In 1998 it made its first move outside of the United States when it acquired the leading UK outdoor advertising company More Group plc, which was led by Roger Parry; Clear Channel went on to buy many other outdoor advertising, radio broadcasting, and live events companies around the world, which were then re-branded Clear Channel International. iHeartMedia and its subsidiaries have been associated with censorship of state and federal candidates for public office, elected officials and various political viewpoints. After spending about $30 billion, Clear Channel owned over 1,200 stations nationwide, including as many as eight stations in certain markets. Although they have no full-powered stations programming a Dance or EDM (Electronic Dance Music) format, iHeartMedia has FM translators and HD2 platforms broadcasting the EDM-intensive Evolution platform (KZZP/Phoenix is the flagship station, serving as a reporter on Billboard’s Dance/Mix Show Airplay panel), while the LGBT community is served by the more broader-based Pride Radio (with WFLZ/Tampa serving as the flagship station as well as a Dance/Mix Show Airplay reporter).
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the company became an object of persistent criticism. After Natalie Maines, the singer of the country band Dixie Chicks, told a London audience that they were "ashamed [of the fact that] the president of the United States is from Texas", the band's radio airplay dropped precipitously.
The plan included the spin-out of iHeartMedia's 89.1% stake in its out-of-home advertising division Clear Channel Outdoor. 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In November 2019, K256AS/KUCD-HD2 in Honolulu launched a variant Top 40 format with a focus on K-pop and other international pop hits. Examples include San Diego, California, on KUSS 95.7 (which became KOGO-FM after simulcasting KOGO (AM), replacing country music), Sacramento, California on KGBY 92.5 (which became KFBK-FM after simulcasting KFBK, replacing hot adult contemporary), in Tucson, Arizona, on KTZR-FM (which became KNST-FM after simulcasting KNST, replacing Spanish top 40), in Schenectady, New York (WGY-FM/103.1, simulcasting WGY/810, replacing rock WHRL) and Syracuse, New York (WSYR-FM/106.9 simulcasting WSYR/570, displacing urban AC "Power" to WHEN/620). These stations are often programmed as urban stations that happen to be religious. In 2001, Jack Evans, regional senior VP of programming at Clear Channel, attributed the creation of the list to individual program directors rather than management; however, the completed list was distributed to the program directors by management at Clear Channel. Staff, including John Sykes, believed that the deal (particularly the Beatport countdown show) would help provide a higher level of national exposure to current and up and coming EDM artists. Hot adult contemporary stations are usually branded as "Mix", "Star" or "MYfm" (i.e. Evenings are usually filled with Delilah, unless that show is already aired by another station, in which case the John Tesh Radio Show is often substituted. Clear Channel went on a subsequent buying spree, purchasing more than 70 other media companies and individual stations. These stations generally have a few local live announcers; much of the time these stations are voicetracked either locally or from another market. The 855 stations reach more than 110 million listeners every week, and 245 million every month. The Best Live, Local Radio Stations. , In January 2019, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas approved a creditor-supported plan for iHeartMedia to exit bankruptcy, which would reduce the company's debt from $16.1 billion to $5.75 billion. Some AC iHeartMedia stations are almost famous for playing Christmas music as early as November 1 such as KOSY-FM in Salt Lake City before they flipped to mainstream rock or WLKO playing its first Christmas song of the season 2–3 weeks before Thanksgiving. Also WOFX, Cincinnati, owned by Clear Channel at the time continued to play songs that were on the alleged list, even though radio headquarters was in Cincinnati at the time. Do you love Christmas music?
Nearly all of the FM stations play oldies spanning from 1964 to 1975, with a 500-song active playlist split nearly half 1960s and half 1970s. iHeartMedia has purchased interest in, or outright acquired, companies in a number of media or advertising related industries.
The company spun off these businesses in 2005 and 2019 respectively, as the present-day Live Nation Entertainment and Clear Channel Outdoor. This had been intended to provide additional revenue to the artist, venue, and promoter, as well as stifle the demand for unauthorized bootleg concert recordings made by audience members. iHeartRadio is a free broadcast, podcast and streaming radio platform. Starting with WQBW Milwaukee (now the sports formatted WRNW) and WBWR Columbus (now WXZX), several iHeartMedia stations have adopted a 1980s-centered classic rock approach called "The Brew.". In May 2019, it was spun out from iHeartMedia as part of its exit from bankruptcy.. Previously, this format was originated as Rhythmic Oldies, which was launched at KCMG/Los Angeles and later spread to more markets before the former Clear Channel flipped several stations out of the format by the mid-2000s. The company has also been involved in internet radio and podcasting via the digital platform iHeartRadio (from which the company derives its current name). The custom caller service provided by Premiere Radio assures its clients they won't hear the same actor's voice for at least two months in order to appear authentic to listeners who might otherwise catch on..
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