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Conservative airwaves under siege as Soros eyes Audacy
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Conservative airwaves under siege as Soros eyes Audacy

If George Soros manages to reduce the impact of right-leaning voices on radio, it could have a gigantic effect on the 2024 election, especially in swing states.

Soros Fund Management, an investment company controlled by left-wing billionaire George Soros, is reportedly on the verge of taking a controlling interest in Audacy, the second-largest radio broadcaster in America. Only iHeartMedia owns more radio stations.

Audacy, which has amassed $1.9 billion in debt, filed for bankruptcy in January. Soros Management Fund has bought $400 million of that debt. SMF now controls about 40% of Audacy’s senior debt, which means Soros’ fund is now well positioned to be the radio giant’s largest shareholder once bankruptcy proceedings conclude.

Why aren’t more conservative billionaires purchasing more high-profile media outlets?

The move is a troubling sign that Soros is planning to exert substantial influence on important broadcast radio markets in the months before the 2024 election.

Audacy owns more than 220 stations nationwide, including news and talk radio stations in major markets such as New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

Perhaps most importantly, Audacy owns talk radio stations in high-profile markets in election swing states, including KDWN-AM in Las Vegas, WPHT-AM in Philadelphia, and KDKA-AM in Pittsburgh.

Many of America’s leading conservative voices currently have shows airing on Audacy-owned networks, including Mark Levin, Dana Loesch, Brian Kilmeade, and Sean Hannity. With Soros at the helm of Audacy, who knows how long that will last?

For more than 30 years, Soros has had an immense impact on political and social causes in the United States.

The Soros-funded Open Society Foundations has spent more than $21 billion over the past three decades. In 2022 alone, it spent $1.3 billion. Most of that cash went to left-wing causes and organizations, including Media Matters, Planned Parenthood, and the radical climate advocacy group Sunrise Movement.

Through state-registered political action committees, Soros has helped radical, soft-on-crime district attorneys get elected in key local elections, contributing to rising urban crime rates.

Now, the left-wing billionaire is turning his attention to radio markets, where conservatives and Christians have long had an outsized impact on politics and culture. The vast majority of the most-listened-to talk radio shows are still hosted by conservatives or right-leaning moderates, reaching tens of millions of people every week.

If Soros manages to reduce the impact of conservative voices on radio, it could end up having a gigantic effect on the 2024 election, especially the presidential race and tightly contested congressional seats.

Congressional and presidential races in numerous states were decided by fewer than 3 percentage points in 2020, including Michigan, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, all of which are the home to news or talk radio stations owned by Audacy. Had Biden lost in those three states alone, Trump would have won the 2020 election.

The Soros Management Fund’s recent move to capture Audacy radio stations appears to be part of a long-term strategy.

In 2022, the Latino Media Network, with the backing of Soros Fund Management, purchased 18 Spanish-language radio stations for $60 million. Among the stations included in the deal was Radio Mambi, a popular conservative, anti-communism talk radio station in Miami that has close ties to the Cuban exile community in South Florida.

At this stage of the process, it seems unlikely anything will get in the way of Soros purchasing Audacy, especially with a left-wing president in control of federal regulatory agencies. But this vital situation raises serious questions about the conservative movement and the commitment of its biggest financiers.

For decades, the left has taken increasingly more control of print, digital, and television media outlets. It managed to capture much of academia, Hollywood, and the music industry years earlier.

Why aren’t more conservative billionaires purchasing more high-profile media outlets? I would think they are unaware of how important the media has become, if it weren’t also true that so many of the wealthiest conservatives complain endlessly about bias in journalism.

Conservative policy solutions are better for all Americans and far more appealing, but it really doesn’t matter if most people never find out about them.

If the wealthiest conservatives in America don’t care enough about their country to push back against the influences of people like George Soros, then it’s going to be incredibly difficult for conservatism to thrive in the coming decades.

It’s well past time for conservative billionaires to put their money where their mouths are.

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Justin Haskins

Justin Haskins

Justin Haskins is the director of the Socialism Research Center at the Heartland Institute and the co-author of the New York Times best-seller "Dark Future: Uncovering the Great Reset's Terrifying Next Phase."
@JustinTHaskins →