Clear Channel Responds To 3 Daughters Challenge To Roanoke-Lynchburg License Renewals
October 12, 2011 at 5:04 AM (PT)
CLEAR CHANNEL's CAPSTAR TX LLC and ALOHA STATION TRUST have filed oppositions to the petition by GARY BURNS' 3 DAUGHTERS MEDIA, INC. to deny the license renewals of five CLEAR CHANNEL stations and two stations spun off to the ALOHA trust for divestiture in ROANOKE-LYNCHBURG, VA. BURNS alleges that CLEAR CHANNEL minimum sale prices for the stations placed in the trust while preventing them from changing format, effectively retaining control and making a sale difficult.
In CAPSTAR's response, 3 DAUGHTERS' Petition to Deny is called " no more than a thinly disguised and egregiously late attempt to revisit Commission actions that have long ago become final." The letter calls the petition "a platform for 3 DAUGHTERS to lament the perceived public interest detriment" of CLEAR CHANNEL and ALOHA's ownership of five and two stations in the market, respectively. Asserting that its transactions complied with all FCC rules, the response says that "3 DAUGHTERS' pleading is not a valid petition against station license renewals. Rather, it is a leverage point -- a convenient hook on which 3 DAUGHTERS can hang its back–end grievances about transactions that the Commission approved in proceedings in which 3 DAUGHTERS chose not to participate, and which became final long ago."
In ALOHA's filing, the company says that 3 DAUGHTERS "fails to present any factual evidence or legal arguments concerning the conduct of the ALOHA STATION TRUST, LLC ... that satisfied the standards for challenging renewal applications ... (and) cannot point to a single instance of illegal activity or unethical conduct on the part of the ALOHA TRUST that could support a prima facie case against the stations renewal applications, let alone meet the substantial and material question of fact standard required under Section 309 (k) for an evidentiary hearing." Characterizing the 3 DAUGHTERS filing as a "frivolous strike pleading rather than an actionable matter before the Commission," the trust claims that it " has every incentive" to sell the stations but "can't produce a sales transaction if there is no willing buyer that is prepared to purchase the Stations."
BURNS tells ALL ACCESS that CLEAR CHANNEL "responded, which they were required to do. We have until OCTOBER 24th to respond to their reply, (and) we will ... all I can say is there are plenty of deals getting done, they need to sell the ALOHA TRUST stations and they recaptured one station in this market based on flawed data. The facts speak for themselves."
The stations include CLEAR CHANNEL Rock WROV, Top 40/Rhythmic WJJS-WJJX (JAMMIN' JJS), Country WYYD, AC WSNV (SUNNY FM), and ALOHA's Adult Hits WSFF-WSNZ (STEVE FM).