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Sep. 21 2009 - 9:01 am | 43 views | 2 recommendations | 11 comments

Banks to Take Over Media Industry?

Throw companies like Tribune into the mix where JP Morgan will allegedly end up with an majority equity stake, and one wonders why Goldman and JPM were so eager to provide “rescue” financings to virtually the entire distressed media space: both companies knew too well that sooner or later they would end up with full equity control over essentially the most coveted industry: thousands of TV stations, radio channels, newspaper and magazines. If you thought the media propaganda was unbearable now, just wait. Nonetheless, one doubts that much will be made by the FCC of JP Morgan’s or Goldman Sachs’ stealthily encroaching control of the entire media world. After all, they already pretty much already control the airwaves. This way their domination of the 4th estate and the idiot tube will soon be complete.

via A Curious Snag In Debt-For-Equity Restructurings As Goldman And JPM Do A Stealthy Roll Up Of The Media Industry | zero hedge.

Tyler over at Zero Hedge sends me this freaky story about the recess of a boatload of media companies into the ownership arms of certain investment banks, including Goldman and JP Morgan Chase.

Zero Hedge outlines the basic scenario: distressed media companies, including large conglomerates like Citadel Broadcasting (one of the largest radio networks), are defaulting and falling into the hands of their lenders. And while some have as primary lenders hedge funds, the problem there is that hedge funds often operate through accounts located in foreign tax-shelter countries like the Isle of Man, which makes them problematic as owners of American media companies. Since FCC rules prohibit foreign firms from owning large stakes in media firms, the advantage in what is essentially a giant foreclosure process will go to the big banks operating on-shore, like Goldman and Morgan.

Zero Hedge promises to spend a lot of this week outlining the restructured media landscape, which should be scary.


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  1. collapse expand

    Welcome back to the heyday of W. R. Herst & Co.

    Actually, it’s far worse. With all the major corporations, even those with no products available for consumers to purchase, as the big-budget advertisers to the media companies…there is no longer any objective journalism in the ad-money based television news industry.

    Seriously, why are we forced to watch an advertisement for a locomotive? Oh yeah, because they also own other companies they don’t want critical coverage of…

  2. collapse expand

    Why do I get the feeling that we will someday see this headline: GOLDMAN-SACHS BUYS ROLLING STONE – TAIBBI MISSING!?!
    The headline will be followed by an article explaining how this is just a coincidence.

  3. collapse expand

    They were tired of buying only public sector entities, I suppose.

  4. collapse expand

    Old media is like fish wrap – like the Emmy comments last night about welcome to the last days of the networks. We found out a while ago that when truth is outlawed, only outlaws will know the good passwords.

  5. collapse expand

    Thanks; you’re justifying my lack of need for a fancy schmancy new tv. As for print journalism, I was sad to discover that the Des Moines Register had long strayed from its greatness by the time I moved here 3 years ago, so I gather my news online and from npr. While I’m not sure this is entirely a good thing, i can’t say that the old version of being informed is better these days.

    Small tangent – for those who fear that we are headed into a socialist society, I wanna know where they think there’s a place for capitalism, since the free market slid down the slippery slope to corporatism – starting in the 80s. I can find plenty of socialist tendencies in our democracy, and Michael Moore is glad to point them out. There are also plenty of examples of feudalism (ranging from pyramid schemes to payday lenders to the mafia, gangs, and indentured servitude/sweatshops). I am hard pressed to find capitalism where people point it out; it always smells of the corporatismo lagoon.

  6. collapse expand

    This happened years ago when the FCC deregulated media. Suddenly local radio went away. Then we had new moral censorship after the ‘wardrobe malfunction’ super bowl halftime. Then a silent media for 8 years of the Bush Administration, starting with the election, err Supreme Court appointment itself. Conservatives learned their lesson during the Nixon years, first you have to buy up the media, then you can rule.

  7. collapse expand
    deleted account

    I don’t pretend to understand the finer points of finance and economics relative to power in this country, but I do know a bit about the media having spent almost twenty years doing their dirty work. And what I know is that the american public has been being spoon fed regurgitated pablum for as long as I can remember. Not only in the content of our news, but also in the content of everything from dramas, sitcoms and game shows to children’s programming. Did I mention the content of much of the new music being written? If you haven’t noticed similar underlying themes in all of the above, then you haven’t wanted to. Perhaps with the banks ownership of the media (and Hollywood) losing it’s transparency, you can now peek out from under the covers long enough to notice what’s been right under your bed for decades, a whole lot of motherfucking coincidences. That’s correct, as far as I’m concerned it could all be one big fucking coincidence perpetrated by like minded individuals who all just happen to be into the same shit. I don’t really care how it’s happened, all I know is what I see and what I see is some not very nice things being drummed into my head over and over and over again. Speaking of which, did you catch Tom DeLay on Dancing with the Stars last night? I almost peed myself, but I’m confident that the vast majority of viewers were all oohing and aahing over what a nice, down to earth, jovial fellow he was. This is what you would call and example of my big coincidence theory.

  8. collapse expand

    Banks took over the media business a very long time ago. This is just a new round of opportunity, particularly in radio which has been in big trouble for a couple of years now.

  9. collapse expand

    yeah I agree with Rick and it all started with Reagan and the record holder for the quickest citizenship filing, Rupert Murdoch for whom the conservatives “deregulated” the media competition rules.

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