Mitt Romney’s VC Firm to Buy Clear Channel

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What would it cost to buy the support of just about every nationally syndicated neocon talk show host in America? About $19.5 billion, which is what Mitt Romney’s private equity firm, Bain Capital, and Thomas H. Lee Partners have agreed to pay in a leveraged buyout agreement with Clear Channel Communications, the largest radio station owner in the country. This is part of a negotiation that has been pending for over a year.

Clear Channel owns more than 1,100 full-power AM, FM, and shortwave radio stations, twelve radio channels on XM Satellite Radio, and more than 30 television stations in the United States. Premiere Radio Networks, which is the largest syndication company in the United States, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Clear Channel and is home to Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and many others. Sean Hannity recently signed a large multi-market contract with Clear Channel, as well.From an anonymous email:

“I’ll bet those hosts won’t reveal that conflict of interest, but it’s worth noting when you hear them begin hyping Romney, which has already begun. A lot of GOP supporters will support whomever they are told to support, so be prepared for a big push for Romney. On the bright side, Romney has more vulnerabilities than Rudy, based on his record. Look at this as the GOP establishment doing us a favor. Rich men can bankroll their own campaigns (a la John Kerry), but it takes a special breed to use investors’ money to buy entire networks that can operate as passive wings of a presidential campaign.”

It should be noted that Mitt Romney, while no longer the CEO, remains a silent partner of Bain Capital.

10:25 am on December 14, 2007