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Karmazin: Radio Canary Is ‘Happy,’ Competition ‘Alive and Well’

Karmazin: Radio Canary Is 'Happy,' Competition 'Alive and Well'

Much as the Senate Commerce Committee looked at consolidation in radio earlier in the year, members on Tuesday questioned testifiers about TV consolidation within a larger discussion of the FCC’s media ownership proceeding.
Some members of Congress and public interest groups have pointed to radio consolidation as an example of how the 1996 Telecom Act failed.
Mel Karmazin, president and COO of Viacom’s Infinity Radio, rebuffed that notion.
“In the past few months, radio has become the poster child against deregulation, the so-called ‘canary’ signaling troubles in the mines of ownership rules relaxation. It’s time for a reality check.”
Karmazin said there are 3,800 separate owners of commercial radio stations and that Infinity is the fourth largest owner by station count, with 185 facilities.
Competition is “alive and well” in radio, Karmazin said, noting that despite lagging behind Clear Channel in station count, Infinity ranks second to the company in revenues.
Radio deregulation has made the canary “a happy fellow.”