Radio giant Clear Channel Communications Inc. sells radio stations in 42 markets as part of a deal reached with federal regulators that will allow the company to complete its sale to private investors.
Word that the Federal Communications Commission had unanimously approved the $19.5 billion buyout surfaced two weeks ago. The agency released the details Thursday.
Clear Channel, the nation's largest radio station owner, is being taken private by a group led by Thomas H. Lee Partners LP and Bain Capital Partners LLC for $39.20 a share. Shareholders already have approved the transaction.
Clear Channel Communications is a media conglomerate company based in the United States. Clear Channel, founded in 1972 by Lowry Mays and Red McCombs, wields considerable influence in radio broadcasting, concert promotion and hosting, and fixed advertising in the United States through its subsidiaries. The largest U.S. radio station owner owns over 1,100 full-power AM, FM, and shortwave radio stations, twelve radio channels on XM Satellite Radio, and more than 30 television stations in the United States, among other media outlets in other countries. The present head of the company is Mark Mays, and its headquarters is located in San Antonio, Texas.
The term "clear channel" comes from AM broadcasting, referring to a channel (frequency) on which only one station transmits. In U.S. and Canadian broadcasting history, "clear channel" (or class I-A) stations had exclusive rights to their frequencies throughout most of the continent at night, when AM stations travel very far due to skywave. WOAI in San Antonio, one of Clear Channel's first acquisitions, was such a station.
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