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Clear Channel’s Book Strategy Said to Be Unusual

Wall Street Journal relates how Clear Channel lined up Bunzel to tell its story.

The Wall Street Journal took a look this week at how one of the summer’s books about Clear Channel came about.

It focuses on the broadcast company’s strategy in hiring a former trade industry journalist, Reed Bunzel, to write “Clear Vision: The Story of Clear Channel Communications” as a counteroffensive to another author’s book.

“Mr. Bunzel says Clear Channel paid him to do the book but declines to say how much,” the Journal reported. “Another journalist says he was offered more than $100,000 to take on the project. The book doesn’t disclose Mr. Bunzel’s financial relationship with Clear Channel, but careful readers may notice that the company holds the copyright to the book.”

Bunzel is former editor of Radio Ink magazine. The Journal said Clear Channel decided to hire Bunzel to write the book after learning that it would be the subject of a work by Alec Foege. His book is “Right of the Dial: The Rise of Clear Channel and the Fall of Commercial Radio,” though it had the working title “The Monster That Ate Mass Media.”

The newspaper quotes Clear Channel Chief Communications Officer Lisa Dollinger saying Bunzel’s book is an “evenhanded look at Clear Channel” that “was written from an independent point of view by a journalist with decades of experience in radio.”

The Journal story, including discussion of access to company officials, is here.