The Monster They Created

Eric Boehlert writes that Clear Channel Communications is drowning in debt and struggling to stay in business (yes, we weep and we mourn). Already this year it has shed 12 percent of its workforce. The workers remaining are losing company matching contributions to their 401K plans.

Yet last year Clear Channel gave Rush Limbaugh a 40 percent pay raise. And Boehlert marvels at this, because it’s not as if any other radio entity could have offered him more money than what he was making before. Boehlert writes,

The astronomical worth of Limbaugh’s eight-year pact: $400 million. The amount of money Clear Channel execs have been trying to scrimp and save this year as they lay off thousands from the struggling company: $400 million. Ironic, don’t you think? …

…Last summer there was nobody else in a position to steal Limbaugh away. Clear Channel was basically bidding against itself and decided, in the end, to give Limbaugh a 40 percent raise, which included writing a $100 million signing bonus check to celebrate his contract extension. That right: A nine-figure signing bonus. At the time, it was a puzzler. Looking back at it today, the $100 million goodwill gesture, viewed against the backdrop of Clear Channel’s doomsday woes, makes no business sense whatsoever. (That $100 million bonus could have saved maybe 1,000 Clear Channel jobs this year alone.)

Some of the fired employees were popular local radio personalities and reporters. Apparently Clear Channel is going to be the Rush Limbaugh Channel.

Lee Fang writes that at a recent Heritage Foundation dinner, Limbaugh mocked the poor and laughed at the very idea there might be a recession. One of his better lines was “So I always believed that if we’re going to have a recession, just don’t participate.”

Kind of fascinating, in an OMG that’s week-old roadkill way.

19 thoughts on “The Monster They Created

  1. Making a salary that your employer is willing to pay? An employer that didn’t take any TARP money? The audacity! Next thing we’ll find out is that he bought wears $500 sneakers while the rest of us are sucking on rocks for nourishment! Nah…that would be TOO ridiculous.

  2. OMG that’s week-old roadkill….

    Yes, just like Rush Limbaugh and the U.S. economy, week-old roadkill bloats up horribly right before it implodes.

    It will be very amusing when economic realities make it impossible for Clear Channel to meet Rush’s lavish pay scale for the full eight years. Then it will hit the fan. Breach of contract! Name-calling! Plug-pulling! (Electrical, not hair. Though maybe some hair.) Litigation! Countersuits! Scandal!

    Sweet. The Monster They Created is in their basement, ever more hungry, and waiting. With luck, Rush and Clear Channel will end up destroying each other.

  3. And hopefully, out of the ashes arises local radio.
    It may be an outdated medium, but I believe that that’s because of the monopolies that own virtually EVERY station, or control the programming if they don’t own the station outright.
    Local radio can still do very well, I think. Local talkers, d-jay’s, music, news, sports, etc.
    People still spend a lot of time in their car. What would you rather listen to after Cler Channel collapses on itself? Local radio? Or nationwide satellite radio?
    How about both!

  4. You wonder what was in their minds when they gave all that cash to Rush. We know that Clear Channel has ties to the right (Boehlert’s article is worth reading in its entirety). From the outside, it just seems like another extreme case where right wing ideology overrode reality, where reality in this case takes the form of common business sense, and now they’re paying for it. Couldn’t happen to a better bunch.

    So I always believed that if we’re going to have a recession, just don’t participate.

    This is actually good advice, if you can put it into practice. Of course it comes off sounding cruel coming from someone as hideous as Rush. Be firm about your intention to not get hit by the crash going on all around you. Great fortunes are made in times like these.

    The secret to a propagandist’s success – and that is what Rush is – is to include a grain of truth in all the BS.

  5. I wonder if this will mean less cash for Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, and all the other overpaid right-wing propagandists. These bloated liars all expect to be treated like royalty.

    I don’t drink, but I might go out and buy a bottle of champagne to celebrate on the day that Clear Channel goes bust.

    May these evil people burn in hell. They have done a thousand times more damage to America (and the world) than bin Laden ever could.

  6. Making a salary that your employer is willing to pay?

    We’ll see how much money Clear Channel is willing to pay Rushbo after it goes out of business. If I were him I’d cut back on cigars.

  7. No one should be surprised, of course, at Limbaugh’s lack of empathy. One of the things that stands out amongst the Republican mindset is that they’re incapable of feeling such things.

  8. Gee, John, TARP money wasn’t available to the private media, so we already know that much of your comment is bogus. Likewise, “willingness” does not equal “ability.” On this planet, contracting to pay huge sums of money that one doesn’t have is considered… well, not just stupid, but fraudulent. Maybe you should return to your home planet, where reality doesn’t matter.

  9. It is wonderful to finally know what the wingnuts think ’empathy’ means. For a very long time, I was convinced that they had none. Where empathy exists in the liberal heart, rules, dogma, judgment reign in the wingnut heart. Now they even admit it. Empathy is judicial activism. Yes, empathy vs THE LAW!!! That is the choice of the truly demented. There is no way to keep the two thoughts in their heads at the same time and try to make laws with the needs of people in mind. OMG!!!!

  10. “Making a salary that your employer is willing to pay?”

    You miss the point of the article. Not surprising since your a Rethug. Clear Channel made an unwise business decision that is effecting their ability to earn profits. There is nothing wrong with paying somebody what their worth, but just like the Banks getting TARP money, they’re wanting to pay out bonuses when their business is clearly in trouble. The result? Lay-offs and losses. If I were a stock holder I’d be pissed. Wouldn’t you? Watching the value of your stock wither, as money is being diverted to Rush. It could eventually send them into receivership. But don’t worry you and I both will make sure TARP funds don’t save them.

  11. Actually, Clear Channel may be onto the solution to several problems. They just didn’t go far enough in it’s execution.

    What they need to do is give the rest of their money, all of it, to Rush, then quietly go out of business. Rush won’t ever have to participate, voluntarily or otherwise, in a recession, and we’ll have that buffoon off the air where he can’t poison any more minds.

  12. Disturbing how a conservatives first thought isn’t for those laid off, shareholder profit, corporate health…

    but involve defending a controversial plutocrat and his talking points.

  13. I figured Rush had jumped the shark when they decided to plunk that half-billion on him. IIRC there’s a rule about sports teams that they stop being successful as soon as Sports Illustrated features them on the cover; it’s that same kind of principle.

    I suppose Clear Channel could scrape together a few bucks by selling Dixie Chicks CDs – or could, if they hadn’t smashed them with a bulldozer.

  14. It’s jaw dropping; except when you consider that the Right Wing doesn’t seem to “get” finance.

    From their stubborn grip on the Laffer Curve to the reluctance to spend money on civilization, they don’t seem to understand how business works. And yet they were considered the business party.

    But as irony generators, they are unmatched.

  15. Rite Aid did the same thing up here in the North East. They bought out the kinder and more friendly Brooks drug store chain, spent huge sums of money ‘rebranding’ the stores (huge new ugly signs replacing classic 1960s-era signs) and now they are teetering on the brink of total collapse.

    Buyouts like that should be illegal.

  16. Interesting. The corporate suits have no use or empathy – let’s see how well they like entropy. Because that’s what’s fixing to happen to them.


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