Radio-station acquisitions by Cumulus Media Inc. and Clear Channel Communications Inc.
in Beaumont, Texas, were ordered to be reviewed by a Federal Communications
Commission administrative judge Friday under the agency's policy of giving extra
scrutiny to deals that create specific levels of local market concentration.
Designated for judicial hearing were Cumulus' purchase of KAYD-FM from Hilco
Communications Inc. and Clear Channel's purchase of KCOL-FM from Voice in the
If the mergers go forward, Cumulus and Clear Channel together would own nine of
the 17 commercial radio stations in the market and account for 94.5 percent of
local advertising revenue and 85.3 percent of listeners.
Under the FCC's four-year-old "flagging" policy, radio mergers are subject to
an extra layer of review when one owner would control more than 50 percent of
local radio ad revenue or two owners 70 percent.
Clear Channel officials have said they will exercise their right to wait
until the FCC finishes new media-ownership rules this spring rather than submitting
to any hearings now. Several Clear Channel deals have already been designated