DEKALB MURDER-SUICIDE: A father and daughter are dead in an apparent murder-suicide at a home on Fair Lane in DeKalb County, Ga. According to media reports, police officers were called to the home, where a family gathering was being held, after 7:30 p.m. Sunday night after gun shots were fired. DEVELOPING STORY. STAY TUNED.
Rush Limbaugh Effect: Cumulus Media Stock Plunges, Dial Global Voluntarily De-Listed from NASDAQ After Sandra Fluke Backlash
The Rush Limbaugh effect is very real and the backlash from his attack on Sandra Fluke has seen his first place position evaporate and his audience decrease by nearly 50 percent, according to the Daily Kos. The Rush Limbaugh Show is syndicated by privately-held Premiere Networks, which is owned by Clear Channel (connected to Mitt Romney via Bain Capital). Equally important and bears some attention is the fact that Cumulus Media and Dial Global, which play a role in distributing the show to 600 radio stations, are both slowly imploding, possibly as a result of the backlash against Limbaugh. Dial Global took an enormous financial hit on Friday, November 16, 2012, when it voluntarily de-listed from NASDAQ. The stock price nose-dived nearly 77 percent. Dial Global identified three causes for its headaches, including “advertisers’ response to the controversial statements by a certain nationally syndicated talk radio personality March 2012″ contributed to financial troubles that raise “substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern.” Fill in the blanks. You know exactly who they are referring to — Rush Limbaugh.
Deadline Hollywood: But Limbaugh appears to be the least of Dial’s problems: Its stock is down nearly 77% today, to about 47 cents, after it said that it may not be able to meet its debt covenants and will voluntarily leave NASDAQ to just trade over the counter. The company reported a Q3 net loss of $71.2M, up from a $5.2M loss in the period last year, on revenues of $58.2M, +132.7%. In addition to the Limbaugh controversy, Dial attributes its losses to late cancellations of ad buys (which it says were due to “the election and renewed economic uncertainty”), and growing competition from digital ad platforms and major radio companies.
Cumulus seems to be a dire straits too and has publicly blamed Rush Limbaugh for its woes. The company had been outperforming the S&P 500 prior to Rush Limbaugh’s disgusting attack on Sandra Fluke after she appeared on Capitol Hill to testify about contraceptive rights, calling her a slut. The advertiser backlash was fierce and swift. Cumulus has underperformed ever since:
Morning Star: Cumulus Media is the eighth-largest terrestrial radio operator in the United States by revenue and the second-largest in terms of number of stations owned. The company operates 314 stations in 59 markets, primarily in small to midsize cities. Through its private-equity partnership, the company operates an additional 33 stations in larger cities such as Atlanta and San Francisco. Local and regional advertising accounts for 90% of company revenue.
Here’s Cumulus stock chart from March 1, 2012 to November 16, 2012. It shows a steady and steep decline over nine months:
The company received more bad news when it was downgraded by Moody’s Investor Service, though it received some favorable news on this 3rd Quarter:
Moody’s Investor Service: Moody’s Investors Service likes a lot of what Cumulus is doing to reduce leverage, but says uncertainties associated with the radio business as a whole and the acknowledged difficulties the company is encountering turning around 10 key stations are cause for caution, and a downgrade.Moody’s Investors Service changed the rating outlook of Cumulus Media Inc. (“Cumulus”) to negative from stable following the company’s 3rd quarter 2012 earnings call. The negative outlook reflects the potential for delays in achieving the collective turnaround of 10 underperforming stations and weakened liquidity given limited access to its revolver facility. Moody’s affirmed the B1 Corporate Family Rating and Probability of Default Rating, but downgraded the Speculative Grade Liquidity (SGL) Rating to SGL — 3 from SGL — 2 to reflect reduced liquidity.
Clear Channel, which is the parent company of Premiere Networks is $21 billion in debt and quietly trimming its staff. Here’s an excerpt from the Toledo Blade:
Clear Channel has been strategically firing employees in small numbers so it doesn’t appear that the company is undergoing large-scale layoffs, he said, adding that it would have looked bad for Mr. Romney if his former company fired Clear Channel’s workers en masse.
It’s not clear how much money Premiere Networks lost in revenue as a result of the advertising backlash, but one thing is clear, there is strength in numbers when people let their voices be heard. The same grassroots movement can force companies threatening to cut their employees’ hours and impose a surcharge on diners as in the case of Denny’s, to rethink their positions.
Twilight Finale “Breaking Dawn Part 2″ Pulls in Astounding $341 Million in Opening Weekend At Global Box Office
Lionsgate “Breaking Dawn Part 2,” the Twilight finale, shattered the weekend box office grossing an astounding $141.3 million in its debut in domestic receipts and $199.6 million internationally, for a total haul of $340,9 million. James Bond thriller, “Skyfall” took the No. 2 spot with $41 million and a total haul of $669.2 million since its global debut, setting a record for the franchise. “Skyfall,” which stars Daniel Craig as 007, pushed Sony to its best year ever, surpassing $4 billion in global ticket sales.
“Breaking Dawn Part 2” is the seccond-highest domestic weekend opening for a “Twilight” film, just shy of the $142.8 million that “New Moon” brought in over the same time period in 2009. Lionsgate points out that it became the first studio to release two movies that opened to over $125 million in the same year. In March, the studio released “The Hunger Games” and its domestic haul on opening weekend was $152 million.
Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field, earned $21 million in its debut weekend. The movie, widely viewed as an Oscar contender, brought in an average of nearly $12,000 per theater.
Rounding out the top five are Walt Disney’s animated movie “Wreck-It-Ralph,” about a videogame character who destroys everything in its path, took fourth place with $18.3 million and Paramount Pictures’ drama “Flight,” starring Denzel Washington in fifth place with $9 million.
Top 7 Box Office Results November 18, 2012:
1. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 $141.3 million
2. Skyfall $41.5 million
3. Lincoln $21 million
4. Wreck-It Ralph $18.3 million
5. Flight $8.6 million
6. Argo $4.1 million
7. Taken 2 $2.1 million
Gaza media center hit by Israeli missile strike: Reuters: Israeli aircraft hit two Gaza media buildings on Sunday, wounding eight journalists and drawing concern from press covering the fighting between Palestinian militants and the Jewish state. The Israeli military said the attacks were pinpoint strikes on Hamas communication devices located on the buildings’ roofs, and accused the Islamist group of using reporters as human shields to try and protect their operations.
Sen. John McCain, who tried to politicize the Benghazi consulate attack by going after U.N. ambassador Susan Rice, suggested that President Obama send former president Bill Clinton to the region to lead cease fire talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians. He appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” saying “We need a person of enormous prestige and influence to have these parties sit down together as an honest broker.”
Here’s a recent tweet from the IDF:
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) November 18, 2012
CNN’s Anderson Cooper is in Gaza covering the unrest in the region:
— Anderson Cooper (@andersoncooper) November 18, 2012
Watch Israeli missile strike on Gaza media center:
Carlos Gutierrez, the Hispanic Outreach adviser for Mitt Romney’s campaign, expressed outrage over the former presidential candidate’s comments that President Obama won reelection because he bribed black, Hispanic and young voters with gifts. Carlos Gutierrez, who appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union,” said he was “shocked” over the comments but believe Romney lost the election because of the far right has taken the Republican Party to “a place that it doesn’t belong.” Gutierrez told Candy Crowley, ”I don’t know if he understood that he was saying something that was insulting. The language, the attitude, the body language, that’s what Latinos watch.”
Carlos Gutierrez is the latest Republican to voice outrage over Romney’s comments. Last week Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie repudiated the comments. Sen. Marco Rubio, widely expected to throw his hat in the ring in the 2016 presidential election, sought to distance himself from Romney’s comments. Former presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said the comments were “insulting and profoundly wrong.”
Actor Jamie Foxx will host “Saturday Night Live” December 5, with musical guest Ne-yo, NBC announced Saturday night. Foxx is hosting the show ahead of the premiere of Quentin Tarantino blockbuster “Django Unchained,” which is set to open December 25.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie appeared on “Saturday Night Live” during “Weekend Update.” He delivered some crisp zingers, including not thanking the mayors who didn’t listen to his orders to evacuation their cities. He also scolded reporters for covering Superstorm Sandy, saying people already knew there was a hurricane because they have windows. He ended with a line from a Bruce Springsteen song about Atlantic City. He called the New Jersey native a saint.
“Saturday Night Live” open with a rebuke of Paula Broadwell, reading excerpts from her biography, “All In,” about married ex-lover, former CIA Director David Petraeus. Paula Broadwell read sexually explicit excerpts from the book to a shocked C-SPAN audience:
“Delaram, Afghanistan, July 2010. Lock the door, Paula,’ said General Petraeus. And with my skirt still hiked up above my waist, I wordlessly obeyed.”
“The deadbolt slid into place with a loud thunk, and I knew the junior officers outside could easily tell what was going on, but I was beyond caring. The general reached into his desk drawer and pulled something out. ‘Put this on, Paula.’ It was a synthetic wig cut Louise Brooks-style and cotton candy pink. ‘No, David, it makes me feel like a dirty girl,’ I whispered. ‘But you are a dirty girl, Paula,’ he replied. ‘You’re my dirty girl. Now get on that couch.’” Source
The scandal was also mocked on the “Weekend Update” with Seth Meyers, saying that it’s no surprise Florida is involved, referencing the Jill Kelley connection.
Watch Broadwell’s explicit revelations below: