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Ryan Seacrest gets $300 million for his business from Clear Channel

Ryan Seacrest at the CES show last month. He is now a partner with Clear Channel Media. CREDIT: AP

Ryan Seacrest at the CES show last month. He is now a partner with Clear Channel Media. CREDIT: AP

If you didn’t already know that Dunwoody High School graduate Ryan Seacrest is far more than just an “American Idol” host, here’s the proof:

Clear Channel Media today announced it was becoming a minority partner in Ryan Seacrest Media, infusing up to $300 million into his business through its two major investors, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital. That money will buy and develop companies, content and other properties.

Ryan Seacrest Media, in TV production, has had one big home run: the successful Kardashian shows on E! He also helps put together the New Year’s show with Dick Clark. Other less successful ventures include ABC’s “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution” and E!’s “Denise Richards: It’s Complicated.” Two new shows are forthcoming: “Melissa and Tye: A New Reality” for CMT and Bravo’s “Shahs of Sunset.”

Seacrest already has deep ties with Clear Channel, which is dominant in radio but is seeking an entry into the more lucrative television business. Seacrest airs his daily Los Angeles morning show on Clear Channel’s KIIS-FM and through Clear Channel’s syndication arm, he transmits a daily syndicated program (170 stations worldwide), plus his “AT 40″ countdown on weekends (500 stations worldwide). Star 94, where Seacrest got his start in high school in 1992, locally aired his syndicated show for about a year and a half but dropped it in 2010 to focus on local jocks. His countdown show is still heard on Star on weekends.

He will keep a majority ownership in the company and remain independent.

In another recently announced deal, Seacrest has partnered with CAA (Creative Artists Agency) and entertainment company AEG in purchasing AXS TV, a cable channel that will replace HDNet this summer.

When Seacrest in 2004 told me he wanted to be like Merv Griffin and Dick Clark, I didn’t blink an eye. Now, in 2012, it’s clear his ambitions have actually met reality. And the man is only 37 years old!

I dug through the old clip file and found what he said to me in January, 2004:

“I’ve had a game plan for a long time, ” Seacrest said. “I want to do what Dick Clark did: build businesses out of what we do. Oprah, too. These are very smart business people who’ve created something out of first being ‘talent’.”

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

75 comments Add your comment


January 31st, 2012
5:13 pm

Good for him.


January 31st, 2012
5:36 pm

Yay Ryan! Nothing like proving that this is still the land of opportunity!

squirrelly mc cheesy grill pon pon pon

January 31st, 2012
5:36 pm

So this is who we should blame for the Kardassians and Dick Clark !!! Thanks a lot Ryan


January 31st, 2012
6:31 pm

While it is so admirable that RS was able to make such a name for himself in the world of entertainment, it is a shame he puts out so much reality TV garbage. It would seem like with all his money, and talent, he could really produce some top-notch shows. I know it is his money, and he’s worked so hard to earn it, but it would be great to see some quality programming from him.

[...] more Ryan Seacrest gets $300 million for his business from Clear Channel at Radio & TV Talk… /* * * CONFIGURATION VARIABLES: EDIT BEFORE PASTING INTO YOUR [...]


January 31st, 2012
6:38 pm

missnadine, while I agree, the fact is that reality television is just too lucrative. They have significantly lower costs without losing out on the opportunity to profit. As long as the viewing public keeps tuning in, then the business savvy thing to do will be to keep producing this swill.


January 31st, 2012
6:46 pm

Good Luck to you and your new ventures.


January 31st, 2012
7:02 pm

Congratulations! Now, why not buy the Dodgers and move ‘em to Dunwoody … The “Dunwoody Dodgers” … has a nice ring to it, Ryan!

You’ve done well, grasshopper!


January 31st, 2012
7:16 pm

Congrats to Ryan I hope he has even more success in the future :)


January 31st, 2012
7:21 pm

JTesla – I know the big $$ is in reality;at some point I am still hoping people will stop watching those shows!! I really just think he is too smart for that garbage, and would continue to be the super success that he is now while still producing decent programming. One can only hope :)


January 31st, 2012
7:35 pm

@missnadine…I hope he is smart enough to take the $300 mil

Melissa Joe

January 31st, 2012
7:39 pm

i want him to be my boyfriend

Greedy Kilowatt

January 31st, 2012
7:46 pm

Less the amount owed to the 20000 people croaked by CC in the last 5 years.

John Ontal

January 31st, 2012
8:25 pm

Good for Ryan. I show people how I make a living online from little beach side cafes and coffee shops all over the world… and you can do it too.


January 31st, 2012
8:38 pm

Ryan will not make any money off of me. I refuse to watch anything with the Kardashians in it. And I don’t watch Dick Clark either.

Kris H.

January 31st, 2012
8:40 pm

That’s using the term “talent” loosely I believe.


January 31st, 2012
8:52 pm

Hard Work + Talent + Planning = Success

JD in Marietta

January 31st, 2012
9:59 pm

Good for you Ryan. As Erk Russell used to say “You’ve got to have a bad case of the Wants”.


January 31st, 2012
10:01 pm

There has been a small movement to get him to come to Dunwoody this spring for the high school graduation. Why would a person as stellar as Seacrest want to return to Dunwoody, especially fro that?

If Dunwoody wants to draw big business like Seacrest into town, they first need to quit running small business out of the city. Dunwoody – Smart People – Smart City – Busienss Unfriendly!


January 31st, 2012
10:08 pm

Dunwoody is a joke. I read an article where they blocked Chick-fil-a from opening a store in their town. They wont get any of my dollars.


January 31st, 2012
10:16 pm

Apparently, Shaniqua and Scott think that “will not make any money off me” and “my dollars” are worth something to Ryan and Dunwoody. Guess what? They aren’t even worth $1.

Like I said before...

February 1st, 2012
12:56 am

Bain Capital..uh oh, don’t let Newt know.

Rik Roberts

February 1st, 2012
3:00 am

Wait! That makes him part of the evil 1%.


February 1st, 2012
3:17 am

Great he is the SMUT PIMP of UN-reality TV.


February 1st, 2012
6:52 am

JTesla hit it on the head>Swill is the polite term but REALITY TV is just like drugs. People complain about them and what they do to kids especially.IF THERE WAS no drug dealers there would be no drugs? No! We know that the reason there ARE DEALERS is because there is a vast reservoir of people who demand the drugs.Same way BOOTLEGGERS got rich during PROHIBITION!
People like RS see the need and fill it. Although I do not agree or like most of it, that is me! That doesn’t mean others cannot. That is what we have so much on television. I flip the channels until I find what I like. Way to go RS!


February 1st, 2012
7:06 am


Obviously no “occupiers” in the comments section. Kudos!


February 1st, 2012
7:19 am

Good for Ryan! Congratulations.

But I wish it worked the other way, too, and he could ‘clear’ up some of the bad decisions made by Clear Channel. Although they may want to get into TV, they are well known but not very well liked in radio.


February 1st, 2012
7:46 am

Bain Capital…that is the company started by Mitt Romney.

Allison Wonderland

February 1st, 2012
8:12 am

Hometown kid done good!! Congrats Ryan!! All it takes is hard work people!!


February 1st, 2012
8:44 am

Hey Ryan whats up hommie. I live in Decatur where its Greater, Georgia. I am sure you know where that is home slice, can a brother get a pay day loan?
Hmmm..the sounds of crickets..Ryan! Ryan! are you there? then over the PA system a voice very very similar to Ryan, replies: Ryan Seacrest has Left the Building, with his 300 million! I aint mad at you.


February 1st, 2012
8:51 am

what’s a shame, missnadine, is that you and folks like you love to complain, about things that are NONE of your business.
somebody makes a lot of money, you betch about it.
maybe get off your fat behind and do something with your life ? ? ?


February 1st, 2012
8:55 am

Good for Ryan. He needs to ride the reality show gravy train as long as he can… but make plans for the next thing after (hopefully) America tires of the current entertainment trends.


February 1st, 2012
8:57 am

Ryan is responsible for some of the total trash (with a capital K) on tv, but hey, he’s a millionaire many times over, and he also does great things with his money, ie the “radio stations” he’s setting up in children’s wards in hospitals all over the country. So more power to him (but PLEASE no more Kardashian spinoffs – enough is way too much already).

Just hope he stays with Idol, now that we’ve all discovered just how valuable he really is to the show.


February 1st, 2012
9:13 am

Doesn’t Bain Capital have something to do with Romney???


February 1st, 2012
9:25 am

Yes, Bain Capital is a venture capitalist company that was started and ran by Mitt Romney. They are the folks responsible for helping businesses such as Staples and The Sports Authority get to where they are today. Directly responsible for well over 100,000 jobs in this country.

gunga din

February 1st, 2012
9:31 am

if R yan is the reason we are saddled with the scum like the kardashian sluts, then he should be tarred and feathered, not made a multi-millionaire!!


February 1st, 2012
9:35 am

Ryan is worth what he is getting paid on American Idol and his radio show and I’m glad he’s done well. My only problem with him is as a producer and creator of television shows. I’ve only seen one episode of two of his shows. I wasn’t impressed.

Hopefully he can bring some qualified personal in his production company to help him create better television shows.With the success of television shows on FX, TNT,TBS and other cable channels other than the old big 3 ABC, NBC and CBS the field is wide open now. Comedies and shows that deal either fictionally or factually with paranormal content seem to be doing well now.

I say that because I’m getting tired of REALITY shows. Maybe its just me.


February 1st, 2012
9:37 am

Kurtis, I see you’re drinking the Kool-Aid. I haven’t been able to do it, yet. It’s inevitable, I suppose, I’m just not very excited about it. MR’s just so…meh.


February 1st, 2012
9:45 am

Here’s what the republicans are saying about Bain:

Specifically, Romney’s rivals allege that the specialized, rough-and-tumble brand of capitalism practiced at Bain resulted in an unacceptable number of lost jobs.

Newt Gingrich — who once promised to run a relentlessly positive campaign — has in recent days repeatedly cited a Reuters story that describes Bain Capital’s investment in a Kansas City steel mill that eventually failed.

“You would certainly have to say that Bain, at times, engaged in behavior where they looted a company, leaving behind 1,700 unemployed people,” Gingrich said Sunday during the most recent GOP debate.

And a pro-Gingrich super PAC called “Winning Our Future” has produced a 28 minute video on Romney called “King of Bain.”

“A group of corporate raiders led by Mitt Romney, more ruthless than Wall Street,” a narrator says in an excerpt. “For tens of thousands of Americans, the suffering began when Mitt Romney came to town.”

And here’s Rick Perry on the stump in South Carolina on Monday:

“There is something inherently wrong when getting rich off failure and sticking it to someone else is how you do your business, and I happen to think that is indefensible,” the Texas governor said in reference to Romney’s time at Bain.


February 1st, 2012
9:46 am

Hope they don’t scavage and ruin Ryan’s setup.


February 1st, 2012
9:50 am

Anonymous – can you be more of a jerk? I have my own business, and am very successful. if you read what I said, I am not complaining about RS – just wished he would create more high quality programming – that’s all.


February 1st, 2012
9:51 am

Speaking of TV talent that became more than just talent, Don Cornelius, creator and host of “Soul Train” has passed away.

Don, we wish you peace, love and soooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuul.


February 1st, 2012
10:14 am

Rickster – I grew up in a country that was not very diverse, at least in the 60s. watching Soul Train was like a whole new world, and I loved that show, the music, and of course Don Cornelius!


February 1st, 2012
10:20 am

to bad he wouldn’t buy Atlanta thrashers and keep it her.


February 1st, 2012
10:30 am

So $300,000,000 is a minority share? That means the company’s worth more than $600,000,000.

Not bad for a guy who only makes $15,000,000 a year.


February 1st, 2012
10:31 am

Ryan produced Food Revolution on ABC with Jamie Oliver. This is how you create jobs not the government.


February 1st, 2012
10:34 am

RIP Don Cornelius…Thank you sir for bringing Soul to us white folk! Loved Soul Train!


February 1st, 2012
10:38 am

Way to go, Ryan!! Proud of you!! Umm, are you hiring? :)


February 1st, 2012
10:38 am

Personally, I’ll avoid learning about a person’s corporation from what a rival candidate in a heated and negative campaign says about it. That would be like trying to describe the United States by only reading what the Iranian press says about us.

Going back to yesterdays news, I like how media outlets use headlines when stating who was fired from X-Factor that name Paula and Nicole, but then just list Robo-Host as “and host.”


February 1st, 2012
10:49 am

Here’s the latest in the “Idol is dying” news (and likely Rodney’s next thread.)

CBS’ ‘Big Bang’ surpasses Fox’s ‘American Idol’


The Associated Press
4:16 p.m. Tuesday, January 31, 2012

NEW YORK — The geeks have bragging rights over the superstar strivers.

The CBS comedy “The Big Bang Theory” had a slightly larger audience than Fox’s “American Idol” during the half hour when the shows were in head-to-head competition on Thursday, the Nielsen Co. said. The advantage was slight — 16.13 million to 15.56 million — but significant. It is believed to be the first scripted series to beat the Fox juggernaut in head-to-head competition.

That speaks to a slow start for “American Idol” this year, even though the show’s Wednesday edition was the top-rated program of the week.

“The Big Bang Theory,” meanwhile, is up 15 percent in viewership this season in what has been a strong year for comedy. Syndication may be a big factor in its success. It’s the first year reruns of the comedy from past seasons are being shown elsewhere on the TV dial, and that often attracts more viewers to the fresh episodes.

The comedy’s success is also helping Rob Schneider’s new sitcom “Rob,” which immediately follows it on CBS’ schedule. “Rob” finished among Nielsen’s top 10 last week.

Fox News Channel is celebrating a milestone. The end of January marks 10 years since it eclipsed CNN as the top-rated cable news network, a status it has not relinquished. Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes said he was “extremely proud” of the achievement and recognizes how difficult it is to sustain such a level of success.

Also on Tuesday, HBO announced that after one week on the air, the horseracing drama “Luck” starring Dustin Hoffman has been renewed for a second season. An estimated 3.3 million people saw the first episode in either one of the three airings on Sunday or during a December sneak preview.

CBS was the top broadcast network with an average of 9.3 million viewers in prime time last week (5.9 rating, 10 share). Fox averaged 8 million (4.7, 7), NBC had 6.1 million (3.8, 6), ABC had 5.7 million (3.6, 6), the CW had 1.1 million (0.8, 1) and ION Television had 1.1 million (0.7, 1).

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led with a 3.7 million average (1.8, 3), Telemundo had 1.4 million (0.7, 1), TeleFutura had 610,000 (0.3, 1), Estrella had 220,000 and Azteca 190,000 (both 0.1, 0).

NBC’s “Nightly News” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 9.3 million viewers (6.2, 11). ABC’s “World News” was second with 8.2 million (5.4, 10) and the “CBS Evening News” had 6.7 million viewers (4.5, 8).

A ratings point represents 1,147,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation’s estimated 114.7 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of Jan. 23-29, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: “American Idol” (Wednesday), Fox, 19.67 million; “American Idol” (Thursday), Fox, 17.14 million; “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 16.13 million; “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 14.26 million; “Criminal Minds,” CBS, 13.82 million; “Undercover Boss,” CBS, 13.15 million; “NCIS,” CBS, 12.55 million; NFL Football: Pro Bowl, NBC, 12.5 million; “Touch,” Fox, 12.01 million; “Rob,” CBS, 11.5 million.

(Note: The “American Idol” number from Thursday on the list exceeds “The Big Bang Theory” because it is an average audience for the competition’s full hour on the air, not just the half hour when the comedy was airing on CBS.)