Skip to comments.Romney’s Bain Capital Owns Media Giant Broadcasting Limbaugh, Hannity
Posted on 01/30/2012 1:15:35 PM PST by STARWISE
Activists are expressing serious concerns that Mitt Romneys private equity firm Bain Capital owns one of Americas largest media conglomerates, Clear Channel Communications, Inc., which broadcasts numerous popular talk-show hosts with incalculable influence in the 2012 GOP primary.
Among the radio personalities syndicated by Clear Channel or aired on hundreds of stations it owns nationwide are Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, and many others.
Because of the San Antonio-based media giants enormous influence it is the largest owner of radio stations in the United States, and experts point out that it essentially owns what has come to be known as the conservative talk-radio industry Romney critics, supporters of Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich, Tea Party groups, and elections commentators are all raising the alarm.
Some analysts are even calling for the firm to disclose the fact that Romneys Bain Capital owns a station or syndicates a show whenever a media personality is reporting on the Republican presidential campaign.
Former Politico.com reporter Ben Smith, now the editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed, called out Rush Limbaugh on Thursday for defending Romney and Bain Capital without disclosing that his employer is owned by the candidates firm. Talk radio king Rush Limbaugh has emerged as a key defender of Mitt Romneys tenure at Bain Capital, where his Republican and Democratic critics charge layoffs at companies Bain owned should be blamed on Romney, noted Smith. But Limbaugh hasnt mentioned his own tie to the venture capital firm: Bain owns Clear Channel Communications, whose subsidiary inked a $400 million, eight-year syndication deal with Limbaugh in 2008.
It turns out the talk-radio titan had actually revealed the connection later on in the show, and Smith updated his article to include that fact when he was made aware of it by readers. But the explosive story attracted more media interest in the subject nonetheless.
Bain Capital joined with private-equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners to buy Clear Channel in 2008, with the announcement made shortly before Romneys 2008 run for the GOP nomination. The $25-billion deal included around 1,000 AM and FM stations, as well as dozens of televisions stations that were later sold off.
Clear Channel subsidiary Premiere Radio Networks the largest radio syndication service in America with talk-show hosts including Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity was also part of the package. According to the companys website, its radio programs reach nearly two-thirds of the American people each week through some 5,000 radio affiliations.
Think about that the next time you're flipping channels on the radio and realize that Rush Limbaugh calls the candidates Romney, Non-Romney, and Loony, noted Delaware elections examiner Angel Clark in a piece detailing the connections. Why do these other candidates get called Non-Romney?
Today, of course, Romney no longer leads the firm he co-founded, though Bain Capital and Bain & Co. are shoveling gargantuan sums of money into his campaign. But Romney still owns a huge stake in the company and profits handsomely from it, according to his financial disclosure report. And analysts say he undoubtedly still wields at least some degree of influence.
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, explained a popular blogger commenting on the Bain Capital-Clear Channel connection, saying it was improper for one of the Republican front-runners to have such an overwhelming financial stake in talk radio. In the media world, there is a clear understanding that you simply do not bite the hand that feeds you . If you were making tens of millions of dollars a year, wouldn't you be very careful to avoid offending your boss?
It remains unclear how much influence Bain Capital actually exerts over the day-to-day operations of its employees at Clear Channel. However, even the perception of a potential conflict of interest has led to severe and growing criticism of both the media behemoth and Romney.
Clear Channel and its subsidiaries have been criticized on several other fronts in recent times, too. Last year, for example, its Premiere Radio Networks syndication service was exposed using paid actors to call into talk shows and read scripts. Some cynics have even suggested that pro-Romney callers on conservative shows may have actually been well-paid propagandists reading from a prepared script.
What is clear is that very little serious scrutiny and criticism of Romney or Bain Capital has been broadcasted by Clear Channel radio stations and talk-show hosts in recent years. More than a few, however, have been very vocal in their support for Romney.
These are the same talking points that Howard Stern used in 2004 when he claimed that Bush was after him, and that’s why he was kicked off of Clear Channel stations.
Bain gives more campaign money to Democrats than it does to Republicans
By Alexander Bolton - 01/19/12 05:30 AM ET
Democrats have accepted more political donations than Republicans from executives at Bain Capital, complicating the lefts plan to attack Mitt Romney for his record at the private-equity firm.
During the last three election cycles, Bain employees have given Democratic candidates and party committees more than $1.2 million. The vast majority of that sum came from senior executives.
Republican candidates and party committees raised over $480,000 from senior Bain executives during that time period.
Yet, there is another version of the Bain way that I experienced personally during my 17 years as a deal-adviser on Wall Street: Seemingly alone among private-equity firms, Romneys Bain Capital was a master at bait-and-switching Wall Street bankers to get its hands on the companies that provided the raw material for its financial alchemy.
Other private-equity firms I worked with extensively over the years Forstmann Little, KKR, TPG and the Carlyle Group, among them never dared attempt the audacious strategy that Bain partners employed with great alacrity and little shame. Call it the real Bain way.
It’s just amazing to me that people buy into this crap about Rush.
Or a mama whose child worked for CLear Channel once. LOL
Our local guy, along with many others were dumped by clear channel in a cost cutting move a few months ago.
I have to agree with you. This thread is one of the biggest steaming piles I ever saw on FR!
It’s that same black helicopter, Illuminati stuff you see sometimes floating around on the internet. Giant corporations running the planet and the like. Nutty.
The left thinks Clear Channel is the reason there are no liberal talk radio stations...it’s a plot donchaknow...
Again? Obamaville premature disclosure. This would be a great topic for the Dems if the Romney the RINO won. I will be hoping for and working for Newt in the interim, but we must be mindful that half truths spread faster than Jane Fonda’s knees.
This is cute, but every one of those hosts named has alluded to the financial relationship Clear Channel and others have had or still have with Bain Capital. Bain’s current relationship to Mittens isn’t quite as clear. The news here is that somebody is trying to hurt the credibility of talk radio. No matter who they back or don’t.
Today, he did everything but give his endorsement to Gingrich.
(It is his show’s policy not to endorse primary candidates)
How could anybody prove it one way or another?
Thanks for the heads up ..I respect Mark Levin but don’t get him.
If Romney ends up being the nominee and Limbaugh and Hannity spend their time trying to rally conservatives behind him, I will absolutely not be listening.
Romney still making millions from Bain: report
WASHINGTON | Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:13am EST
WASHINGTON (Reuters) Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney receives millions of dollars a year in a retirement agreement with Bain Capital, nearly 13 years after he left the private equity firm he helped start, the New York Times said on Monday.
In the final deal of his private equity career, Romney negotiated an agreement with his former partners that has paid him a share of Bains profits ever since, bringing his family millions in income each year and bolstering the fortune that has helped finance his political aspirations, the paper said.
JUST FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
THOUSANDS OF NATIONAL AND LOCAL STATIONS, OWNED BY DOCUMENTED *LIBERAL-LED BAIN CAPITAL WHICH OWNS PRIVATE COMPANY: CLEAR CHANNEL COMMUNICATIONS
*Democratic campaign strategists are preparing to slap former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for his past work at Bain Capital, even though most of his former colleagues at the firm are Democratic donors and partisans.
Bains leftward tilt was highlighted in May when two of its leading partners announced they had hired Kevin Jennings, a controversial Department of Education political appointee, to run a Boston-based charity called Be the Change Inc.
That organization creates national issue-based campaigns by organizing coalitions of non-profits, social entrepreneurs, policymakers, private sector and civic leaders, academics, and citizens, according to its website.
Social conservatives have been critical of Jennings for his strident advocacy against traditional sexual norms. In 1990 he founded the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network to win government support and public approval of teen homosexuality. President Barack Obama appointed him in 2009 to the Department of of Educations school-safety office, where he pushed for increased government intervention in high schools to aid gay and lesbian teenagers.
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/08/09/romney-attacked-for-work-at-bain-capital-while-democratic-leaning-bain-execs-are-spared/#ixzz1kz33hCip
THOUSANDS OF RADIO SMALL & LARGE MARKET HOSTS, COMMENTING, 24/7
CLEAR CHANNEL COMMUNICATIONS
Vertical Real Estate
In 2003, Clear Channel created the Vertical Real Estate division and hired Scott Quitadamo to promote its tower portfolio.
Clear Channel owns and operates approximately 1,500 broadcast transmission towers across the US. many of which are available for co-location by third parties such as cellular and PCS companies, wireless internet, fixed wireless, and other broadcasters.
 Corporate governance
Current members of the board of directors of Clear Channel Communications are: Alan Feld, Perry Lewis, Lowry Mays, B.J.(Red) McCombs, Phyllis Riggins, Theodore Strauss, J.C. Watts, and John H. Williams.
Tom Hicks and Vernon Jordan were formerly members of Clear Channel’s board of directors. Jordan was a close friend and advisor to President Bill Clinton and was accused of lying to investigators during the investigations into perjury and obstruction of justice charges against Clinton.
Hicks, Clear Channel’s former vice-chairman, is a past donor to George W. Bush’s political campaigns and a close associate of the Bush family. Hicks is the founder of Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, the private-equity firm which funded many of Clear Channel’s antecedent companies, including most significantly CapStar, Chancellor Media and AM-FM, Inc..
Programming on Clear Channel radio stations
Clear Channel operates the country’s largest syndication service, Premiere Radio Networks. In addition, Clear Channel syndicates a number of its homegrown talk and music shows without the aid of Premiere.
While Premiere actively sells its shows to stations, the non-Premiere syndicated shows are often used as a cost-cutting measure and do not have a large sales staff. Those shows also do not carry network-wide advertising (unless distributed by a third party), and allow the affiliates to keep all local spots, which increases their appeal.
These networks carry many program hosts of various political ideologies and distribute a variety of programs to both Clear Channel-owned and non-Clear Channel-owned stations.
Main article: Premiere Radio Networks
Main article: List of shows syndicated by Clear Channel
In addition to its own syndication network, Clear Channel offers studio space and other services to the WestStar TalkRadio Network, which is based at Clear Channel’s studios in Phoenix, Arizona. As a result, many WestStar programs are heard on Clear Channel stations.
Not all programming heard on Clear Channel’s radio stations are produced in house; however, most of Clear Channel’s stations share many similarities to each other in branding and programming.
 Format Lab and HD2 Formats
Main article: Format Lab
The Format Lab is a think tank run by Clear Channel that produces over eighty channels of programming, varying from mainstream formats to the highly experimental. These channels are heard on most of Clear Channel’s HD Radio subchannels on its stations across the country in a commercial-free format.
Only a few Clear Channel stations (such as KGB-FM and KLOU) produce locally originated HD2 channels, usually tape loops of programming heard on their regular channel.
Main article: iheartradio
iheartradio is a interactive media social networking platform outlet to aggregate local radio brands, personalities and on-demand content including photos, videos and more.
 Urban, urban AC and rhythmic stations
Stations that carry programming catering to black Americans are a big part of many Clear Channel clusters, particularly Philadelphia, Chicago, and Detroit. In many clusters Clear Channel has two or more such stations.
About half the Urban stations focus on Rap and Hip Hop along with younger R & B sounds. The other half blend some younger R & B along with some Soul from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s along with some current product. Some of the Hip Hop based Urban stations report as Rhythmic Top 40 stations rather than Urban stations because these stations also have some appeal to white and Hispanic listeners.
In a cluster with multiple urban stations owned by Clear Channel, one is focused on Rap while the other is focused on Soul. Examples include Philadelphia, with WUSL’s focus on hip hop while WDAS-FM focuses on Soul (in addition, the company also owns a rhythmic AC station in that area, which is WISX 106.1), and Chicago, where WGCI-FM focuses on rap while WVAZ is focused on Soul.
Clear Channel urban, urban AC or rhythmic stations are branded as “Beat” (KTBT Tulsa, WBTP Tampa & WIBT Charlotte) or “Power” (WWPR New York City, WUSL Philadelphia & WPHR Syracuse). But for San Francisco, Clear Channel owns more urban-related stations such as rhythmic top 40 KYLD, urban oldies KISQ and urban contemporary KMEL in that area, and the same happened in Detroit, where the company also owns urban AC WMXD, urban contemporary WJLB and rhythmic AC WDTW-FM.
For rhythmic AC stations, they used to have the “Party” branding (particularly during the time when most used Wake Up With Whoopi as their morning show), but the two “Party” stations in Denver (KPTT) and Las Vegas (KPLV) have since exited the rhythmic AC format.
KPTT and KPLV moved to top 40, but continue to use the “Party” branding. All Clear Channel rhythmic AC stations are now differently branded per station.
 News talk stations
News talk stations owned by Clear Channel usually have a standard slate of hosts. The morning show is usually local, with other timeslots filled by local and syndicated hosts. Programs that appear on many Clear Channel talk stations include the Glenn Beck Program — getting his talk show start at Clear Channel owned WFLA (AM) in Tampa, The Rush Limbaugh Show, The Sean Hannity Show, America Now with Andy Dean and Coast to Coast AM, all of which are affiliated with Premiere Radio Networks in some fashion.
The Savage Nation (which was until September 2009 flagshipped at Clear Channel’s KNEW-910), The Mark Levin Show and The Dave Ramsey Show are non-Premiere shows who air on many (if not most) Clear Channel stations.
Limbaugh is almost universally carried on Clear Channel stations in markets where the company has a news talk station, with the exception of markets such as Washington, DC and San Francisco, CA, where ABC Radio (which previously was Limbaugh’s home network) has a news talk station in the market. New Clear Channel talk radio stations have typically been using the branding “Rush Radio,” while most older ones use a more generic “News Radio” or “News Talk.”
While most of Clear Channel’s news/talk stations carry some combination of Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, Savage and Noory (of Coast to Coast AM), this is not always the case. Many stations (particularly in the larger markets) like KFI, KFYI, KOA, WZZR and WLW broadcast a lineup with significant local programming.
Clear Channel does not operate any all-news radio stations. For a brief time in the late 2000s, KFXR in Dallas ran a direct feed of HLN under the on-air name CNN 1190, but KFXR dropped that format in 2009.
Almost all of Clear Channel’s primary talk stations are affiliated with Fox News Radio for national news, part of a multi-year deal between Clear Channel and Fox.
Liberal talk radio is heard on a few of Clear Channel’s stations, primarily secondary to its main news talk stations, and usually feature at least one local host with Dial Global programming; Air America Radio also aired on these stations.
Clear Channel has shown a tendency to drop liberal talk affiliations whenever possible and replace it with satellite Fox Sports talk (see, for instance, WCKY, WARF, KLSD, WXKS [which currently runs the Clear Channel conservative talk format instead], and WINZ); this has, in a few rare circumstances, caused protests, such as those involved when Clear Channel wanted to make the same move with WXXM in Madison, Wisconsin (WXXM was eventually allowed to keep its liberal format).
As of 2011, Clear Channel has been installing FM talk stations in San Diego, California on KUSS 95.7 (which became KOGO-FM after simulcasting KOGO-AM, replacing country music), Sacramento, California on KGBY 92.5 (which became KFBK-FM after simulcasting KFBK-AM, replacing hot adult contemporary) & in Tucson, Arizona on KTZR-FM (which became KNST-FM after simulcasting KNST-AM, replacing Spanish top 40).
 Sports talk stations
Most sports talk stations owned by Clear Channel are affiliated with Fox Sports Radio and carry The Jim Rome Show; Fox Sports Radio has recently picked up The Dan Patrick Show. They are usually branded either Fox Sports or The Sports Animal.
 Adult Standards
Most of Clear Channel’s adult standards stations are turnkey operations, running a direct feed of a satellite format such as Dial Global’s America’s Best Music or Music of Your Life. Most of these stations have no local jocks or Web sites.
 Adult Contemporary
Clear Channel’s adult contemporary stations are often branded as “Lite FM” (i.e. WLIT in Chicago, WLTW in New York, or WLYT-FM in Charlotte) or “Sunny”, although some stations use “Magic,” “Star” or something else similar as their identifiers.
Evenings are usually filled with Delilah, unless that show is already aired by another station, in which case the John Tesh Radio Show is often substituted. Automated programming is the next option for the 7PM- 12 AM timeslot. Your Weekend with Jim Brickman and the in-house American Top 40 the 1970s (or 1980s) with Casey Kasem are popular weekend syndicated programs on Clear Channel stations.
Most AC stations air Christmas music from the last week of November to Christmas Day. Some AC Clear Channel stations are almost famous for playing Christmas music as early as November 1 such as KOSY-FM in Salt Lake City or WLYT-FM playing its first Christmas song of the season 23 weeks before Thanksgiving. 2/3 of CC stations that play Adult Contemporary air Christmas formats.
Hot adult contemporary stations are usually branded as “Mix,” even though a Cleveland radio station (WMVX) branded as “Mix” carried an AC format instead. As of January 3, 2011, that station is now known as 106.5 The Lake (format similar to Jack FM. Some Hot AC stations lean modern rock while others lean toward adult rock. Other Hot AC stations have other brandings such as “Wild 105.7 and 96.7” on WWVA-FM.
 Contemporary hit radio
Clear Channel’s CHR stations are usually branded as KISS FM (e.g., KIIS Los Angeles, KBKS Seattle, WAKS Cleveland, WFKS Melbourne), Z (e.g., WHTZ New York, KKRZ Portland, WZFT Baltimore), Wild (e.g., WLDI West Palm Beach, KYLD San Francisco), Channel (e.g., WKQI Detroit, WHQC Charlotte), or Hot (e.g., WIHT in Washington, DC). Also other CHRs are branded as “Hit Music Now” such as WMKS Greensboro, NC or as “Radio Now” such as (WRNW Milwaukee, WNWW Jacksonville, KWNW Crawford-Memphis, AR/TN, WNRW Louisville). Q: (WIOQ-Philadelphia-102.1 FM-Q102), B (B 104 Allentown-Reading PA 104.1 FM), FM: (FM 97 96.9 FM Lancaster-Reading), Variety: (Variety 97.7/99.7 Williamsport, Lock Haven, PA), Max: (Max 106.3 Sussex), KC: (KC 101, 101.3 FM, Hamden-New Haven,CT-Long Island,NY)
Some have other branding, however, if the name to the format is owned by another company.
There are syndicated morning shows, Such as Florida’s MJ Morning Show), especially in smaller markets, Elvis Duran Morning Show based out of WHTZ’s New Jersey/New York’s Z100, JohnJay & Rich based out of KZZP Phoenix, AZ, or Matty In The Morning based out of WXKS-FM Boston, Kidd Kraddick In The Morning based out of KHKS in Dallas/Fort Worth. Middays (on the East Coast) on CHR stations have On Air with Ryan Seacrest.
On weekends, syndicated programming airs on the format such as FOX All-Access, Open House Party, American Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest, Backtrax USA: the 90s with Kidd Kelly, Dawson McAllister Live, and (aired on a few stations in small markets) Rick Dees’ Weekly Top 40.
 Country music
Country music stations owned by Clear Channel usually carry Blair Garner in overnights (and occasionally evenings), and many (although not all) carry Big D and Bubba in morning drive. The Bull or K-bull is the most used branding for country music outlets.
 Oldies and Classic Hits
Clear Channel’s Oldies station consists largely of FM stations with some AM stations. Clear Channel uses brands such as “Big” and “Kool” on many of its stations. Nearly all of the FM stations play oldies spanning from 1964 to 1975, with a 500 song active playlist split nearly half 1960s and half 1970s. The playlist also includes approximately a dozen pre 1964 tracks and around 50 songs from the late 1970s and early 1980s.
These stations generally have a few local live announcers; much of the time these stations are voicetracked either locally or from another market. Most run syndicated programming on weekends, such as Dick Bartley or Mike Harvey on Saturday nights, Steve Goddard’s programs (Goddard’s Gold and/or The 70s), and recently, Casey Kasem’s American Top 40: The 70s.
A handful of Clear Channel’s outlets have picked up syndicated weeknight fare, such as Mike Harvey, Marty Thompson or Tom Kent.
The AM oldies stations’ playlists skew somewhat older and span from 1955 to about 1975. About 60 percent of the time they play 1964 to 1969 oldies, 20 percent pre 1964 oldies, and 20 percent music from the 1970s. Some of these also run Dick Bartley or Mike Harvey on Saturday nights.
Some of the AM stations also run adult standards several hours on the weekend as well as limited specialized programming focusing on the pre 1964 era. Most of the AM stations are in smaller markets.
These stations tend to play a blend of new rock and harder classic rock. Some carry Nights with Alice Cooper in the evenings. These stations tend to be live during the day and voicetracked at night. Some stations run Rockline with Bob Coburn and/or Little Steven’s Underground Garage as well.
While Clear Channel classic rock stations operate under a wide variety of monikers, many are branded as “The Fox”. Often, these stations will carry Bob and Tom in morning drive. In the Southern United States, John Boy and Billy is carried instead in most cases.
(Both of the aforementioned shows are syndicated by Premiere.) Starting with WQBW Milwaukee (which has since switched to another format) and WBWR Columbus, several Clear Channel stations have adopted an 80’s-centered classic rock approach called “The Brew.”
In a few markets Clear Channel has an FM station carrying Hispanic programming full-time. In some markets the format is a Contemporary Tropical format while in others the format carried is more of a Mexican format. In a few markets a Clear Channel FM station carries a rap based Spanish format known as Hurban, which blends Spanish dance music with R & B hits as well as some Hip Hop. The division is run by Spanish radio executive Alfredo Alonso, who joined Clear Channel in September 2004 as Senior Vice President Hispanic Radio.
In a few markets, Clear Channel has a religious station on the AM band. Some of these sell blocks of time to outside organizations and have no local shows at all except where local churches buy time. These are formatted similarly to Salem Media stations.
The other type of religious format Clear Channel uses in a few markets is a Gospel music based format. On these stations Gospel Music appealing to black Americans airs most of the time along with some block programming sold to religious groups. These stations are often programmed as urban stations that happen to be religious.
 Clear Channel syndicated programs
See List of shows syndicated by Clear Channel
 Clear Channel Sale
On Friday, November 17, 2006, Clear Channel announced that it was going private and selling off almost one-third of its radio assets, according to The Washington Post and DHM. The buyers, led by Bain Capital Partners and Thomas H. Lee Partners, agreed to pay $26.7 billion for the company.
In a separate transaction also announced on November 16, 2006, Clear Channel said it would seek buyers for all of its television stations and 539 of its smaller radio stations, presumably because the private-equity buyers are not interested in owning television or small-market radio. Over a hundred stations have already been assigned to Aloha Station Trust, LLC upon the consummation of the merger. The television stations were ultimately sold to Newport Television.
On September 25, 2007, the shareholders approved of the buyout, allowing Clear Channel to proceed with being taken private, ending 35 years as a public company.
You can always catch him online.
See the list below of previous shows .. simple to just play.
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