[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Clear Channel, consolidation, etc.
At 08:43 PM 10/19/2003 -0400, you wrote:
>I like the reference to all the financially failing radio
>stations that existed prior to consolidation. These would
>include all the Class IV am's and am daytimers, plus
>marginal major-market am's like WWZN. The real problem
>is the number of Class I and IA 50k am's and full-power FM's
>in the hands of just a few owners. These were never going to fail
>utterly; they would have been bought at fair-market prices
>by a multitude of owners and made profitable one way or another.
Interestingly, the class A AMs have been some of the least consolidated
radio properties in the post-96 era. Even a look down the list of the
former I-A clears produces a reasonably broad selection of owners:
KFI, WLW, WHAS, KOA, WHO, WTAM, WHAM, WOAI - Clear Channel
WSM - Gaylord, LMA to Cumulus
WFAN, WSCR, WCCO, WCBS, KDKA, WBZ, KMOX, WPHT - Viacom
WOR - Buckley
WGN - Tribune
WSB - Cox
WJR, WABC, WBAP, WLS - Disney
WWL - Entercom
The only real consolidation roll-ups there were the merger of CBS (WCCO,
WCBS, KMOX, WPHT), Infinity (WFAN) and Westinghouse (WMAQ/WSCR, KDKA, WBZ)
and the accretion of the Clear Channel group through a series of purchases
But at least all the companies operating those stations these days, with
the exception of Disney, are predominantly BROADCASTERS. Ask the folks at
WLW if life was better under the series of cheapskate owners that followed
the Powell Crosley days and preceded Jacor - or the stations that were
afterthoughts to big newspapers (WHAS, for instance).
The I-A clears (and the full-market top-10 market B and C FMs, for that
matter) are never going to be the playthings of mom-and-pop operators.
They've been big business since the day Westinghouse flipped the switch on
KDKA and WBZ.
As for the thousands of lesser signals, I can say this about Clear Channel
from personal observation: they sink engineering resources into many of
their AM properties in a way that Ma and Pa never could. It's exceedingly
rare to find a CC AM station with unlistenable audio quality, a corroded
ground system, a missed legal ID or day power/pattern after dark - and when
someone DOES screw up, an e-mail to the engineering bosses in Kentucky gets
it fixed immediately. There are a lot of other stations and groups about
which that can't be said.
(usual disclaimer: I derive a portion of my income from a division of Clear
Channel unrelated to Clear Channel Radio, and I speak for myself only, not