FCC staffers and Clear Channel Communications executives are said to be beside themselves over what they see as an unwarranted delay in approving the megaradio group's merger with AMFM Inc. While four commissioners are said to have OK'd the $23.5 billion deal, Commissioner Gloria Tristani had not signed off as of Friday, a knowledgeable source said.
Tristani is said to be "fiddling" with the language that defines a radio market. She has raised this issue before because the FCC uses different measurements to determine how many radio stations are in a market vs. how many a single company owns in the market (B & C, March 6). That ends up giving a group more stations than Tristani would like.
The delay is holding up not just that merger, but Clear Channel's settlement of $4.3 billion worth of radio-station spinoffs required by Justice.