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.
For those outside the listening of the stations mentioned, the talk radio people on these stations have not been soft on Romney. They continually have said he was not their choice and have been boosting Bachman, Santorum and Perry. (They weren’t too big on Cain, especially when he came to Milwaukee and fluffed local issues with the city paper editorial board.)
So this major write up isn’t worth the time it took to cut and paste it.
“Rush is giving me ulcers and he certainly doesnt need my $50a year.”
I was also a Rush 24/7 subscriber, but then I discovered Dar.fm
I can program my computer to record any radio program
at any time, and it cost me nothing.
I am listening to today’s Rush as I type this.
endoftheamericandream.com. Must be an illegal alien website.
This is so stupid, to be laughable.
I just have to bump this
Wow, I thought it was just me. If fact, the Mrs. and I had quite a disagreement about Rush earlier today.
I have listened to Rush since the late 80's when he was a local guy on KFBK in Sacramento. He has picked me up many a time when I was ready to throw in the towel (politically speaking). But about two or three weeks ago I found myself starting to yell at the radio more and more as I noticed Rush soft-pedaling Romney and his moderate history.
Rush has made many parodies about moderates (my favorite being the guy getting in the elevator who can't decide which floor he wants and asks, "Where is everyone else getting off?").
Now, bit by bit (no pun) I'm somehow supposed to give up my conservative roots and "accept" Romney. Rush doesn't quite say Romney is a conservative, but has really blasted Newt while going pretty damn easy on Romney. I maintain that if you listed ALL of Romney's accomplishments while Governor of Massachusetts and said he had a "D" after his name, you would not be surprised. Yet now, Rush (and other "conservatives") are busy trying to convince us to ignore that and just beat Obama.
Well, I come full cycle and now take Rush at his word, "...follow the money!" Looks like Clear Channel/Bain Capital is where the money is.
The sway they have isn't editorial. It's wallet-sized. Think seriously now -- in your job, if you are an employee or an independent contractor for a company, would you openly and publicly criticize the very ethics of the company's owner and expect no retaliation? Really???
Hey -- THIS IS CAPITALISM AT WORK. You may not like it, but it is what it is.
I would have agreed heartily with you just one week ago, but Rush's inexplicable reluctance to call a spade a spade and act on it -- as in Thomas Sowell, who stated plainly and clearly that Newt Gingricy was obviously the superior choice over Romney -- and then for Rush to take actions such that for all intents and purposes help Romney at the expense of Newt, is starting to wake me up.
This is connecting dots that simply do not connect.
The most worrisome thing is that they do connect.
Don't let the screen door hit ya...
DUmmies are having a good chuckle at the naïveté and self-detruction going on here.
Bachman, Santorum and Perry are no threat to Mitt Romney - Newt Gingrich is the one who makes the establishment Republicans fill their panties.
Newt has said flat out he will change the way Washington, D.C., does busniness. Too many elitists see their bank accounts being impacted.
I cancelled Rush 24/7 and stopped listening in 2008. I am still ticked that he ignored Obama’s eligibility and Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution. The man is a phony.
That Rush claims to love the Constitution and has an American Flag displayed in house (given to him by American pilots) makes my dinner churn. How many lives have been lost because a usurper, with insane foreign policies and rules of engagement, occupies the White House? What did we get from Rush? Silence, turned away calls from the screeners, and rejected e-mails.
Rush and others might be defenders of capitalism, but I don’t think that they are Mitt fans. Nor Newt fans at this point, but they all agree that they are going to back the nominee. I think it will be interesting to see who the spoiler will be. At this point nothing would surprise me. Maybe the “powers that be” will force Cain to run as an independent.
You rock AlexW!!!
Doing the political "math" is also good. Who do you think is going to be more inclined to grease the skids in terms of tax codes and financial regulation in favor of Bain -- Romney or Gingrich?
There's a reason Bain sends so much more money to liberal politicians than conservative ones.
You have no idea how the radio business works. Bain is not paying Rush - Rush’s profits are paying Bain and Clear Channel. Anyone investing in Clear Channel is investing in the chance to get a share of Clear Channel’s profits which are driven by their talk revenue, NOT the other way around.
You have it bass ackwards.
CEW, Newt is being regularly savaged for attacking “free enterprise”, “capitalism” and “open markets”— by a GOP/Dem Establishment that understands these terms solely as buzz words for political purposes. In practice, they practice socialism for the wealthy for the purpose of perpetuating their collective power.
Accordingly, to accuse Newt of undermining an “American system” that does not exist- is mere demagoguery and propaganda. That is the basis of my objection.
Well, I come full cycle and now take Rush at his word, "...follow the money!" Looks like Clear Channel/Bain Capital is where the money is.
WABC has never been owned by Clear Channel.
As a 20 year listener of Rush, I emailed him today and told him I’m done. I know he doesn’t care. Neither do many of you.
Our system is so corrupt that we have absolutely nothing to do with the outcome of this primary. We are all conditioned every day to expect the outcome already decided by the power brokers.
I’m done. I hope Newt has the balls to break this damn system into pieces even if it sets us back. I will no longer show up for Dole, Bush, McCain, Romney.
I will put my baseball cap on backwards and play Call of Duty on my PS3.
This is all such total crap. I’m pretty sure Rush could buy and sell Bain Co. if he wanted to. Rush, Hannity, and the WSJ have clearly explained the free market logic and beauty of Bain’s operations.
And while I’m at it, I think that the time and resources of “conservatives” would be much better spent making videos that attack Obama rather than Romney-—and they’d have a much easier time.
I monitor the show for professional reasons almost every day. Newt is being savaged along with Perry for what they are doing. Mitt is being savaged for his tepid “doing just what Obama did with GM” response too.
Now, Rush is wrong on the issue of attacking capitalism - some of what goes on Wall Street is part of Rush’s blind spot on economics. But that response from Rush was predictable and would have been his response long before he was part of Clear Channel and long before Bain Capital existed. It’s who he is.
But again, the money does not flow from Clear Channel to Rush. It’s the other way around. They syndicate him to their stations to make money off of him at every step of the way. He brings in the revenue, so the whole idea that he is towing the corporate line does not line up with follow the money.
It could be as simple as the fact that in his anti-Capitalist attacks on Bain & Romney
In AMerica today, there is no such thing as captalism. Was bailing the banks capitalism- or would capitalism let them fail. Is the Fed giving free money to the banks to invest in the carry trade capitalism— or is it the plundering of the American citizens in order to save the rich? Was Bush’s record spending capitalism, or the enhancement of nanny state socialism.
The GOP does not practice capitalism— so how can they say Newt is an anti-capitalist?
Newt wasn’t attacking capitalism - he’s attacking the anti-free enterpise vultures. Over a quarter of the businesses Bain took over were stripped and decimated.
Bain bought failing businesses and either revialized them or stripped them down for liquidation. In one case they recieved a $10Million bailout from the Feds. (According to the Globe, Romneys company failed to repay at least $10 million to a failed bank and the rest of us had to absorb the loss. Romney and others made $4 million dollars in this deal.)
If Romney has nothing to hide, then he should be transparent about his career at Bain and about his term a Governor of Massachusetts.
As for Newt Gingrich, Romney dumped crap and negatavism on Gingrich in Iowa because Newt was ahead in the polls. Gingrich was talking positively, not attacking anyone but Obama, and about how he intended to better the nation. Politics is like war - once you attack your opponent, you cant start whining about the counter-attack.
Sour grapes? I think not.
Dems are now saying Solyndra = Bain. Do we really want our candidate to have that target painted on him? How will the GOP counter that now? What is going to happen to all of the anti-crony capitalism arguments that the GOP was storing up for 2012?
In the end, if Obama supports bailouts and Romney does, too, and Newt challenges them, it would be Romney and Obama putting free enterprise on trial, not Newt.
Though I went to a rally for him last year, I was ambivalent on Newt until he started attacking private business success.
This week he sounded like an Occupy Wall Streeter. This is some dangerous c(**$
He won’t make anybody in Washington afraid if he is attacking Wall Street, and I can’t remember him saying very much about Solyndra, eliminating Fanny Mae, eliminating EPA and the rest of the blood sucker’s Crony Capitalism. Wall Street needs to be corrected, but the first, survival-related job is to stop firehosing billions in tax dollars to favored companies and industries.
With his BIG money from Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac, Newt seems like the very embodiment of fat cat elite Washingtonians, not their nightmare. So he’d better figure out a way to get this straightened out quick.
Dems are now saying Solyndra = Bain.
Thanks to Newt.
yeah. Bain and Romney created thousands of jobs for workers — laid off thousands of well-paid full-time workers, and created thousands of part-time low wage jobs. But you have a point, that is part of the capitalist system. Without profit, there is no reason to keep a business running.
Of course, there is some morality involved when you claim you created thousands of jobs without telling “the rest of the story.” Kind of like Willard and his Dad George who ran as Republicans, but ran from the Republican platform, and were nowhere to be seen when there were Conservatives running.
Look, George Soros is a capitalist too. that doesn’t mean he would be a good Republican nominee for POTUS.
If my only choice is to vote for leftist 0bama, leftist Romney or 3rd party leftist Paul, I will vote for every position that has a Conservative running. I will NOT vote for Romney, EVER! NEVER! NOT EVER!
Did I make that clear?
The boogie man is behind everything. Kill the boogie man. Viva la revolution!
yep yep and yep