Clear Channel's Mays squashes rumors - Broadcasting & Cable

Clear Channel's Mays squashes rumors

Author:
Publish date:

Clear Channel Communications Inc. held an unusually long teleconference call
Wednesday morning to review second-quarter results and to address what CEO Lowry Mays described as a list of "very negative rumors with no basis
whatsoever" that are circulating about the company.

Mays stressed first of all that there has been no hanky panky on the part of
company management with respect to the company's financial presentations near-term or long-term.

He also went out of his way to distance Clear Channel from so-called family
companies -- he specifically cited Adelphia Communications Corp. -- where management has been
accused of looking out for family interests first and the rest of the
stockholders second.

"This is not a family company, but run for the benefit of all shareholders,"
he said, stressing the company's one-vote-per-share voting policy, which he said
would continue to be the structure going forward.

As to the sudden departure of radio president Randy Michaels, Clear Channel
president Mark Mays said the company announced that change soon after it was
decided as a sign of "openness" with investors and employees.

Mays didn't explain why Michaels was removed from the top radio post (he's
now running what chief financial officer Randall Mays described as a "think tank" department that
will ponder future uses of new technology), only saying it wasn't performance-related.

Indeed, Mays credited Michaels with doing a "fantastic job." But he also
stressed the "stability" of the radio group's senior and midlevel management and
insisted that the cornerstone of the radio division's management strength has
been and will continue to be the 300-plus general managers who run the Clear
Channel stations.

Meanwhile the company posted a 3.5 percent decline in pro forma revenue for
the second quarter to $2.16 billion.

The entertainment division took the biggest hit, with revenue down 14 percent
to $612 million.

Pro forma radio revenue was up 4.5 percent to $991 million.

Pretax earnings were up less than 1 percent to $625 million.

In midday trading, Clear Channel was up 3.8 percent to $29.95 -- not enough to
offset the stock's 16.5 percent drop the day before.

Related