January 29, 2003

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The new octopus*
What Clear Channel owns in the Bay Area

Radio stations

KABL-AM
KCNL-FM
KFJO-FM
KISQ-FM
KKSF-FM
KMEL-FM
KNEW-AM
KSJO-FM
KYLD-FM
K101-FM

Event promotion

Bill Graham Presents

Venues

Clear Channel either owns, operates, or exclusively books the following:
Chronicle Pavilion
Fillmore
Greek Theatre
Punchline
Shoreline Amphitheatre
Warfield

Billboards

Clear Channel Outdoor (owns roughly half of the billboards in San Francisco)

News racks

Adshel Inc. (has the contract to build, operate, and sell ads on more than 1,000 pedestal-mounted news racks in San Francisco)

*This chart shows what Clear Channel Communications Inc. owns in the San Francisco Bay Area. The broad range of holdings allows for what is known as “vertical integration" — Clear Channel owns the radio stations that play (and thus promote) music and performers, owns the venues where those musicians perform, and owns the company that promotes those events. The Clear Channel also owns half of the city's billboards and also has the contract to build and operate the pedestal-mounted news racks that will soon be the only legal method of newspaper distribution in parts of San Francisco.
Clear Channel got control of the so-called pedmounts when it bought Adshel Inc., the company that won the right to build the structures, which were mandated under a law pushed through in 1998 by Mayor Willie Brown and then-supervisor Barbara Kaufman. The contract to build the pedmounts and then sell advertising on the backs of them runs for 20 years. It's a terrible deal: the city gets almost nothing out of the arrangement, while Clear Channel/Adshel can make unlimited profits.
Worse, it gives the giant corporation that already controls a large part of the radio, events, and outdoor-ad market in the city the right to effectively control the distribution of newspapers (see "A Bad News-Rack Deal," 4/24/02).