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Re: this week in review....

<<On Sun, 26 Aug 2001 19:04:06 -0400, Mark Laurence <mlaurence@mindspring.com> said:

> In your scenario, why even bother with programming expenses on the other 
> stations?

When the telecom act was first passed (and I would note that the
Greater Media was one of the few companies whose management spoke out
in opposition), what we heard from many of the other groups was that
they could deploy a ``pod'' of similar formats in a market to protect
an important property.  (I think we talked about this on LTAR back in
1996.)  The idea was that a company which owned a cash cow property
could ``protect'' that signal by running similar formats with somewhat
different demographics on other signals; doing so would make it more
difficult for any other operator to challenge the format of the
dominant station in the cluster.

It hasn't really turned out that way.  We have seen that practice, but
the dominant players seem to have instead concentrated on blowing up
the weakest performers in their clusters and rolling out pre-fab
formats in many markets simultaneously -- in some cases in the face of
far superior format competition in the hands of another operator.
(Witness Clear Channel's ``Kiss'' in a good number of markets where
another operator owns the heritage CHR signal.)