Clear Channel attempts to send clearer message

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Let's face it, Clear Channel Communications Inc.’s message hasn’t been that clear.

During the media-ownership proceeding, it took a lot of hits from deregulation foes, who painted it as a monolith where a few executives in San Antonio dictate play lists for 1,200 stations and use those stations to advance a right-wing agenda.

Needless to say, the Mays family controlling the publicly traded company doesn't see it that way and is increasing efforts to tell its story.

Last week, newly appointed corporate public-relations chief Lisa Dollinger was making the rounds with editors and reporters in New York.

The mission: 1) Explain that Clear Channel is a decentralized company committed to local management and service; 2) clear up any inaccuracies and misconceptions.

To help the effort, Dollinger has hired PR firm Brainerd Communications Inc., and she is searching for an in-house radio PR person.

The effort builds on Clear Channel's decision to better tell its story in Washington, where it hired Andrew Levin away from the staff of former House Commerce Committee chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) back in December.

Since then, Levin has hired Brendan Kelsay, another ex-Dingell aide, and former Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) staffer Robert Fisher.

Clear Channel also named former House Republican Conference chairman J.C. Watts (R-Okla.) to its board.

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