The Daily Caller’s out with a breathless report today about Obama supporter and rumored Commerce Secretary candidate Leo Hindery Jr. Titled ‘Employees: Obama donor in process of buying up and ‘destroying’ America’s top pro-gun media outlets,’ the piece advances the story that “Employees of Obama donor Leo Hindery Jr.’s media conglomerate InterMedia Partners, which now owns most of the top gun-culture media outlets in the country, believe that Hindery plans to gut and destroy all of them as part of a business plan that has already led to numerous layoffs and the virtual shuttering of prominent television production facilities in Minnesota and Montana.” Well, maybe . . .

InterMedia Partners, a private equity firm, owns something called InterMedia Outdoor Holdings which in turn owns a goodly number of “gun culture media outlets.” Names like Guns & Ammo, Handguns and Rifle Shooter. That’s right, good ol’ G&A is owned by a Barack money man. Looks like blood (and money) is thicker than water. Or politics. Or so they say.

Anyway, IOH, which has owned the Sporsman Channel for six years, is in the process of adding the Outdoor Channel to their stable. At this point, they’re just waiting for SEC and FCC approval (gee, what are the odds one of the President’s top donors will get the go-aheads they need?). And the DC article quotes anonymous employees implying that it’s all just a part of a nefarious plot to chloroform pro-gun media outlets.

Now, as anyone who frequents sites where supporters of the RKBA congregate can tell you, there’s no shortage of conspiracy theories floated about just about anyone’s and everyone’s anti-2A motives and activities every damned day. But as anyone on this side of the argument can also tell you, just because you’re paranoid, that doesn’t mean they’re not really out to grab your guns.

Except that the examples the Daily Caller cites of InterMedia’s gun media genocidal motives aren’t terribly persuasive:

Prior to its acquisition by InterMedia, the media brand Petersen’s Hunting, the television arm of which is broadcast by the Sportsman Channel, was housed in a “beautiful” facility in Baxter, Minnesota, overlooking the Mississippi River. The facility had approximately 60 employees, a massive studio, at least nine editing bays and fully-wired machine rooms and was conducting about four studio shoots per year with a full production crew.

That facility now mostly consists of about 12 employees — “basic administrative types,” who “think every day they go into work is going to be their layoff day,” according to an InterMedia employee who spoke on condition of anonymity.

So this lavish, no doubt expensive, space was staffed with by sixty people who produced…four shoots a year? what did they do during the other seven months? Now that InterMedia’s in charge . . .

“They have people working out of rental strip malls doing all of their TV production,” the source said.

Employees of the Baxter facility were offered the chance to move to Peoria, Ill., which offers a tax credit to companies who “create” jobs in town, in order to keep their employment.

Maybe Hindery can fairly be accused of being a heartless corporate raider. A modern-day Gordon Gekko. But cutting fat and reducing operating costs through consolidation are part of private equity’s stock-in-trade. Like the scorpion on the frog’s back, that’s just their nature.

InterMedia also purchased a company called Barrett Productions in Missoula, Mont., which was previously a thriving and well-respected television production company. The Barrett facility is now “gutted.”

“There’s nothing there but one intern slash production assistant and one administrative type. All the production people are gone. It’s a shell,” according to the employee.

“Now that Hindery has the Outdoor Channel, he’s in a position to consolidate all of the major pro- media titles in this country, strip them down, and destroy them, like venture capitalists do sometimes,” the employee said.

Again, reading between the lines, it sounds like InterMedia bought Barrett to — in consultant-speak — add another player in the same space (outdoor content production) with positive synergies. So they’re cutting/combining common functions and consolidating the whole thing to save overall production costs.

Is that a messy, unpleasant, job-killing process? Yep. Will there be plenty of former employees pissed off about losing the great jobs they used to have? You betcha. And they’ll be all too happy to talk to a reporter about the a-holes who bought the company and fired their asses. But is that evidence of some kind of hoplophobic cabal looking to kill off pro-gun outdoor media? Not so much.

As for those gun mags InterMedia owns, in case you hadn’t noticed, they’re dying a long slow death on their own. Just like your local fishwrap newspaper, dead tree print is dead or on life support. Thanks to sites like this one and others, they’re headed the way of Blockbuster, Waldenbooks and Borders.

All of this seems eerily reminiscent of that hoary “George Soros owns the Freedom Group!” wackitude that was so prevalent a few years back . . . and has since been thoroughly debunked. Again, given the current climate, it’s kinda hard to blame gunnies for donning the Reynolds Wrap yarmulke every now and again.

And if Hindery was using his own personal fortune to buy up gun mags and cable properties, maybe denizens of the gun culture would have a little more reason to worry. With only his own millions on the line, he’d be free to indulge his personal political leanings and do whatever he wanted with all of those properties. Including shit-canning them.

But no matter what Hindery’s political predilections may be, by owning all of these outlets through InterMedia and its subsidiaries, he’s risking his partners’ money, too. Which means he has a responsibility to maximize profits. And to make damned sure there are plenty of digits on those distribution checks at the end of every year.

A quick glance around the tragedy TV dial, the Intertubes and, yes, these pages will demonstrate all too clearly that the pro-gun culture has plenty to worry about these days. But Leo Hindery’s InterMedia-related activities don’t appear to be among them.

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44 Responses to Is Leo Hindery Out to Kill Pro-Gun Media?

  1. Reserving judgment. Even if true, I agree there are more pressing issues right now.

  2. The conversation goes something like this…
    Hindery: Barack, beside my $ donations, what else can I do for you.
    Obama: Is there some way you might be able to limit the First Ammendment to only people and subjects I want it to apply to?
    Hindery: Sure, no problem.

  3. Ok DZ, you convinced me ! Hell I’m going to vote for this guy on the NRA Board of Directors !

  4. Those who will spend a handful of pesos on any of today’s gun magazines, and twenty minutes later regret having not invested those pesos on ammo or pizza instead, are the only ones keeping these rags afloat. All print media are gasping for air, particularly those with nothing to offer in the way of actual journalism.

  5. Sounds like an underpants gnome conspiracy:

    1. Buy out pro-gun media outlets.
    2. Reduce them to a shadow of their former selves.
    3. ????
    4. Profit!

    • The American left has been playing a very long term game (some argue that they are close to end-game now, or at least are acting like they believe they are close to endgame). Anything to chip away at the American culture of liberty and personal responsibility, gradually changing us over generations. Subverting institutions and using them as tools is a favorite tactic, including schools, media, and government. This isn’t conspiracy theory, for there is no conspiracy here. These strategies have been openly published in American communist literature for decades, discussed freely at open public meetings. The people working at this are not part of some secret cabal, they just share a common world view.

      Cable channels that few people watch or publications that few people read may not seem important. Individually, may not be important. Just like an individual termite can’t really do much damage to a house.

      That said, even if this is in fact a termite, we are more at the point of shoring up timbers to make sure the house doesn’t collapse before we can give it a good fumigation.

      • Newspapers are dying. The dead tree media is dying. Papers are losing ad revenue and classified revenue. I have a family member employed by a mid sized local media company with papers in several states. They are hemorrhaging money and laying off employees every week it seems.

  6. It wasn’t that long ago that a TTAG contributor (or founder) or two claimed that our Dear Leader wouldn’t try to take our guns no matter how much the NRA yelled it from the mountaintops before the election. I’m not saying that you’re wrong again, just suggesting be sure you remember the taste of crow before prognosticating with certainty again.

    • > a TTAG contributor (or founder) or two claimed that
      > our Dear Leader wouldn’t try to take our guns no matter
      > how much the NRA yelled it from the mountaintops before
      > the election.

      Although not affiliated with TTAG — other than as a reader and commenter — I was one of those people wrong about this, too.

      However, if the NRA was so omniniscient about what was going to happen, how come they were so woefully unprepared? The sheer amount of incompetence exhibited by the NRA should be criminal.

      For the past two months, the MAGI group (Make All Guns Illegal) has been running circles inside the NRA’s OODA loop. The NRA hasn’t been acting like a deer caught in the headlights; it’s been like a dinosaur staring up at that bright light hurtling toward the Earth, wondering what it is…

      After two months, hiring Colion Noir is the first thing hint that the NRA has moved from the Observe to Orient phase of OODA. But they have yet to Decide or Act…

      • I’m sure that the NRA is having a lot of heart to heart talks with “our” elected representatives in Washington. Or do you think that Joe Manchin had a religious epiphany?

        The reason that POTUS and Crazy Joe are running all over the earth campaigning for AWB2 is to try to counteract the work of the NRA, most of which is done in private.

  7. Printed journalism is loosing out to the online revolution, but is
    it really a case of technology? Going online is one of the few ways
    for people to break into the world of media. It’s also one of the
    only ways for your average person to take on a bastion of journalism,
    such as the NY Times, without having to trust in an unbiased op-ed
    editor. Printed and broadcast news has become increasingly
    liberal since the 1960s. Until internet use became widespread there
    was no way to combat this unless one bought out a newspaper or
    tv station. How many of us seriously believe that a newspaper cannot
    effectively switch to a non-print format? Are all of these papers being
    run by Luddites? Not likely. The one thing that has changed is that
    people now have the ability to research a story instantaneously to
    verify the truth of any piece of reporting. Guess what, everybody found
    out that these pillars of journalism are full of BS. Conservative
    media and unbiased news/blogs started about 15 years ago. They’ve
    steadily expanded since then, almost proportional to the fall of liberal
    newspapers. Nothing, however, has changed in the liberal media. Many
    are little more than shills for the DNC and act as guard dogs for liberal
    causes and politicians.

    From a businessman point of view, these companies know exactly
    why they’re going out of business and they don’t care. The more liberal
    a newspaper becomes the faster subscriptions are lost. But, again,
    there is no change in policy. Owners and workers are that invested
    in championing their various causes.

    I write all this to illustrate one crucial point: It may be more than
    just Hindery’s money, but he and his backers might not care if it’s lost.
    Let’s not rule out maliciousness and a willingness to go bankrupt.

  8. Not that we have the same goal in mind as them, but the Viet Cong were not defeated by carpet bombing nor will it us.
    What, if we have no paper to read, our guns will be melted and our voice muted?
    Maybe not.
    BTW I’ve heard about this cool website called TTAG. They seem really good at keeping the gun conversation alive without the print media.

  9. I’m sure that he has to destroy the companies in order to save them.

    Is he running them into the ground? Yes. Does he have a secret anti-gun agenda? Who knows. But I certainly am distrustful. The gungrabbers are pulling out all the stops. They see the current climate as offering them their best chance — and maybe their last chance — to reverse almost three decades of 2A accomplishments. There’s nothing they won’t do.

    I’m not buying into the “Hindery is just businessman” crapola any more than I bought into the “Obama isn’t coming after our guns” nonsense.

  10. As a subsciber to most of the mags named in the article I have wondered over the last two months why NONE of them have mentioned any politics in regards to the gun-grabbing hysterics.

    I had assumed that because they put these mags together a few months ahead of their release dates, that lag was to blame for the lack of articles in January.

    February’s magazines made me slightly suspicious though, because many of the articles mentioned stuff that was just released at the SHOT show, so you know that most of the stuff was AT LEAST post-SH.

    Today I have in my hands the latest Guns & Ammo – just picked it up in the mail 30 minutes ago. There is ONE article. Labeled “Shoulder To Shoulder” it is about the boycott of the Harrisburg Show, and is located on the LAST PAGE IN THE MAG.

    So just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean that the a55hole that owns the InterMedia company didn’t get a call from the Obama Admin to start cutting, chopping and gutting anything that has to do with the 2nd Amendment.

    • And that’s the problem. Paranoia aside, the lead time it takes to put the gun mags out means they’re always hopelessly behind the curve in terms of breaking news, political or otherwise.

      • Not only that Dan, but I get 200x more content every day right here on TTAG than in those magazines. The only downside to the intereweb pipes is they’re not as convenient to read in the john. Yet. 🙂

  11. Warren Buffett & Co. now own 63+ newspapers across the country…..may not want to get the tin foil hats out yet……but soon.

  12. Continuing to downsize companies like that in order to save money(aka: more money in the CEO’s pockets, less in the grunts’ pockets) is what’s killing this country’s ec0nomy.

    Fat ass on the top wanting more and more of the profits, so he shuts down half the facility to “cut costs”, and they wonder why the goddamned nation is experiencing an employment crisis.

  13. Sort of off-topic, but I have to say that in a way, the demise of dead tree media makes me sad, and in a way, less well-rounded. As an example, for a long time I had a subscription to Time Magazine. When I’d get it, I’d generally read it cover-to-cover, and I rarely skipped articles. Sometimes I’d put them off, but very few never got read eventually, because it was mostly all good writing.

    Now that I no longer have a subscription, I still read stories on Time online, but my reading there is usually limited to the story I went there to see, and maybe one other that has a headline that catches my eye. So what I’ve lost is the “stuff I don’t specifically care about,” but would read in the magazine anyway “because it was there.” Often that stuff would turn out to be really interesting. You simply can’t do that on the website, because there’s too much there to “read it all because it’s there.” Now that I think about it, Guns & Ammo magazine was the same way. I don’t care about cowboy action shooting, but I’d read the article if they wrote it.

    This blog is the closest example to that “read it all” model that exists in my life now. It works because it’s serialized, so I can read the articles as they’re produced, unlike going to Time Online or Guns & Ammo Online where you are assaulted by 40 headlines on the front page, and you don’t know where to start.

    OK, that’s my deep thought for the day. Thanks for listening.

  14. This is terrible. If only there were some sort of vast, global data network capable of carrying broadcast-quality video streams without censorship or political oversight.

    Oh well, we can dream. ;D

  15. Guns and Ammo, Shooting Times and the like have sucked for years. If these idiots want to scuttle their investments then let them! I say good riddance and let other magazines or media take their place.

  16. Know them by their fruits. I too have doubt the sincerity of at least one so-called gun magazine and two small supposed pro-gun organizations.

    The gun magazine recommended against open carry to avoid upsetting people. While I might that I would be more comfortable in open carry among supporters, I question the sincerity of the magazine because of the anti-open-carry attitude instead of changing the culture to pro-open-carry.

    Concealed Carry of Northern Illinois is defunct. Its leader mainly opposed ISRA and also supported the gun ban bills of the time, saying it would cause them to be voted out of office. Clear reasons to not support this front group.

    Glenn of the Stateline Rifle Association wrote against the candidates supported by NRA and ISRA. The SRA also promoted the magazine the new American.

    Just like the Orwellian named magazine, the new American. I subscribed for 1 year and all it did was oppose Republicans. While there are problems there, it did no reporting on the anti-Constitutional and dishonest things the Democrats were doing at the time.

    Stand for high principles or you’ll fall for anything. Like falling for communism or a free lunch for life. I can only hope that people start to understand the high principles and value them to avoid falling the deceptions.

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