Thursday, November 16, 2006

Clear Channel Sale

Yes, we're aware of the huge Elephant in the Middle of the Media Room.

As expected, Clear Channel has agreed to a $26.7 billion dollar deal involving a pair of private equity firms, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital.

When it's all said and done, Clear Channel will still be run by the Mays family - Chairman Lowry Mays, CEO Mark Mays and President/CFO Randall Mays.

But some changes have already been announced.

Among them, Clear Channel will dump 448 stations outside the top 100 radio markets, including what we hear is 34 stations in Ohio alone.

This wouldn't involve markets like Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Toledo, Akron/Canton or Youngstown. The presence of Youngstown, in particular, on the "keep" list would indicate that well-performing markets just outside the top 100 are staying in the company's portfolio.

A list on AllAccess this afternoon denotes the markets to be sold off, and the list includes: Ashtabula, Ashland/Mansfield (Mid-Ohio), Chillicothe, Defiance, Findlay/Tiffin, Lima, Marion and Sandusky.

One other effect here in Ohio - the deal calls for Clear Channel to dump its TV station group. That means CBS affiliate WKRC/12 would split from the massive CC radio cluster in that market.

More, as we hear more...


Anonymous said...

But correct me if I am wrong but isn't Youngstown market 118 in radio?

Anonymous said...

>>But correct me if I am wrong but isn't Youngstown market 118 in radio?<<

They obviously billed well, good enough to keep. Quite a few sub-100 markets made the cut anyway.

Anonymous said...

They do quite well but if they sold the Youngstown cluster, I would think they could get quite alot of money.

That Guy said...

>>They do quite well but if they sold the Youngstown cluster, I would think they could get quite alot of money.<<

I heard another report (possibly All Access) that indicated the clusters being sold represent about 10% of the radio division's revenue.

Like the poster above you indicated, "They obviously billed well, good enough to keep."

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how much Channel 12 has to do with the radio side of things down there in the Queen City. WLW just recently affiliated with WLWT-5 for news/wx.

Anonymous said...

Yep, Wheeling's on the list too. Now, THAT ought to please those still upset by the demolition of WWVA's news staff, coupled with the attempt to relocate the signal to Cleveland, all in the same year.

Hey, does anyone think that Elyria-Lorain might try to get WCPZ/WLEC from the Sandusky cluster? Coupling those two with WKFM, and then spinning off both WLKR A/F (or all three) over to WOBL/WDLW Radio's owners... whoo boy...

- Nathan Obral

Anonymous said...

the ohio stations being spun off would make a good group for ONE owner.....they cover virtually ever corner of the state....

the west virginia properties should go to west virginia radio. ( but who knows) it would be logical for both buyer and seller

Anonymous said...

The big issue in the CC deal is the $8 billion in debt the new owners are assuming.
These people are bankers, and bankers don't like debt, unless you owe it to them. They make their money by believing that the pieces of a company are worth more than the whole.
I suspect there will be many staff and program cuts, the possible elimation of all locally originated programming on some stations, making them just network relays with local spot inserts, and the eventual sell-off of the CC properties.
Will this mean a return of real "broadcasters" to the industry, with local ownership and programming?
I don't see that happening unless new people with money, vision, ideas and the desire to "save" radio suddenly come out of the woodwork, and there doesn't seem to be anyone like that out there now.

Anonymous said...

Nathan Trust Me When I Tell You WOBL/WDLW Owner may want to add the sandusky stations in his camp BUT IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN FOR $$$ Reasons.