Clear Channel benevolence: food bank gets $18K, recovering addict gets $400 million

Hmm, you know – it’s really hard to get excited about $18,000 to a foodbank in Ohio when they’re giving $400 million to Rush Limbaugh.

Here’s a bit about the giving side of Clear Channel and here’s a list of what it’s done in Ohio.

Anyone with primary experience: am I being too harsh? Or not harsh enough?

Here’s a list of what they own in every state, including Ohio. For Cleveland:

Cleveland

Phew – I only have to re-set two pre-sets.

12 thoughts on “Clear Channel benevolence: food bank gets $18K, recovering addict gets $400 million

  1. Anon – I take issue with your contention that I’m “incorrectly equating giving to charity with a purchase of services.”

    There’s nothing “incorrect” about it. It’s what I’m doing. Why aren’t they equatable?

    Why aren’t they equatable? Because a gift and a purchase are not the same thing.

    More specifically, when Clear Channel gives to charity, it generally expects nothing of monetary value in return from the recipient of that charity. (What of monetary value does a food bank provide to Clear Channel in return for a donation?) When Clear Channel purchases a service, it does expect in return specific deliverables (such as a radio show) that have monetary value (such as a large audience and salable ad time). Doesn’t that sound like a difference to you?

    I believe there should be proportionality, much the way I believe in the Ben & Jerry’s formula about the ratio of how much the lowest person on the totem pole should be paid versus the person on the top. You may not agree with this, and/or feel that there is no connection which you would honor, but to me, it’s a very reasonable equation.

    I don’t recall any objection to the Limbaugh deal on the basis of proportionality of wages and I’m not quite sure how it’s relevant. However, I’m game. I believe Ben and Jerry’s used seven to one, so let’s use that. Tiger Woods had $25 million in winnings last year. Should he have paid his caddy $3+ million? If Limbaugh divvied up his compensation with his underlings in the “right” proportion, would your objections to his deal disappear?

    $50 million/year is not in line. Oprah is getting $55 million over three years, according to that Forbes.com piece. The rest of her $275 million per year is made of a variety of other deals, not one purchaser of services.

    If you don’t like Oprah, how about Howard Stern, who is more nearly comparable to Limbaugh anyway? According to a January 10, 2007, New York Post article: “Combined with his original five-year, $400 million contract and the $220 million in stock Sirius granted him last January, the value of Stern’s total compensation has just topped $700 million.” From his compensation Stern does have to pay staff and expenses (as I believe Limbaugh does), but it sounds as if Stern got a better deal than Limbaugh, and it was way more than $50 million/year.

    You want to argue that you don’t find this a vulgar arrangement, then just argue that. I find it a vulgar arrangement and yes, I would say the same thing if it was Stephanie Miller – if the circumstances were the same.

    No, I don’t find this a vulgar arrangement, whether it’s Limbaugh, a sports figure, an actor, or anyone else. Limbaugh and the others are expected to deliver value to those who are paying them. If they don’t deliver value, their contracts won’t be renewed. (That’s not to say that I think all highly paid celebrities are delivering value, but then I’m not paying them.)

    The people I’d be willing to give that kind of money to are people who would never make a statement that they’d stay on the air until everyone agreed with them.

    Do you think Limbaugh meant that literally? Statements like that are part of Limbaugh’s shtick and are intended to provoke liberals. Apparently those statements do their job very well.

  2. Anon – I take issue with your contention that I’m “incorrectly equating giving to charity with a purchase of services.”

    There’s nothing “incorrect” about it. It’s what I’m doing. Why aren’t they equatable? I believe there should be proportionality, much the way I believe in the Ben & Jerry’s formula about the ratio of how much the lowest person on the totem pole should be paid versus the person on the top. You may not agree with this, and/or feel that there is no connection which you would honor, but to me, it’s a very reasonable equation.

    $50 million/year is not in line. Oprah is getting $55 million over three years, according to that Forbes.com piece. The rest of her $275 million per year is made of a variety of other deals, not one purchaser of services.

    You want to argue that you don’t find this a vulgar arrangement, then just argue that. I find it a vulgar arrangement and yes, I would say the same thing if it was Stephanie Miller – if the circumstances were the same.

    The people I’d be willing to give that kind of money to are people who would never make a statement that they’d stay on the air until everyone agreed with them. However, if Gwen Ifill were to say that she won’t retire until the media can conduct itself in an anti-racist and anti-sexist manner consistently and for always, and I had $400 million? I’d give it to her in a heart beat.

  3. Anon – that’s like the argument that Ohio should legalize casinos because everyone else is doing it.

    Absolute wimpiest logic ever.

    My original comment had two elements. First, I noted that you were incorrectly equating giving to charity with a purchase of services. You didn’t respond to that point. I continue to contend that your equating of the two is defective.

    Second, I did provide an argument for why Clear Channel is paying $400 million to Limbaugh, and it wasn’t “everyone else is doing it.” I said, “They expect to make a substantial profit from those services.” I cited the figures that I did to indicate that $50 million/year is in line with rates for (roughly) comparable figures.

    From your postings, it appears that your distaste at the sum paid to Limbaugh is based on: Clear Channel’s politics and the amount it gives to charity; what Limbaugh says. So, am I correct in assuming that you would have no problem with others paying/receiving comparable sums if they conformed more closely to your notions of diversity and right-thinking?

  4. they’re giving $400 million to Rush Limbaugh

    Clear Channel isn’t “giving” Rush Limbaugh anything. The company is contracting for his services. They also expect to make a substantial profit from those services, which demonstrates the value advertisers place on Limbaugh’s show.

    Is $50 million/year too much? It’s much less than is made by Oprah Winfrey ($275 million/year) or Howard Stern ($70 million). It’s roughly comparable to what’s made by David Letterman ($45 million), Judge Judy ($45 million), or Dr. Phil ($40 million). (Pay figures are from the June 30 issue of Forbes.) If you think Limbaugh is making too much, it seems reasonable to assume that you would think the same of the others I’ve named.

  5. Ben – no problem with him still being on the air – but do you really think anything less than $400 million would be an insult?

    There’s just no proportionality to the value of a dollar. Again, look to people like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. I don’t know what species of human has a mind that functions and expresses itself the way Limbaugh does.

  6. Im glad he will be on the air still…I listen everyday and get mad when he is off.

    I am sure he makes a killing for them in advertising

  7. Reignman – You are 100% correct. I confess. I could not help myself. It’s been a rough week and I was just reading last night about how Bill Gates will be spending all but 1% of his fortune on making this world a better place. I will not apologize for expressing the absolutely absurdity of a corporate entity giving that man that money for what he does.

    But you are right. It is a cheap shot. Regular readers here will tell you, they are very rare here.

  8. I’m not a Limbaugh guy, but “recovering addict” is exactly the sort of cheap shot I’d expect to hear on his show.

    Bravo for life’s little ironies.

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