Jacor, which owns or sells advertising on seven Cincinnati radio stations, will buy Citicasters, a company that has two radio stations and a TV station in Cincinnati-as well as elsewhere.
The deal has been modified. Jacor must sell off WRKQ-FM.
4A's OKs DEAL
Media Access Group has chastised the approval, but the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the most vocal in attacking this merger, last week claimed the FCC acted to adequately protect advertisers.
"We asked them to consider the anti-competitive effects, and they have looked at sales practices," said John Kamp, Four A's senior VP.
The deal is the first since Congress, in the Telecommunications Act revisions, dropped many of the limits on ownership of stations in a market.
Jacor asked the FCC to give it a permanent waiver to operate both radio and TV stations in Cincinnati and Tampa, Fla. But FCC instead gave the company only a temporary waiver and also required Jacor to notify the agency of any change in the status of attempts to jointly sell advertising for its stations.
`BAD FOR FIRST AMENDMENT'
"It stinks," said Andrew Schwartzman, executive director of the Media Access Project. "It's bad for the First Amendment. It's bad for the public and it's bad for commerce in that it drives up rates."
He was also critical of ad groups for waiting until after the telecommunications law was approved to express their concerns.
FCC Commissioner Susan Ness said she had some misgivings, but decided to support the deal.
"Such market power is of concern," Ms. Ness said. "...The public is not well served if market power is coupled with anti-competitive behavior."