Tag Archives: clear channel

Blog Post #2

9 Sep

There were a few things about Media Economics that I found interesting in last weeks discussion. A few key terms that I am going to discuss are Monopoly, Oligopoly, and Interlock. I’ve heard these terms before in the past but I never knew what they meant. Monopoly is when one company dominates an industry, and Oligopoly is when a few companies dominate and industry. These two definitions immediately reminded me of Clear Channel Communications. Clear Channel Communications is a mass media company that has 850 AM and Fm radio stations, making them the largest owner in this industry. This company started off as a Monopoly. It was one company that dominated a large amount of the broadcasting industry. Not only radio, but also Clear Channel later started buying television stations, and also started its own advertising firm. This can be referred as Vertical integration. Anything that they needed to brand their station they owned. They owned radio, television, and even advertising. People who held high positions within this company also held high positions in their other media departments. This is also known as interlock. Interlocking refers to a board member of a major media organization is also a board member of another corporation. So in a way, their employers were getting paid off of three different media outlets. Even the CEO of Clear Channel was the CEO of both radio and the advertising firm. In 2006, Clear Channel decided to sell all of their TV stations as well as 161 radio stations making radio industry an Oligopoly. Instead of Clear channel only dominating in radio, major companies such as Providence Equity Partners and Brian Capital Partners started to dominate also. I work for a few radio stations now that dominates the radio industry in the south. I’ve witnessed first hand the cons of working for a company that owns multiple stations. One of the worse benefits is the music head director treats all the stations the same. Whatever the hot song of the month is, the song gets over played because it’s on all their stations. Lets say Taylor Swift new song is the hottest pop song of the month. No matter where you go, if you turn on a pop station, that song will be playing. It will also be played over and over again every thirty minutes. Some people see this as a good marketing plan. I mean, if everybody loves the song, why not play it as much as you can right? Wrong. There is no creativity or diversity when you do this. No matter where you go you will hear the same music. In my opinion that is one of the reasons my generation has turned away from radio and turned to their iPods.