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Clear Channel Turns to Fox for National News; First Major Carriage Deal for Fox Radio Division

Clear Channel Turns to Fox for National News; First Major Carriage Deal for Fox Radio Division

Clear Channel Radio has signed an agreement with Fox News, making the nascent radio unit at Fox the national news provider for more than 100 of Clear Channel’s news/talk stations. The five-year deal begins in 2005.
Fox will provide a five-minute top of the hour newscast, a special nightly news broadcast and 24/7 dedicated national news coverage. Fox will be the primary provider of breaking national news.
Both companies said the contract marks the first major affiliate group deal for Fox News Radio, which launched last year.
Fox would have access to news from Clear Channel’s 500 local reporters.
Clear Channel stressed the deal is for its news/talk stations only; Fox is not the main news provider for the bulk of Clear Channel’s 1,200 stations.
However, in its press release, Clear Channel notes that if all options are exercised, Fox News could be carried on more than 500 stations by the middle of next year.
The terms were not disclosed however the Wall Street Journal reported it was an all-cash deal and Clear Channel would pay Fox several million dollars annually. Clear Channel would not carry Fox ads, reports the Journal, as the group is trying to reduce its inventory.
Clear Channel Radio’s chief executive John Hogan told the Journal the ABC Radio Networks would feel the biggest impact from the change as the bulk of the stations affected in this agreement now use ABC for national news content.
Hogan said because of this deal, its local news directors would get a better national news product. Citizen groups that oppose big media will likely watch as the nation’s largest radio operator turns to Fox for most of its national news. Right now, its news/talk stations receive national news from a variety of sources, according to Clear Channel.