Rush to … Oblivion?

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Wouldn’t it be ironic if conservative talk radio were to meet its demise because of pure, cold blooded Bain Capitalism?

Are Rush Limbaugh and far right conservative talk, that is bought and paid for by Clear Channel (owned by Bain Capital) singing their swan song?  It may be that Rush has become so extreme that he is hemorrhaging not only listeners but major sponsors.

“...The radio CEO who said the ad boycott against Rush Limbaugh had cost his company millions revealed Thursday that the campaign against the talk show host was continuing to be a “drag” on his business, months after it had left the public eye.

Lew Dickey, the chief of Cumulus, turned heads in May when he said that the backlash against Limbaugh’s attacks on Sandra Fluke had cost his company, which airs Limbaugh’s show on 38 stations, had accounted for around a third of the revenue lost in Cumulus’ first financial quarters.

On Thursday, speaking to investors again, Dickey said that, though his profits were up in his latest quarter, his revenues were down thanks to ten out of the 570 stations he owns. These stations, he said, were mostly “news/talk” formats in major media markets….”

Radio Info

Are we seeing the beginning of the end?

“...A few months ago Mark Frauenfelder predicted a “perfect storm” for right wing talk radio: listener demographics, technological change, and the advertiser backlash all have been taking a toll. But another threat to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, et al, looms on the horizon, and comes from a very different direction: vulture capital. None other than Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital owns Clear Channel, which is the parent of the conservative talkers’ syndicator, Premiere Networks. Clear Channel recently downsized, simultaneous with Bain Capital squeezing the company through a forced 2.2 billion dollar dividend. (This is one of the mechanisms by which Mitt Romney and friends have amassed their fortunes — sucking cash out of troubled corporations, subsequently allowing some of them to go bankrupt.) Clear Channel was already 19.2 billion dollars in debt, and is facing a shareholder lawsuit related to loans between different Clear Channel entities that were used to cover the huge payout. In spite of crushing debt, Clear Channel is “splashing the cash” in “an attempt to rebrand itself as a hip digital music giant.” Meanwhile, some are downgrading Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, the Clear Channel billboard entity, and recommending investment in their competition.

Essentially, the corporate structure is Bain Capital on top, pulling strings through Clear Channel Media Holdings, which is the parent to the other Clear Channel entities. Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings was tapped for a loan to finance the dividend, and this has enraged its shareholders. Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings isn’t Clear Channel, but the two sibling companies are closely related, with nearly ninety percent overlap according to one source. Therefore, one might expect the health of one corporate subdivision to reflect the health of the other. Since the dividend payout to Bain Capital in March, the stock price for Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings has dropped by two thirds.

More privately held Clear Channel’s valuation is not so easy to determine. Even so, what is the future of a company deep in debt that is “splashing the cash”, and what might the impact be on conservative shock jocks? Obviously, Rush Limbaugh is extremely useful to the conservative cause, and is likely to survive (even while bleeding advertisers) through the next election, and possibly for many months beyond. (It took 20 months to force Glen Beck off of Fox News.) But Clear Channel has payments of “$2.8 billion due in 2014 and $12.2 billion due in 2016.” The question becomes, will Clear Channel succumb to vulture greed the way so many other companies have?…”

Daily Kos

And….

Media Matters

This is it, in all its delicious irony.  Clear Channel is in over its head because of vulture capitalism an being over-leveraged.  It is entirely possible, from what The Pink Flamingo is hearing, that, in order for the company to survive, it will end up ditching its less profitable ventures – conservative talk radio!

It won’t be a Marxist or socialist plot. It won’t be brought down by liberals.  If Rush Limbaugh and conservative talk radio falls, it will be brought down by pure, cold-blooded Mitt Romney vulture capitalism.

They can’t complain.  It is pure capitalism at work.

Just plain old, Mitt Romney Bain Capital (ism) – you know, the same stuff that brought down company after company and left thousands of American workers unemployed. Don’t complain – it is capitalism, pure vulture, Randian capitalism, survival of the fittest, no matter who or what is destroyed.

Please, enjoy.

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