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CLEAR CHANNEL NEWS: Clear Channel Ackerley Purchase Ok'd By FCC & More

Clear Channel Communications got the green light from the FCC to buy Seattle-based Ackerley Group Inc after agreeing to sell stations in four New York markets and one in California within a year.

The previously announced deal included its purchase of Ackerley's 16 TV stations and four radio stations for about $451 million in stock.

CCC Asks Employees To Help Fund New Lobbying Efforts

As demand continues for lawmakers to look into the business practices of Clear Channel Communications, company employees have been asked to allocate a portion of their salaries to help bankroll the giant company's new lobbying efforts, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

In letters sent out to employees, Lowry Mays, chairman/CEO asked that they help "effectively communicate our political positions with timely access to elected officials … We have seen the need to have influence and impact on legislative issues in Washington as well as at state and local levels," Mays wrote.

"This becomes important particularly as Clear Channel grows," he continued. "It is critical to tell our story and defend our positions.

A "membership application" that offered suggested amounts of up to 1 percent of employees' base salaries was attached to the letter. It was also noted contributions are voluntary and that employees can refuse to contribute "without reprisal from the company."

dMarc Networks And CCE Enter Into Data Distribution Pact

dMarc Networks Inc., a radio frequency subcarrier management and wireless data distribution firm, has entered into an exclusive agreement signed several months ago with Clear Channel Communications, Inc., through its wholly-owned subsidiary Citicasters Licenses, Inc., to launch a wireless data distribution network servicing all of Southern California. The agreement enables dMarc Networks to offer reliable subcarrier data delivery and remote management solutions to Clear Channel radio stations in Southern California, marketers and advertisers, content and data service providers — ultimately reaching a population of more than 15,000,000 Californians.

Clear Channel has agreed to utilize dMarc Networks' patent-pending dMarc for Broadcasters(TM) solution, providing an outsourced, centralized subcarrier management and data delivery system. Through dMarc's user-friendly desktop application, dMarc WebManager(TM), Clear Channel will be able to support multiple clients on one or several subcarrier bands, forecast and manage available subcarrier spectrum, schedule and manage data campaigns, target devices and consumer groups, deliver data files, and efficiently handle reporting and billing.

In addition to licensing its subcarrier management software and systems, dMarc Networks will also gain international, domestic and local subcarrier sales representation for Clear Channel's twenty-seven FM radio stations throughout Southern California.

"dMarc's innovative software and sales solutions will help monetize our subcarrier frequencies, and enhance the overall revenue potential of our stations," said Roy Laughlin, Regional Vice President and Los Angeles Market Manager of Clear Channel Communications. "We benefit from their software and data systems expertise in leveraging this auxiliary broadcast asset (subcarriers) while we can continue to focus on our core radio and music businesses."

"As the largest radio operator in the greater Los Angeles market, with reach covering the majority of Southern California, Clear Channel Communications and dMarc Networks are forging an exciting partnership," said Ryan Steelberg, president and co-founder of dMarc Networks. "The subcarrier market opportunity is significant. By coupling our software and data solutions with Clear Channel's Southern California stations, we look to provide a low-cost and reliable data distribution opportunity across multiple industries including the music and recording industry, telematics, telemetry, and location-based services."

This agreement enables dMarc Networks to use Clear Channel's subcarrier frequencies to deliver content and data wirelessly to a variety of remote devices, including radio receivers, telematics systems, toys, consumer electronics, and other endpoints. Under the agreement, dMarc Networks and Clear Channel will share in revenues generated from the delivery of such content and data services.

"This agreement and partnership with dMarc Networks will enable Clear Channel to expand its business service offerings and generate high-margin revenues across our Los Angeles trading area radio stations, without compromising the quality and focus of our core audio businesses," said Jim Murphy, controller of Citicasters Licenses, Inc. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Clear Channel Communications, Inc.). "For marketers, device manufacturers and wireless service providers who are hungry for a low-cost and reliable communications vehicle, this is a great time to introduce our subcarrier data services through dMarc Networks."