Thursday, April 05, 2007

Terrestrial Radio: More Consolidation, More Hypocricy

FCC Approves Citadel Takeover Of Disney Stations
April 4, 2007, www.fmqb.com

The FCC today approved a transaction in which Citadel Broadcasting will acquire 24 major-market radio stations from Disney's ABC Radio, but the deal does not come without conditions. As compensation for the purchase, Citadel will issue stock to the current Disney shareholders, resulting in a transfer of control of Citadel. That transfer of control also will result in the loss of Citadel's rights to own 11 of its radio stations in seven markets, including Albuquerque, Little Rock, Charleston, Portland, ME, Saginaw-Bay City, MI and Lafayette, LA. To address that issue, the FCC's Order approves an application for consent to assign the licenses for those stations to an insulated divestiture trust."While I am always troubled by the effects on our media environment of allowing a large media conglomerate to acquire even more stations, I believe this transaction is narrowly - quite narrowly - in the public interest because ABC's and Citadel's holdings do not overlap in any local market and, most importantly, because Citadel must divest the 11 stations that it owns in excess of our local ownership limits," commented FCC Commissioner Michael Copps. "An important element in my approval of this item is that Citadel does not retain ownership of the 11 stations while it searches for a buyer, but rather must transfer ownership immediately to a trust with a legal duty to sell them. Additionally, we strongly encourage the trust to seek bids from "eligible entities," as that term is defined by the Small Business Administration, including businesses often owned by women and minorities."...read more: here

4/05/2007 08:09:00 AM

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