Gary Burns: A 'Miscount' Allowed Clear Channel Extra Virginia Stations
September 7, 2011 at 3:53 AM (PT)
YESTERDAY (NET NEWS 9/6), ALL ACCESS reported that GARY BURNS' 3 DAUGHTERS MEDIA, INC. filed a petition to deny the license renewals of five CLEAR CHANNEL stations and two stations spun off to the ALOHA STATION TRUST, LLC for divestiture in ROANOKE-LYNCHBURG, VA. The petition, filed THURSDAY (9/1), notes that CLEAR CHANNEL has had since its 2008 "going private" transaction and trust spinoff to sell the stations and has not done so.
CLEAR CHANNEL responded, saying " "CLEAR CHANNEL's reacquisition of WSNV was in full compliance with FCC rules. It was unopposed at the FCC -- or by any other third party -- at the time. We closed the transaction, and the Commission’s decision is final and cannot be challenged. Unfortunately, THREE DAUGHTERS is attempting to use the renewal process to argue matters long since decided at the FCC."
You notice in their reply, they only addressed their 5th FM, and did not address 6 & 7! And they got the 5th based on flawed data.
BURNS respectfully disagrees. "You notice in their reply, they only addressed their 5th FM, and did not address 6 and 7! And they got the 5th based on flawed data," he told ALL ACCESS.
"BIA had miscounted the stations that allowed CLEAR CHANNEL to get to 45 stations," continued BURNS. "In order to have 5 FMs the ARBITRON metro must have 45 stations. One of the unbuilt CP's, WKCJ, was not home to the metro in their old market of RONCEVERTE, WV -- or their new market ELLISTON-LAFAYETTE, VA. BIA admitted they miscounted the stations and have since removed them from the count."
BURNS explains further, "CLEAR CHANNEL and WHEELER control over 90% of the market revenue. Through a manipulation of the rules each has added a 5th FM. Because WKCJ was miscounted, WHEELER can now add a 6th FM. They have also added an FM translator -- that is 7 -- and if they associate another translator with their other AM -- that will be 8. If they buy another AM and translator that would be 9 FM frequencies and 3 AM's. This 'arms race' to acquire FM stations started because BIA did not count the stations properly. It's nonsense and it needs to stop!"
CLEAR CHANNEL declined to comment further.