Skip to comments.Bain Capital Owns Clear Channel (Limbaugh,Hannity, Beck, Savage, Etc.)
Posted on 01/12/2012 6:15:07 PM PST by VinL
Wouldn't it be great if a Republican presidential candidate could just buy the support of just about every major conservative talk show host in America? Well, it may not be as far-fetched as you may think. Clear Channel owns more radio stations (850) than anyone else in the United States. They also own Premiere Radio Networks, the company that syndicates the radio shows of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck, among others. Needless to say, Clear Channel basically owns conservative talk radio in the United States. So who owns Clear Channel? Well, it turns out that Bain Capital is one of the primary owners of Clear Channel. Yes, you read that correctly. The company that Mitt Romney ran for so long is one of the "big bosses" over virtually all conservative talk radio in America. Of course Mitt Romney is not running Bain Capital anymore. He is a "retired partner", but he still has a huge financial stake in Bain Capital. We're talking about millions upon millions of dollars. If you doubt this, just check out page 34 of this public financial disclosure report. So if you have been wondering why so many conservative talk show hosts are being so incredibly kind to Mitt Romney, this just might be the answer.
In the media world, there is a clear understanding that you simply do not bite the hand that feeds you. Some of the most prominent conservative talk radio hosts are earning tens of millions of dollars a year.
If you were making tens of millions of dollars a year, wouldn't you be very careful to avoid offending your boss?
The deal in which Bain Capital became one of the owners of Clear Channel was initiated just a short time before Mitt Romney's first run for president. The following comes from Wikipedia....
On November 16, 2006, Clear Channel announced plans to go private, being bought out by two private-equity firms, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital Partners for $18.7 billion, which is just under a 10 percent premium above its closing price of $35.36 a share on November 16 (the deal values Clear Channel at $37.60 per share).
The deal was finalized in 2008. Today, Bain Capital is still one of the primary owners of Clear Channel.
One of the subsidiaries of Clear Channel is Premiere Radio Networks.
Premiere Radio Networks distributes a whole host of conservative talk radio shows. Everyone in the conservative world knows names such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck. Clear Channel also controls some other conservative talk radio hosts (such as Michael Savage and Mark Levin) that are not part of the Premiere Radio family.
The power that Premiere Radio Networks has is absolutely staggering. The following is directly from the official Clear Channel website....
Premiere Radio Networks Inc., a subsidiary of Clear Channel Communications, syndicates 90 radio programs and services to more than 5,000 radio affiliations and reaches over 190 million listeners weekly. Premiere Radio is the number one radio network in the country and features the following personalities: Rush Limbaugh, Jim Rome, Casey Kasem, Ryan Seacrest, Glenn Beck, Bob (Kevoian) & Tom (Griswold), Delilah, Steve Harvey, Blair Garner, George Noory, John Boy and Billy, Big Tigger, Dr. Dean Edell, Bob Costas, Sean Hannity and others. Premiere is based in Sherman Oaks, California, with 13 offices nationwide.
So do you think that any of those hosts is going to risk viciously attacking Mitt Romney and Bain Capital during this election season?
One of the controversies that has plagued Premiere Radio Networks in recent years has been the uproar over their use of paid actors to call in to their radio shows.
The following comes from Wikipedia....
Clear Channel, through its subsidiary, Premiere Radio Networks, auditions and hires actors to call in to talk radio shows and pose as listeners in order to provide shows, carried by Clear Channel and other broadcasters, with planned content in the form of stories and opinions. The custom caller service provided by Premiere Radio ensures its clients they won't hear the same actor's voice for at least two months in order to appear authentic to listeners who might otherwise catch on.
So perhaps that explains where some of the "Romney callers" come from.
There is nothing illegal about what Romney and Bain Capital have done, but it sure does not pass the "smell test".
Conservative talk radio has the potential to sway millions of conservative voters in one direction or another, and it is just not proper for Bain Capital and Romney to have such an overpowering financial interest in conservative talk radio.
And yes, Mitt Romney is still bringing in lots of money from Bain Capital. The following comes from a Wikipedia article about Mitt Romney....
At the time of his departure, Romney negotiated an agreement with Bain Capital that allowed him to receive a passive profit share as a retired partner in some Bain Capital entities, including buyout and investment funds. With the private equity business continuing to thrive, this deal would bring him millions of dollars in income each year. As a result of his business career, by 2007 Romney and his wife had a net worth of between $190 and $250 million, most of it held in blind trusts. An additional blind trust existed in the name of the Romneys' children and grandchildren that was valued at between $70 and $100 million as of 2007. The couple's net worth remained in the same range as of 2011, and was still held in blind trusts.
In addition, Bain Capital and Bain & Company continue to pour huge amounts of money into Romney's campaign coffers.
Just check out the following list of the biggest donors to the Romney campaign. These numbers come from opensecrets.org....
Goldman Sachs $367,200 Credit Suisse Group $203,750 Morgan Stanley $199,800 HIG Capital $186,500 Barclays $157,750 Kirkland & Ellis $132,100 Bank of America $126,500 PriceWaterhouseCoopers $118,250 EMC Corp $117,300 JPMorgan Chase & Co $112,250 The Villages $97,500 Vivint Inc $80,750 Marriott International $79,837 Sullivan & Cromwell $79,250 Bain Capital $74,500 UBS AG $73,750 Wells Fargo $61,500 Blackstone Group $59,800 Citigroup Inc $57,050 Bain & Co $52,500
As with anything, whenever you want to get to the real truth you just need to follow the money.
Earlier this week, Sean Hannity told Rick Perry that his attacks on Mitt Romney's time at Bain Capital sounded like something that "Occupy Wall Street" would say.
Just the other day, Rush Limbaugh compared Rick Perry to Fidel Castro and rabidly defended Mitt Romney on his radio program....
Theres no way you can try to dress that up, Limbaugh fumed. I dont understand it. Well, politically I understand it, but thats just absurd. Its sad. Cause I really, really, really like Rick Perry! I really do. I had such hopes! I did. Ill tell you, I did, but all of this talk about corporate raiders, and as I listen to politicians start talking about capitalism, lights are going off in my head. Maybe they dont really know what it is. Maybe theyre under some misconception about what capitalism is, because this characterization of it? A distinction with venture capitalism and vulture capitalism? This bite from Perry doesnt compute.
So why are these conservative talk show hosts defending Mitt Romney so furiously?
I think now we know.
It is all about the money.
When you have enough money, you can get conservative talk show hosts to promote an extremely liberal candidate.
Yes, of course Bain Capital does not "control" what these talk show hosts say.
Yes, of course some of the talk show hosts toss some light criticism at Romney from time to time.
But they simply do not go after Romney like they should be.
The truth is that Mitt Romney is really a Democrat that is masquerading as a Republican. When you closely examine his record, he is very similar to Obama.
There is no way in the world that any self-respecting conservative should ever cast a single vote for him.
But right now Mitt Romney is running away with the race for the Republican nomination.
If Republicans can be fooled this badly, is there any hope for the future of the Republican Party?
I saw the connections yesterday. There is NOTHING that is pro-Capitalism in this bunch.
Wisconsin Talk Radio Ping
In the Milwaukee market, Clear Channel runs the Jay Weber Show, the vicki McKenna Show, and the Mark Belling Show. Mark Belling regularly subs for Rush Limbaugh on the national stage. Clear Channel also airs Sean Hannity and mark levin at night. We appreciate all of these shows very much. Now we know we can thank Mitt Romney for this boon.
I cancelled my Rush 24/7 yesterday.
Rush is giving me ulcers and he certainly doesn’t need my $50a year.
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Church Lady: Well, well, well.
Not ONE freely admitted it.
Their PIMPING Romney is tantamount to yet
another Romney dirty trick."
By Pat Garofalo on Jan 9, 2012 at 9:25 am
2012 GOP presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney, who has a large lead in the polls heading into the New Hampshire primary tomorrow, has been taking heat from both Democrats and his Republican challengers for his time at Bain Capital, the private equity firm that he headed. Bains modus operandi was to invest in companies, leverage them up with debt, and then sell them off for scrap, allowing Bains investors to walk away with huge profits while the companies in which Bain invested wound up in bankruptcy, laying off workers and reneging on benefits.
Last week, Reuters profiled one company, Worldwide Grinding Systems, that went belly up after Bain invested in it. The company not only lost 750 jobs, but the federal government had to come in to bail out its pension fund, while Bain walked away with millions in profits.
And according to an analysis by the Wall Street Journal, this was far from an isolated incident. In fact, 22 percent of the companies in which Bain invested wound up either in bankruptcy or shutting their doors entirely, while Bain itself has made billions of dollars for its investors:
The Wall Street Journal, aiming for a comprehensive assessment, examined 77 businesses Bain invested in while Mr. Romney led the firm from its 1984 start until early 1999, to see how they fared during Bains involvement and shortly afterward.
Among the findings: 22% either filed for bankruptcy reorganization or closed their doors by the end of the eighth year after Bain first invested, sometimes with substantial job losses. An additional 8% ran into so much trouble that all of the money Bain invested was lost. [...]
The Journal analysis shows that in total, Bain produced about $2.5 billion in gains for its investors in the 77 deals, on about $1.1 billion invested. Overall, Bain recorded roughly 50% to 80% annual gains in this period, which experts said was among the best track records for buyout firms in that era.
Adding insult to injury, Bain would hide its profits in tax havens, not even paying the rate it was supposed to on the profits it made laying off workers.
The US Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp, which insures company retirement plans, determined in 2002 that GS (Steel) had underfunded its pension by $US44 million. The federal agency, funded by corporate levies, stepped in to cover the basic pension payments, but not the supplement the union had negotiated as a hedge against the plant's closure.
For Joe Soptic, who worked at the plant for 28 years, that meant a loss of $US283 per month, about 22 per cent of his pension. Others lost up to $US400 per month, according to documents supplied by the union.
Comparatively, the GS bailout was one of the pension guarantor's smaller hits. The federal fund swung from a $US7.7 billion surplus to a $US3.6 billion deficit that year as it struggled to cover bankruptcies in the steel and transportation industries. The failure of LTV Steel, for example, cost the agency $US1.9 billion.
The agency's woes prompted Congress in 2006 to require companies to contribute more toward their pensions. Press accounts said this change accelerated the shift away from pension plans toward 401(k)s and other defined-contribution retirement plans that offer less security for workers.
Now I understand the attacks on Newt!
Its never been a big secret..
Williard Mitt Romney bought Clear Channel back in 2007-08 when he was running for POTUS the first time...
We few who were warning y’all about Romney back then knew...
Where were you ???
Hmmm...I’ve watched the decline of FR since about four years ago when it became a haven for birthers, conspiracy theorists and self appointed ideological “guardians” of conservatism. This post is just another nail in the coffin.
And since Clear Channel bought WABC in NYC they have systematically destroyed the largest and best station in the country. The first blow was hiring that idiot Imus, then they replaced other conservative talent with mediocre moderates or RINOS.
I only listen to Rush and Mark Levin on that station anymore. It used to be on from sun up to sun down.
I cancelled my Rush 24/7 yesterday.
Rush is giving me ulcers and he certainly doesnt need my $50a year.”
You are joking...right?
I’m a big Newt guy - but there is no way Bain has any editorial sway over these guys. Rush has been Rush for longer than Bain has been around. Besides, Rush has trashed Mitt’s repsonse to the Bain attacks almost as much as he’s trashed Newt and Perry’s use of it. Anyone who listens to Rush at all knew full well how he would respond to this. Utterly predictable.
Folks invested in Clear Channel for the business opportunity of owning all the talk radio bigs, regardless of whether or not they agree with content. This is connecting dots that simply do not connect.
Rush is the only voice of sanity in this insane world.
Yep, Actually, I’m pleased with Newt taking on the Vultures and Vampires. Didn’t think he had it in him. But I guess it takes someone on the inside that KNOWS what is actually going on.
“The deal was finalized in 2008. Today, Bain Capital is still one of the primary owners of Clear Channel. “
This is 2012.
Romney left Bain in 1992.
I think everyone can do the math.
It could be as simple as the fact that in his anti-Capitalist attacks on Bain & Romney, Newt has alienated a lot of core conservative support.
I was first a Cain, supporter, then Newt. Yet this line of attack against Romney, whom I dislike immensely, is a betrayal of the things I thought Newt believed in.
I’m left with, like, Santorum I guess.
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