Monday, December 06, 2004

Fox to Become Main McNews Source For Clear Channel

News Corp.'s Fox News has reached an agreement to become the primary news provider to radio giant Clear Channel Communications Inc.

The pact stands to greatly boost the radio presence of Fox News, which rolled out its service last year, as it looks to compete with the much more entrenched CBS Radio, a unit of Viacom Inc., and Walt Disney Co.'s ABC Radio.

Under the terms of the five-year deal, which starts next year, as many as 172 of Clear Channel's news and talk stations could eventually carry Fox's radio service, which includes news updates of up to five minutes per hour and syndicated talk shows by some of its cable news personalities, including Alan Colmes.

The Clear Channel partnership will give Fox News's nascent radio unit close to 300 stations, including 37 in the top 40 markets. There are options in the deal that could increase the number of Clear Channel stations affiliated with Fox News over time. Fox News said that if all options are exercised, its service could have more than 500 affiliates by mid-2005.

The teaming of Fox News and Clear Channel is sure to raise eyebrows among some media-watchdog groups. With about 1,200 radio stations, Clear Channel of San Antonio has become a lightning rod for concerns about consolidation in that industry. Fox News, for its part, often is accused of having a conservative bias, although Mr. Colmes is among the news operation's liberal commentators.

You mean it wasn't already?

This would be more of concern were not for the fact that FM and AM readio are well on their way to becoming techno-dinosaurs. Of course, its primary successor, satellite radio, will be even easier to control.

And hey, they even let a liberal talk once in a while, so what's the biggie?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only question here is why ClearChannel decided to move to the left to take on Fox.

I think I read somewhere that ClearChannel has a piece of Sirius. If so, it will provide an interesting experiment--are they in it for the money or the political punch? At least for now, my bet's on the former. They were happy to take on Air America when it picked up a head of steam last year, and had no apparent reservations about bringing Howard Stern on board. The MediaHookers will be glad to give you anything you want. We just need to haggle about the price for a while.

5:01 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

see web stats