FCC clears way for AMFM merger

$23 bil venture ok'd after 122 radio stations were cut

The Federal Communications Commission Tuesday gave the go-ahead for Clear Channel to merge with AMFM, in exchange for dropping 122 radio stations in 37 markets, including KACD-FM (Channel 103.1) in Los Angeles.

It was the final regulatory hurdle before the $23 billion merger, announced last October, can be completed.

Clear Channel has already sold many of the stations, including KKBT (the Beat) in Los Angeles.

Web venture

Rather than selling Channel 103.1 altogether, Clear Channel/AMFM will continue to operate it as a Webcast venture, using the same staff and studios.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice gave its approval to the merger on the condition that 99 stations in 27 markets be sold by Clear Channel.

The FCC approval was contingent on selling an additional 23 stations in 10 markets. Clear Channel is expected to divest quickly of the remaining stations so that it can proceed with the merger.

The pending merger creates a company that will hold the lead in the U.S. radio and outdoor advertising industries with nearly 900 radio stations and 425,000 billboards. The company will own equity stakes in some 240 overseas radio stations.

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