How Clear Channel became the biggest
The Cincinnati Enquirer, Sunday, March 19, 2000
Clear Channel Communications Inc. became the dominant radio owner in the nation by buying companies such as Jacor, a Cincinnati radio group that grew through its own buying binge in the 1990s. Highlights of what happened here:
January 1981: Jacor buys its first three stations, AM religion outlets in Cincinnati, Toledo and Baltimore.
May 1986: Jacor buys Cincinnati's WLW-AM, the 50,000-watt voice of the Midwest, and WEBN-FM. By year's end, Jacor has 12 stations and the Georgia radio network, an affiliated news network.
September 1992: Federal telecommunications law allows companies, for the first time, to own two AM and two FM stations in the same market.
February 1993: Jacor buys WKRC-AM, and with WLW-AM, becomes the first company here to own two radio stations on the same band.
March 1994: Jacor buys WIMJ-FM, and with WEBN-FM, owns the maximum two FM stations here. By year's end, it owns 18 stations nationwide.
December 1995: Jacor is the nation's eighth largest radio company, owning 25 stations.
February 1996: Federal telecommunications law allows companies to own eight stations in the same market.
July 1996: Jacor becomes the nation's fifth's largest radio company, paying $152 million for 10 stations in the Noble Broadcast Group. It owns 35 stations nationwide.
December 1996: Jacor becomes the nation's third largest radio group after paying more than $1 billion for stations owned by Citicasters, Regent Communications Inc. and Mutual Insurance. Jacor owns 95 stations and has agreements to buy 27 more.
March 1997: Jacor buys E.F.M. Media Management for $50 million, giving it ownership of the top-rated show in the country, Rush Limbaugh.
June 1997: Jacor spends $190 million for Premiere Radio, the country's largest syndicator of comedy programming and 50 other programs.
July 1998: Jacor owns 206 stations in 20 states and 56 broadcast areas.
May 1999: Clear Channel completes $6.5 billion purchase of Jacor, becoming the nation's second largest radio company with 454 stations.
October 1999: Clear Channel becomes the nation's No. 1 radio company, paying $23.5 billion for AMFM Inc. Clear Channel owns 830 stations, including the maximum eight in Cincinnati.
March 2000: Clear Channel buys concert and live theater promoter SFX Entertainment Inc. for $4.4 billion. SFX owns or operates 120 entertainment venues in 31 markets.