Clear Channel, Bain Capital, Lee invest big in Ryan Seacrest


Clear Channel and Ryan Seacrest Media (RSM), together with Clear Channel’s majority investors Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital, announced two new investment deals designed to drive business growth across multiple media platforms. 

It goes way beyond his current “On-Air with Ryan Seacrest” dayparted show and AT40: Funds sponsored by THL and Bain Capital have together committed up to $300 million to working with RSM to identify, acquire and develop innovative media companies, media content and other media properties that can be leveraged to support a range of media enterprises.

Under a separate agreement, Clear Channel will acquire a minority stake in RSP, which also produces “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” the highest-rated show on the E! network, and the spin-offs “Kourtney and Kim Take New York,” “Khloe and Lamar,” and “Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami.” RSP also produced the Emmy Award-winning ABC reality series “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.” RSP is currently producing two new reality series including “Melissa and Tye: A New Reality,” for CMT and “Shahs of Sunset,” for Bravo.

In the deal, RSP will remain creatively autonomous and continue as an independently operated entity, majority-owned by Ryan Seacrest, and managed by Seacrest as Executive Chairman, CEO Adam Sher and CFO Jeff Refold. RSP will continue to develop and produce content for network and studio partners, including NBC Universal. RSP will now also collaborate with Clear Channel on the production and distribution of both scripted and unscripted TV programming as well as other media and entertainment content, leveraging the promotional reach of Clear Channel.

Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman, THL Managing Director Richard Bressler, and Bain Managing Director Ian Loring will work with Seacrest and the RSP management team to maximize the strategic and operational value of the RSP relationship with Clear Channel. Bressler and Loring will work with Seacrest separately to maximize the RSM investment initiative.

Seacrest also creates and delivers content for distribution through Clear Channel’s broadcast and digital radio platforms on both a local market and national basis, and serves as a spokesperson for Clear Channel. During the past year, Seacrest was involved in the development and execution of projects for Clear Channel including the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas.

RBR-TVBR observation: Indeed, this is in-step with Clear Channel’s recent re-branding as Clear Channel Media + Entertainment. Seacrest will help take them into new frontiers with online and television productions. The company is on a mission to broaden its revenue sources outside of radio, concerts and outdoor—and hopefully pay down some of the debt it has on its 850 radio stations.