Monday, December 18, 2006

Is Clear Channel Determined To Fragment Major Market Country Stations?

Chuck Deskins, President/Market Manager, Clear Channel, Atlanta just sent out this press release:
"Today at High Noon, Clear Channel Radio Atlanta launched “94.9 The Bull”, at 94.9 fm. The new Country station is the home of “The Biggest Hits and The Biggest Stars” like Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, George Strait and Rascal Flatts. Additionally, 94.9 The Bull is the new home of the Atlanta Braves beginning with the 2007 season. The Bull’s airstaff will be announced over the next few weeks."

ABC's WKHX - Kicks 101.5 FM and WYAY - Eagle 106.7 FM probably felt that owning two country stations was enough to discourage anyone new from entering the fray.

Last May, Clear Channel changed classic rock "The Drive" to "The Fox" in Detroit to attack CBS Radio's WYCD.

In spite of the fact that Entercom's 100.7 The Wolf, Seattle is now a year old and incumbant 94.1 KMPS-FM continues to look strong in the trends, Clear Channel continues to program Q-Country 102.9 KNBQ-FM in spite of market chatter that 'there isn't room for three.'

It looks like someone at Clear Channel has lots of faith in country music radio in these major markets! A&O hears rumors of at least one more launch of a new country station by the company right after the Holidays. Hopefully, at some point, that will happen in the three biggies with no country FM at all right now, New York, San Francisco and of course Los Angeles.

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