eileen on a personal level.

Abony’s next task is to help Devon in producing rack fabricators. While working, Devon shares his shaky relationship with his father, but still ended up making peace with him. This story rocks Abony to the core. During the night, he resolves to have a more open mind on his parental issues.

Abony is finally ready to face the employees he met along the way. In his New York City office, he’s reunited with Leila, Jon, Eileen and Devon.

With Leila, he ensures her that she will always have her job with Mood. Abony is also making a donation in Leila’s name to an animal protection group and $15,000 for her schooling.

For Jon, he offers the job of supervising engineer to keep track on the coordinated efforts of Mood’s sales and technical employees. He’s also giving $40,000 which Jon can use however he wishes.

Abony endows Eileen $10,000 to attend to the needs of her four children, $25,000 to restart her 41K and get back on the right track and company benefits to Eileen and her partner.

Finally, Abony repays Devon’s hard work with $30,000 which the latter can use to support his family.

Abony’s inspiration from Devon also makes him patch up his differences with his father; he understands that family matters to him and his reconciliation with his father is the first step in ensuring that his mistakes won’t be repeated again. His father assures him of his unconditional love.

Missed any of this show’s episodes? Check out our Undercover Boss archives HERE. 

Image courtesy of  Undercover Boss


  1. Apollo says

    I saw the episode and work for this company. There were many factual errors — and many glaring omissions.

    Mood Media did not start out 75 years ago, Muzak did. Mood Media (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) bought Muzak in 2010, after Muzak emerged from chapter 11 bankruptcy. Muzak added around 1200 people to the organization — that’s where he gets the majority of his employee count.

    Lorne mentioned being an only child. His brother (Andrew) works for Muzak, mainly in charge of the Klikt program (a smart phone app to scan and promote in-store advertising/coupons).

    Muzak has offered same-sex partner benefits and non-discrimination (on paper) for at least 12 years, that I am aware.

    Muzak-brand employees have been under a wage freeze since 2009 — with no raises or 401(k) match since. With each Mood acquisition, more workload gets dumped into the Fort Mill, SC, operation center — the Muzak-brand headquarters.

    Mood Media acquired DMX, headquartered in Austin, TX, in 2012. Most administrative and all financial functions immediately transferred to Muzak employees. The former DMX CEO has since become president of US operations. Relations between Austin and Fort Mill are strained, at best, and generally confrontational. Interesting that the newest acquisition was featured and promoted so heavily in the TV show.

    In November 2012 — two weeks before the US Thanksgiving holiday — Mood did a workforce reduction, cutting around 160 jobs at the Fort Mill center and about half that across the other brands and field offices. Some jobs/departments were assumed by DMX-brand employees in Austin, some were phased out and some were outsourced.

    Lorne Abony as featured on this “reality” show is not the same person most employees encounter, if they meet him at all. At company meetings he is usually distant, calculated and unapproachable. The FCC should require CBS and ‘Undercover Boss’ to display a fixed banner reading ADVERTISEMENT at the top of the screen throughout the broadcast.

  2. Reality says

    WOW, I wonder if he has spent the tens of thousands of dollars on being able to be on this show, if they would have been able to keep the HUNDREDS of people they laid off just before Christmas. Nice PR coverup.

  3. former muzak employee says

    I was one of the 150+ employees that this guy laid off in December. This guy is a joke. He said he was an only child… dude I worked with your brother! He’ll say anything to make himself look good.

  4. Bruce Giggers says

    I once read that if you can’t write what’s on your mind, you don’t know what you think. A great quote.
    I have not been a huge fan of Undercover Boss but tonight I got into the show near it’s end, about the time when you were working with a soldering iron. I continued to watch thinking that this episode had something. Man was I mistaken. The rest of he show touched every fiber of my being. You showed great character showing the country the relation you wished to repairwith your father.
    I will be 61 this year. I am married to the love of my life, and I am the step father to 2 beautiful young women ages 27 and 34.
    I have somewhat the same non existing relationship with my own biological daughters who are 31 and 34. Because of several issues I have not seen nor heard from them in almost 13 years. My heart has and always will be broken until the Lord brings them to allowing me back into their lives. I hope somehow they too saw your show and listened to your personal story. Mayb on day they will see and understand I’m nit the bad guy they hav thought I’ve been.
    Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for opening my eyes a bit.

  5. B says

    Hi Lorne,

    I cried sooo much seeing how your dad was so emotional. I personally don’t like my dad
    He would always want to be in control of my life and that’s showing love in someway but
    I had to cut him off because he would not be happy for me about my interracial relationship.

    I want to forgive but I can’t. I just can’t. So thank you go sharing your experience attest
    You’re children will have met there grand pa.


  6. says

    I am an advocate animal lover as well. I really enjoyed this episode of Undercover Boss. I am a Hoisting Operating Engineer for The City of Chicago. I would really like to make a charitable donation to Leila’s (the dispatcher from DMX) favorite animal charity. please have her contact me or email me at johnjj2006@hotmal.com I’m looking forward to hearing from her, Thank You. God bless.

  7. Reginald G. Martin sr. says

    I fill very proud to see your show, its what I’m also about
    And that’s giving what I got to people who need my help. I pick up furniture off the street day or night, and I put them in my garage so when friends or families need furniture and don’t have the money, I give it to them. I’ve always wanted to rent a building to sell used furniture in order to open for breakfast lunch, or dinner for the homeless, wemen with children, elderly etc. Someday it will happen cause its my goal in life to help. I’ve always since I was a kid, fills great to help

  8. says

    Wow! I have seen several Undercover Boss episodes. I have cried for workers’ situations. But, this time, I cried for the Boss. Lorne was turly sweet, and totally blew me away with his story and generosity. I want to work for Mood Media!

  9. Jo Ann says

    I was very moved and impressed by Lorne’s generosity to his employees who were impressive in their own right. God bless all of you.

  10. Donna says

    I was deeply touched by the emotional reunion of the CEO and his dad after so many years.
    In only the past year, I myself have been dealing with close family strains and marital strains as well.
    The show tonight only helped me realize how important family is, and never take anything for granted.
    Thank you for sharing your experience with the world. I’m sure there are countless families dealing with the same issues. Hopefully they too had watched the program tonight, and felt the same way as I.
    Thank you for opening my eyes, and best of luck to you and your family.

  11. Pearl James says


    After watching you meet your dad, it was very emotional for me, but my son is still blank. He probably is still young and will get better.

    I am glad you made up and gave him a chance. My dad was never there either, but I hope my kids will have some relationship with their dad, other than on the phone. I know that he needs to make the big step, but maybe they will have to do it.

    Have a great year.

  12. Pearl James says

    Hi Lorne Abony,

    I am watching you now on Undercover Boss and it is like watching my son. I am a single mom of three children, 19, 17 and 13 years old (1 girl and 2 boys). My kids dad is in the Army and he is only a phone dad. my oldest son, 17 years old and he always avoids talking to him on the phone. I am having him watch your meeting your dad now. I will tell you what happens.

    It is so hard but I hope that my son will learn from you, as he has seen me struggle.