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.