FCC Approves Clear Channel Buyout

The Federal Communications Commission has approved the buyout of Clear Channel Communications by private equity investors led by Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital Partners, according to several news reports on Friday.

Although Clear Channel and the FCC both declined to comment, the merger was widely expected to pass agency review. Mostly, since it involves no substantial changes in the portfolio of businesses owned by Clear Channel.

The company's holdings include Clear Channel Radio--the largest radio broadcaster in the United States--and Clear Channel Outdoor, the largest outdoor advertiser in the world. The company faces no significant regulatory issues regarding ownership in the United States, as these FCC rules apply only to cross-ownership of radio stations and another media property, such as a newspaper or TV station.

Clear Channel recently sold its TV division, comprised of 56 stations, to Providence Equity Partners in April 2007. It is continuing to divest itself of radio stations in small and mid-sized markets, with plans to eventually trim its portfolio by 450 to around 900, focusing on more valuable properties in larger markets.



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