The Obamafication of Clear Channel begins

A curious announcement today in the San Antonia Biz Journal

Read it here

Clear Channel is “donating” 4 AM radio stations to the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council, which has pressured the FCC for over 20 years to give preference in FCC licensing based on the skin color and reproductive organs of the licensee.

David Honig is the President and Director of the organization.  He is an attorney specializing in communication law.  The MMTC was formed in 1986 after the Reagan administration decided that FCC licenses should be handed out based on merit, without regard to racial identity or gender preference.

Mr. Honig has been working with his friend John McCain to try to pass a bill to return the FCC to the role of  being the Equality Police for the EEOC, which it had started to do before a Federal Court ruled the FCC regulations unconstitutional in 1998.

Here is a recent interview.

The Initial group of stations donated are:

  • KYHN in Fort Smith, Ark.  (10kw Class B)
  • WTFX in Winchester, Va.   (Actually WLVE as of April 2009 – a 5 Kw  daytimer)
  • KMFX in Rochester, Minn. (1 kw daytimer)
  • WHJA in Laurel, Miss.  (10 kw daytimer)

What’s interesting is that all 4 of these stations are currently silent, and approaching the 1 year anniversary of being silent, at which point Clear Channel would have lost the license anyhow.    The 3 daytimer stations had to have been licensed prior to 1986, and probably are much older than that, and basically are not commercially viable and probably inoperable.

By donating the stations, they get some goodwill and maybe some tax or accounting benefit.

Mr Honig has been active recently in opposing the PPM technology, bringing back EEOC enforcement against radio stations via threats to their licenses, and ending practices where an advertiser would say they don’t want to advertise on “black” or Spanish language broadcasters.

On March 5th, 2008, the FCC outlawed “Non Urban Dictates”  and “No Hispanic Dictates” which advertisers demanded from their ad rep firms.  Following that ruling, on March 31, 2008, Interep – one of the two remaining radio representation agencies – declared bankruptcy, leaving only Katz Media in the business, and set off a steep decline in radio advertising by national advertisers.

The MMTC plans to operate the stations as a training ground for future minority broadcasters, where they can learn how to run a competitive radio station using 50 year old analog transmitters, spinning turntables, CARTs and reel to reel tape players – the same skills you learn to do in many colleges for $20k a year.

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