Bain Fangs Closing on Right Wing Media Outlet Clear Channel?
Are the sponsor defections from Rush Limbaugh beginning to have more effect, or is Bain getting ready for the bankruptcy dump?
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 San Antonio, has been quietly pruning its corporate structure since late 2011.
On-air talent and behind-the-scenes employees have been shown the door or programming has been eliminated in markets that include Los Angeles, Boston, Tampa, San Diego, Madison, Wis., Springfield, Mo., Oklahoma City, Nashville, and, most recently, Toledo.
‘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 Nashville in March. ‘Obviously, they are trying to fire their way to pay that debt down.’