Jacor Gets OK To Buy Radio Chain
WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Justice Department today allowed Jacor Communications Inc. to proceed with its $620 million acquisition of Nationwide Communications Inc. after Jacor agreed to sell or swap eight radio stations to maintain competition in San Diego, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio.
Jacor agreed to divest two stations in San Diego, one in Cleveland and five in Columbus, Ohio. Based on industry estimates, the department said the divestitures would reduce Jacor’s revenue share to about 39 percent of the Cleveland radio market, 36 percent in San Diego and 38 percent in Columbus.
As originally proposed, Jacor would have had control of 12 stations in San Diego with 42 percent of radio advertising revenue there. In Cleveland, Jacor would have owned six stations with 43 percent of revenue. In Columbus, Jacor’s nine stations would have had 58 percent of the revenue.
That outcome would have significantly reduced competition in those cities, according to the Justice Department’s antitrust division. The division investigated the deal along with the Ohio attorney general’s office.
``The divestitures will preserve the choices available to advertisers in the San Diego, Cleveland and Columbus markets,″ said Assistant Attorney General Joel I. Klein, head of the antitrust division.
Jacor’s sales and swaps will be completed before acquiring Nationwide, the department said.
Two San Diego stations, KKLQ-FM and KJQY-FM, will be sold to Dallas-based Heftel Broadcasting Corp.
Jacor will swap WKNR-AM in Cleveland for WTAE-AM in Pittsburgh. That station is owned now by Capstar Broadcasting Partners, based in Austin, Texas.
In Columbus, Jacor will sell WZAZ-FM to Cincinnati-based Blue Chip Broadcasting. In nearby Chillicothe, Ohio, it will sell its right to acquire WKKJ-FM to Cincinnati-based Secret Communications LLC.
Jacor also will swap three other Columbus stations and two Minneapolis-St. Paul stations to New York-based CBS Radio Station Group for two Baltimore stations, two St. Louis stations and two San Jose, Calif., stations.
Jacor will give CBS WHOK-FM, WLVQ-FM and WAZU-FM in Columbus and WMJZ-FM and KSGS-AM in Minneapolis-St. Paul. From CBS, Jacor will receive WOCT-FM and WCAO-AM in Baltimore; KSD-FM and KLOU-FM in St. Louis and KOME-FM and KUFX-FM in San Jose.
Jacor, headquartered in Covington, Ky., now owns and operates 197 radio stations in 55 U.S. markets. Its 1997 revenues were $600 million.
Nationwide, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, owns or operates 17 radio stations in 11 U.S. metropolitan areas. Its 1997 revenues were $113 million.