Monday, June 2nd is a big day for media conglomerate
Clear Channel Communications. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is
expected to vote next month on new media-ownership rules which would likely
break the company’s stronghold on certain radio markets nationwide.
Clear Channel, which operates 1,225 radio stations and 39 television stations
in the United States, could see its reach in the radio sector shortened if the
FCC’s new rules require it sell some of its stations. I
n 1996, the FCC passed the Telecommunications
Act which eased restrictions on radio ownership in hopes that it would aid the
Several years since, profit margins are unquestionably
healthy for several companies, but deregulation has caused many to question
the legislation’s role on decreased competition.
Clear Channel is one company that has clearly thrived under the new deregulation.
Before 1996, the company owned and/or operated less than 100 radio stations
across the country.
Since then, the company has accelerated its growth
by acquiring radio stations in various markets and purchasing sizable interests
in companies which own and operate multiple outlets across the globe.
The FCC, headed by Michael K. Powell (son of
Secretary of State Colin Powell), is expected to conduct a five commissioner
vote on the matter during their biennial review next month.
Two of the commissioners, Michael Copps and Jonathan
Adelstein have requested that the June 2nd meeting be delayed to allow for the
gathering of more information.
In a public statement, however, Republican commissioner Kathleen Abernathy "respectfully
opposed" their requests stating, "We have compiled a thorough and
comprehensive record in this proceeding, which includes over 18,000 comments,
12 studies and testimony from a number of broadcast ownership hearings. We have
provided notice of the rules we are reviewing, and the comments in the record
reflect an understanding of these issues. I am satisfied that we have the information
and the input we need to make a sound, judicially sustainable decision that
will benefit the public interest."
For more information about Clear Channel and
the Federal Communications Commission, visit www.clearchannel.com and www.fcc.gov,