It should go without saying that I will never begrudge a guy who has enough money to burn $131k giving it to whatever flavor whore he wishes. It just seems out of place. One of these things is not like the other. Because Hindery is the managing partner of Intermedia Partners:
The New York-based media private equity fund owns Intermedia Outdoor Holdings, which publishes 17 hunting, fishing, and shooting magazines, including Guns & Ammo, Handguns, Gun Dog, Rifle Shooter and Shooting Times. ( add in Shotgun News, Handguns, Petersen's Hunting and more - SiG - source here )Why would someone who supports a gun control candidate like Obama or Kirsten Gillibrand be involved with these gun magazines and shows that feature shooting, hunting and even self defense shows? The Sportsman Channel is referred to as being more political than the Outdoor Channel, although I don't know why. It's true they run a couple of shows produced by the NRA, Guns and Gold, and NRANews Cam and Company, but two programs out of a week hardly qualifies as being political in my book.
InterMedia Outdoor Holdings purchased the pro-gun hunting and fishing network the Sportsman Channel in 2007, and is now in the process of acquiring the Outdoor Channel, pending the federal government’s approval of last month’s merger between InterMedia Outdoors and Outdoor Channel Holdings.
CNN, and to a lesser extent, Buzzfeed, seem to take the stance of the left that Hindery is bad because he takes money from the evil NRA.
Now maybe Hindery and Obama simply share common economic philosophies but differ on gun control. Or maybe Hindery is able to draw a bright line between business and personal politics. Or maybe Hindery didn't give much thought any of this before Newton, kind of like California Teachers' Retirement System with its indirect investment in Freedom Group. At the very least, the NRA and Hindery seem to make for some very strange bedfellows.Buzzfeed quotes an Outdoor Channel "stockholder"
"This is an inherent conflict between his political and business relationships," said Andrew Franklin, a shareholder of the Outdoor Channel. Franklin is working with fellow shareholders to prevent the merger by pointing out Hindery's apparent conflict of interest.Things are not happy in Intermedia land as Hindrey spreads out. According to an article in the Daily Caller, insiders are saying he's gutting the operations. They talk of beautiful buildings filled with production facilities that have been gutted and reduced to “basic administrative types,” who “think every day they go into work is going to be their layoff day”. They accuse him of buying up these operations so that he can kill them off, something I find harder to understand than him even being in this market space.
Franklin said he and other Outdoor Channel shareholders are upset that they might be forced to take on Sportsman Channel stock, which he sees as contrary to Outdoor Channel's message and Hindery's own political leanings alike.
“Now that Hindery has the Outdoor Channel, he’s in a position to consolidate all of the major pro-Second Amendment media titles in this country, strip them down, and destroy them, like venture capitalists do sometimes,” the employee said.Leo Hindery)
Many Outdoor Channel producers are “scared shitless,” realizing that the careers they built are now in the hands of an Obama donor who is in the process of breaking apart pro-gun media companies.
The backdrop to this story may not be politics so much as the collapsing media picture in the US. I've read that while the mass circulation magazines are in trouble, the more targeted ones, like Intermedia owns, are not as bad off. They still may be under pressure. In a landscape of hundreds of cable channels narrowcasting to relatively small audiences (compared to the old "Big Three" networks), maybe consolidation is needed.
Interesting development on this story today, after these articles were posted, another "suitor", Kroenke Sports has offered a larger per share offer than Intermedia for the Outdoor Channel - $8.75 vs $8 per share. As a publicly traded company, stockholders decide if they'll accept either merger.
The idea that a guy like Hindrey, though he may be a Democratic contributor or a solid, true blue Democrat, would buy these companies to destroy them seems too much of a reach for me. First off, he's not the CEO of Intermedia, and he's not the only guy there. Are other people ok with throwing away their money for this cause? I find it easier to believe he either has no problems with hunting and the shooting shows they produce, as long as profits keep rolling in, or that he has the cognitive dissonance to not like guns, but like the money the products bring in.
The thing is that if there's really a market for these shows, and there sure seems to be, someone will bring them back and create a new channel for them. I don't think the market can be suppressed by these guys. With the increasing spread of online streaming video services, there is a place for them.