Archive for November, 2013

The debt monster keeps chasing Clear Channel

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

Clear Channel incurred a net of around $20 billion in debt to “take Clear Channel private” and the debt load owed to banks continues to devour its soul

CC has to pony up $1.5 billion a year in interest on its roughly $20 billion in debt, roughly 7% – but CC is now proposing to exchange debt coming due in the next few years with longer maturity but much higher interest rates.

Typically, PE firms want to acquire a company and “fix it” (firing people, selling assets, selling off non-core lines of business) then turn around and make the company public, sometimes with an intermediate step of declaring bankruptcy to screw the existing bond owners. It doesn’t look like that’s the plan here, but it is hard to predict the future.

Southern Hospitality

Thursday, November 28th, 2013


My neighbor Sam stopped by with this šŸ˜‰

Today’s Southern Food Porn

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013


Understanding the food people in North Carolina eat handed down from generation to generation makes sense when you understand a few basic principles

– electricity was not available out in the rural areas and/or there was no money to pay for it
– it is too warm to make ice in the winter and store it until summer, so food has to be eaten right away (or canned) or made so it won’t spoil (ie country ham)
– you had to eat only things you could grow. Trucking food in from far away was out of the question and too expensive – hence hamburgers are topped with cole slaw (cabbage grows well) and not lettuce – the summers are too hot for lettuce, which means a very short season generally requiring starting the plants in a greenhouse and transplanting. While lettuce goes bad in about 2 weeks, cabbage will can last up to 5 months
– southerners will always choose a clearly Southern product over something from the North.

Which brings us to the picture – say you like pancakes or waffles – what syrup do you put on them? Clearly not Vermont maple syrup. The state is too hot for maple trees to survive other than way up in the Western mountains, and the winter there is just too unpredictable. Just in the past few years, one guy is trying to make North Carolina maple syrup – last year he got to total production of 100 gallons.

I was shopping at Walmart [i don’t care so save your emotions on someone else] and noticed the Walmart here is carrying a lot of regional products I never would have seen in Connecticut.

So if you want syrup, what can you grow locally and doesn’t spoil – Alaga syrup hails from Montgomery Alabama. It has two main ingredients – corn syrup and cane sugar syrup. (and water). Sugar cane grows in Florida, Louisiana and Texas. (the name stands for ALabama And GeoegiA)

I haven’t opened it yet – it looks pretty intense.

Who was Betty Feezor?

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

As I was enjoying my chili cheese dogs last night in my Bunny hot dog rolls and washed down with Sundrop “cola”, I suddenly remembered watching the Carolina Homemaker show on WBT in the 1970s.

Betty did the show live for the first 20 years before there was video tape, and I’m pretty sure she continued to do it live, or at least live to tape. There was no studio audience – just Betty and the camera.

The show was so anachronistic, even for the time, let alone by today’s ideas, but it gives lots of insights into the culture of North Carolina. She was from Tennessee, where she had a college degree in home economics.

Despite doing around 7,000 shows on her career, apparently only two have survived.

So sit back an enjoy her lessons in what being a good wife and woman was about

Rusty Humphries update

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Rusty has not appeared on the air since Talk Radio Network filed a lawsuit against Jerry Doyle, which among other things claimed he talked to Rusty Humphries and interfered with TRN’s relationship with Rusty.

Rusty’s facebook page indicates that he’s been over in Europe on vacation, and has a “big announcement” coming “very soon”. Since it seems unlikely that Cumulus or Clear Channel will hire him (although Cumulus does seem to have an unfilled position now at 9am-noon), I don’t know what they could be. There has been no talk of Salem letting Mike Gallagher or any of their hosts go. Rusty has never done the numbers on major market stations to get the big guys interested. Maybe he will go back to WGST-AM in Atlanta and do a local show from 2000 miles away.

Huckabee says “See Y’all later!”

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is calling it quits as seemed implied by the Dennis Miller announcement yesterday, which already had Huckabee off of KLIF and KCMO. It’s now official – he’s out of syndication at the end of December, replaced by Dennis Miller.

Miller is proving that sticking to something can pay off (not necessarily in Cumulus Dollars, though). He’s now in the top 5 in my “ratings” nationally – partly because everyone else has left and/or died…. O’Reilly, Lou Dobbs, G Gordon Liddy, Dr Laura, Jerry Doyle, Rusty Humphries, Dr Dean Edell, Neal Boortz, Tammy Bruce, Brian and the Judge (now just Brian), Monica Crowley (during the week)…

Back when Dennis Miller started his late night TV show, he opened it the first night be announcing he was “going to kick Rush Limbaugh’s Ass”. Well, now he has his chance.

Who is Puneet Talwar?

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

He works in the Obama White House and is the diplomat working with Iran to lift the trade sanctions.

You may remember when the Europeans led the charge to block Iran’s oil sales, India squealed like a stuck pig. India has been one of Iran’s major customers, which isn’t hard to see from the geography. India itself didn’t exactly ask for permission to join the nuclear club.

Geraldo says “adios” (mostly)

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Jewish Puerto-Rican radio host and Hispanic immigration activist Geraldo Rivera told his audience today he will be leaving syndication January 1st. He is currently syndicated by Cumulus Media who also owns the former ABC Radio stations including WABC-AM in New York City.

Geraldo instead will be doing a local show in New York from 10 AM to noon – Don Imus does his show from 6-10 AM.

January 1st is a big day for WABC – Rush Limbaugh moves to WOR-AM, now owned by Clear Channel. Presumably WABC will pick up Mike Huckabee from Noon-3PM. Sean Hannity is also leaving Cumulus and WABC. I think he is also headed to WOR, but I’m not sure of that unless they buy out the contracts of the existing WOR hosts. Hannity will be replaced on WABC by Michael Savage at the pinnacle of his career.

Typically syndicators are required to give 30 days notice when they pull the plug on a show, which is why this was announced this week.

Who was Walter Winchell?

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

I added this poll after hearing a radio show (I’m pretty sure it was John Batchelor) on how one of the “Tokyo Rose” radio broadcasters was actually working to help the US military, but was pursued for war crimes, mainly led by the Broadway and Hollywood gossip columnist and WABC personality Walter Winchell (who has no connection with Winchell Donuts).

After reading up on this to see if this “Tokyo Rose was a victim” narrative might be true – Walter Winchell was my grandparent’s generation and only a fuzzy memory of mine – I discovered the little factoid that Larry King took over for Winchell at the Miami Herald in 1965 when Winchell stopped being carried by newspapers.

Based on the poll results, I’m not the only one that didn’t know that.

If you haven’t heard it yet, Larry King has started doing 1 minute commentaries for Cumulus Radio.

US and Europe make peace with Iran, Israel threatens war

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

Netanyahu: Deal with Iran a ‘historic mistake,’ Israel not bound by it

The most preposterous thing in this story is that it could mean a “suitcase nuke” going off in New York in 5 years. A 20% enriched u-235 weapon would weigh thousands of pounds and even then likely not be very effective without lots of experimental explosions to refine the triggering explosion.

Iran has agreed to take the 20% U235 material and dilute it back to 5%. (U233 does not exist in nature – it is a byproduct from things only the US has done)

The “suitcase nuclear bomb” is a red herring and well beyond the capabilities of Iran far into the future.

You need plutonium or 90+ percent U235 and even so, it would weigh at least 100 pounds and be only in the range far less than 1 kiloton. Russia claimed to have such things, but there is little proof they exist. This article includes a “mockup” device of what the CIA thinks one would look like to scare Congress and the American Public. Uranium and plutonium are extremely heavy elements. If that device were real, you couldn’t hold it in the air with one hand.

I’ve long had this theory that Barack Obama and / or his handlers are working from a script to make him a martyr, reliving the basic narrative of the life of Jesus – and triggering a race war that destroys the US from the inside. Don’t be surprised in 2000 years if humans are rubbing prayer beads and praying to Ann Dunham.