Clear Channel: Media Consolidation Only Okay When It's Clear Channel Consolidating
from the please-explain dept
Clear Channel Communications, the huge broadcasting conglomerate, has spent a lot of effort lobbying the government to relax media ownership rules that have limited what Clear Channel can own within a specific market. The company and its lobbyists consistently make arguments for why it should be allowed to continue to gobble up radio stations, and how the media market can't just be defined by terrestrial radio stations. Of course, Clear Channel has also clearly said that it competes with satellite radio, and therefore wants to burden the satellite radio providers with additional regulations. Therefore, the latest move by Clear Channel should come as no surprise. It has come out strongly against the proposed Sirius/XM merger. Like the NAB, Clear Channel is put in something of an awkward position. First, it needs to explain why it's even concerned about the merger if it claims that Sirius and XM would create a monopoly. If it's truly a monopoly, then terrestrial radio stations shouldn't care. Second, it has to explain away earlier statements about competition from satellite radio that were, in part, used to justify the requests for easing media ownership rules. Finally, it would be nice to explain why all of the other arguments that Clear Channel has used to claim relaxed ownership rules make sense for terrestrial radio don't also apply to satellite radio. So far, the company's best answer appears to be admitting that it's arguments "might be a little skewed toward our specific goals." Shocking.