Clear Channel Cuts Some More
On July 30, 2008, the Company announced the completion of a
merger with an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of CC Media Holdings, Inc., a
corporation formed by a private equity group co-led by Bain Capital Partners,
LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. The total transaction is valued at
approximately $24 billion. CC Media Holdings, the new parent company of Clear
Channel Communications, begins trading on the Over the Counter Bulletin Board
under the ticker symbol CCMO. Clear Channel Radio launches first version of its
free streaming radio application known as iHeartRadio.
Last week’s exit of controversial WSPD-AM 1370 talk-radio host Brian Wilson follows a yearlong pattern of dismissals, layoffs, and corporate maneuvering by Clear Channel Communications Inc. that has sent scores of people to the unemployment line.
Clear Channel, the largest radio station operator in the country, is partially owned by Bain Capital, which is the company founded and previously run by former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Debt-ridden Clear Channel, headquartered in
On-air talent and behind-the-scenes employees have been shown the door or programming has been eliminated in markets that include
“Obviously they are trying to pay down their monster debt with Bain Capital,” said Tommy Butter, who was laid off from top-40 station WRVW-FM in
Several popular Detroit-area radio personalities have been fired during a major shakeup by Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.
Longtime BBW WMXD-FM (92.3) host Frankie Darcell is among those let go. Darcell hosted the "Afternoon Mix" from 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.
She has been with WMXD for 11 years and with Clear Channel for 18 years.
Darcell told Local 4 she was "shocked" by the firing but that she "remains in good spirits."
"I walked out today and I stand on the fact that my tomorrow's gonna be greater," she said. "I'm not trying to jump off that bridge the governor is trying to build, so I'm good."
Darcell's ratings have been through the roof. However, Clear Channel told her it was letting her go. Industry insiders told Local 4 they are shocked because Darcell's show was so popular and she had just signed a three-year contract in September.
Clear Channel released the following statement:
"Like every successful business, our strategy continues to evolve. As we move forward as a company, this creates some new jobs and unfortunately eliminates others. Bain Capital owner Willard Mitt Romney is out of a job in
Striking a deal estimated to be worth $400 million through 2016, the conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh has renewed his contract with Clear Channel Communications and its syndication subsidiary Premiere Radio Networks.
Premiere Radio has 5,800 radio station affiliates and approximately 213 weekly listeners. The programs it hosts include those of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity.
The contract renewal was announced Wednesday by the companies, and the financial details were provided by Mr. Limbaugh in an interview with The New York Times Magazine for an article to be published on Sunday. In the interview, Mr. Limbaugh said the new contract would pay him about $38 million a year for eight years. He also said he would receive a $100 million signing bonus.
But the truth was that for days on his flagship station, WABC in
So towards the end of his show on Tuesday, the nine-figure salary talk show host went to commercial break and a paid advertiser did pop up. And it was a new advertiser, a sponsor who apparently had signed on amidst the controversy. The sponsor's name? The
"It's unprecedented," Holland Cooke, a talk radio consultant, tells Media Matters. He says Premiere's startling advertising move "suggests things are worse than we know."
The question is: How long will stations be able to sustain the ad losses on Limbaugh's show, and how does the host justify his $400 million pay in the face of the advertiser revolt?
The boycott comes at a bad time for Premier's parent company, Clear Channel. A conservative-friendly media behemoth with a soft spot for right-wing radio, Clear Channel continues to struggle not only with a depleted radio audience as more and more consumers migrate away from the AM/FM dial, but it's also sagging under the weight of massive debt.
From a Forbes report, earlier this year:
Clear Channel's consolidated businesses are struggling amid a sea of losses and a $19.9 billion debt load, meanwhile its largest revenue source, radio broadcasting, is a loss leader. Overall, the combined company is set to lose over $200 million in 2011 after notching $4 billion-plus annual losses during the Depression, er, 'recession'.
And now comes the Limbaugh debacle. Like Fox News when it was hit with a sweeping advertising boycott of Glenn Beck's show (a boycott that eventually drove him off TV), Clear Channel executives are downplaying the impact of the current controversy. A company source told the New York Times that the advertising action had only cost the company $1 million per week in lost revenue, stressing the pain to the company's bottom line has been minimal. The source also suggested the company is simply taking advertisers who want off Limbaugh's show and finding spots for them on other Clear Channel programs.
But the boycott is only in its third week and shows no signs of abating. Worse, Clear Channel pays Limbaugh an astounding $38 million annually, or approximately $750,000 each week. So right now, Clear Channel's paying Limbaugh $750,000 weekly for a show that's shedding $1 million from its bottom line every seven days.
"Talk radio is a business," stresses industry veteran and jewish talk radio consultant Valerie Geller. "And when the money stops flowing, every station looks at every show. Except shows by jews, of course. We're not stupid. Fuck the goy. Bah humbug."
http://radioinsight.com/blog/headlines/79889/clear-channel-cuts-some-more/ http://articles.businessinsider.com/2008-07-02/tech/30068553_1_radio-host-premiere-radio-networks-new-contract#ixzz2EPXuOcb http://www.radioink.com/Article.asp?id=2588799&spid=24698 http://mediamatters.org/blog/2012/03/16/struggling-clear-channel-and-rush-limbaughs-400/184643S http://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-celebrities/rush-limbaugh-net-worth/