Saturday, December 24, 2011

Were popular Omaha radio personalities Dave Wingert and Tom Becka fired by Mitt Romney's company?

Clear Channel is the radio giant that owns both KFAB and KGOR, the stations which, respectively, used to employ Tom Becka and Dave Wingert. Although Wingert, unlike Becka, was ostensibly fired for an expletive uttered by a caller and allowed to air, many believe that the incident was an excuse to get rid of him and that since no similar excuse could be offered to ax Becka, that he was simply canned.

What many people don't realize is that Bain Capital, the private equity firm founded by Mitt Romney, recently "analyzed" Clear Channel's staffing and determined that certain jobs were "redundant, unnecessary or could be done by a computer rather than a human being. Thus, 1,850 people at Clear Channel (largely owned by Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners) were fired in January of 2011 and 590 more were let go in a later round of cost cutting that left Becka and Wingert unemployed.

Recently, the New York Times took note of Mitt Romney's continued profiteering via Bain Capital:
During his political career, Mr. Romney has promoted his experience as a businessman while deflecting criticism of layoffs caused by private equity deals by noting that he left Bain in 1999. But records and interviews show that in the years since, he has benefited from at least a few Bain deals that resulted in upheaval for companies, workers and communities.
Mitt Romney, center, in gag money photo distributed by Bain Capital, of which he was CEO
for 15 years and from which he continues to profit. Popular Omaha DJs Dave Wingert and
Tom Becka were fired following a recent fiscal analysis of Clear Channel by Bain Capital.
For those of you who don't know what "private equity" companies do, here's a typical scenario: They help a few executives take a company private in a leveraged buyout with large amounts of borrowed money (thereby sharply increasing the company's debt), then they fire employees and raid the pension fund to make the now debt-laden company look more profitable, and THEN they sell off the carcass of the once viable enterprise, piece by piece, at a considerable profit.
     And then, sometimes, a founder of the company will run for office, touting his business experience, and hiding his history of destroying pension funds and/or eliminating or outsourcing jobs to boost the bottom line of the businesses he buys, plunders and flips.
     Unfortunately, many voters whose knowledge of economics comes from right-wing talk radio or political ads don't realize that creating wealth and creating jobs are NOT the same thing; in fact, they are frequently at odds with each other.
     Among politicians, Romney, now worth about $250,000,000, is a poster boy for hardball, kick-employees-to-the-curb capitalism.

1 comment:

  1. KGOR isn't the same without Dave Wingart. I will not be tuned in after hearing of Dave's firing!!! They lost a very entertaining DJ!!!!