×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Media’s ties to Romney scrutinized

Orgs disclose dealings with his old business, Bain Capital

With Mitt Romney squeaking by Rick Santorum in Iowa and expected to do well as the primary season continues, media orgs are having to look into their own parent companies’ relationships with the multimillionaire’s old business, the private equity fund Bain Capital.

“We want to disclose that NBC Universal and Bain Capital, the company that Romney co-founded, are each part-owner of our Weather Channel,” said Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC last week. Pundit Ed Schultz also made a point of disclosing the relationship.

But NBCU isn’t the only company with ties to Bain. Also in the radio realm, Clear Channel Communications is joined at the hip to the investment group — the local media and outdoor ad giant merged with a private equity group co-led by Bain and Thomas Lee Partners in 2006, with Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and RBS among the minority stakeholders. The transaction was valued at $26.7 billion.

Clear Channel owns hundreds of radio stations around the country, with affiliations with all the major radio news networks. It’s the country’s largest radio operator, and its takeover by Bain streamlined the company, resulting in a reported 2,500 layoffs.

The more you look, the more Bain pops up: CBS Radio has a minority investment with Bain in Internet radio ad network TargetSpot (the deal totaled about $8.6 million); Bain re-invested last year. TargetSpot sells digital ads for CBS Radio but CBS News hasn’t mentioned the relationship, likely because the investment is small and the digital radio spots aren’t exactly the company’s lifeblood (though they presumably provide some support for radio news).

Romney left Bain in 1999 to work on the Salt Lake City Olympic Games organizing committee, but it didn’t end his relationship with the company he co-founded. The New York Times reported last month that Bain compensated Romney for his founding interest in the firm by giving him a stake in funds earned after his departure — in other words, a part of the money he earns off those interests still go to the presidential candidate, even though he’s not actively working at Bain any longer.

More TV

  • BBC Orders Oscar Wilde Documentary with

    BBC Orders Oscar Wilde Documentary With Stephen Fry, Freddie Fox

    A new documentary about Oscar Wilde will tell the celebrated writer’s story with a star cast recreating excerpts from his greatest works, including “The Importance of Being Earnest” and “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” Freddie Fox, Claire Skinner, Anna Chancellor and James Fleet will all perform in the 80-minute show, “The Importance of Being Oscar,” which [...]

  • FOSSE VERDON -- Pictured: (l-r) Michelle

    TV News Roundup: 'Fosse/Verdon' Premiere Date Set at FX

    In today’s TV news roundup, FX announced the premiere date for “Fosse/Verdon,” and Comedy Central released a new trailer for the final season of “Broad City.”  DATES “Workin’ Moms” is set to premiere Feb. 22 on Netflix. The series, which is currently in its third season, first aired in Canada on CBC Television and is [...]

  • Ilana Glazer Abbi Jacobson

    'Broad City' Stars on Discovering New Aspects of Their Characters

    Throughout the run of “Broad City,” creators Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer have been conflicted about how much of their on-screen characters (also named Abbi and Ilana) should come directly from their personalities and lives. But when it came to the final season, Jacobson in particular experienced a life-changing shift that she wanted to impart [...]

  • The Goldbergs spinoff

    NBC Orders Comedy Pilot 'Uninsured' From 'Goldbergs' Producers

    NBC has ordered a pilot for the multi-camera comedy “Uninsured.” In the series, young parents Dave and Rebecca end up having to take care of Dave’s parents who have mishandled their finances and need help to pay down a sizable debt. Dan Levy will serve as writer and executive producer, with Doug Robinson and Alison Greenspan [...]

  • Emily Kapnek

    'Splitting Up Together' Creator Emily Kapnek Inks Overall Deal at ABC Studios (EXCLUSIVE)

    Writer and producer Emily Kapnek has signed a three-year overall deal at ABC Studios, Variety has learned exclusively. Kapnek most recently developed the ABC single-cam comedy series “Splitting Up Together,” which is based on the Danish series “Bedre skilt end aldrig.” She was previously under an overall deal at Warner Bros. Television, which produces “Splitting Up [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content