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Industry radio network
Fate Acquired by Clear Channel Network.
Successor Clear Channel Network
Founded 1987
Defunct 1999
Headquarters Cincinnati, Ohio
Key people
Jacob Gubas
Parent Independent (1987-1992)
Zell Chillmark (1992-1996)
Citicasters (1996-1999)

Jacor Communications was a media corporation which owned a large number of radio stations in the United States. Inside the radio industry, Jacor was seen as one of the most competitive broadcast companies in history. Jacor's re-image in 1996 created the slogan "The Noise You Can't Ignore".

Jacor was named after its founder Terry Jacobs. Jacobs started the group with small religious stations. From 1987 to 1992, it was owned by Terry Jacobs. From 1992-1999, Jacor was owned by Sam Zell's Zell Chillmark fund. In 1999, Zell sold Jacor to Clear Channel Communications, now iHeartMedia, Inc.


  • History 1
  • Jacor TV 2
  • Jacor Executives 3
  • External links 4


In 1992 Jacor was one of the first broadcasters to take advantage of duopoly rules allowing stations to own or operate 2AM's and 2FM's per market. Up until that time broadcasters could only own 1AM and 1FM per market. One of the first duopoly acquisitions was WKRC Radio in Cincinnati. From 1992-1994 WKRC operated as WLWA, a female version of male driven WLW. In February 1996, with the passing of the telcom bill, Jacor went on a radio shopping spree.

Jacor acquired Noble Broadcasting days after the telecom bill was passed, 10 days later Jacor merged with Citicasters. In 1997 Jacor acquired the assets of Nationwide Communications. These acquisitions made Jacor the third-largest radio company when it was acquired by Clear Channel for 4.4 billion dollars in 1999. When bought out by Clear Channel, Jacor owned 230 radio stations in 55 markets. Jacor also owned Premiere Radio networks, producers of The Rush Limbaugh Show and the Dr. Laura Schlessinger show. Jacor also owned WKRC-TV in Cincinnati.

Jacor's corporate headquarters were in downtown Cincinnati from the mid-1980s through 1996. In December 1996 Jacor moved its headquarters across the Ohio River to Covington, Kentucky.

Jacor was owned (1992-1999) by Sam Zell's Zell Chillmark fund. In May 1993 founder and CEO Terry Jacobs left Jacor and VP Programming and COO Randy Michaels was named President of the company, in 1996 he was promoted to CEO. In 1999 Zell decided to exit radio and his interest in Jacor. A bidding war between CBS Radio and Clear Channel Communications began with Clear Channel prevailing with a $4.4 billion price. Clear Channel named Michaels CEO and enjoyed several years of continued growth and success reaching 1,200 domestic radio properties. Michaels is now CEO of Merlin Media LLC, and Clear Channel has been sold to a group of private equity investors.

The Jacor name is retired from broadcasting; in 2010, the stations that were still owned by Clear Channel that had "Jacor" as the licensee name took on the "Citicasters" licensee name. For many years in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s Jacor's perception in the radio industry was well regarded among radio listeners and broadcasting peers. In most markets where Jacor competed they had the top-rated station; in the case of Denver, Cincinnati, and Tampa were often ranked first and second with their AM/FM combos. In the 1990s Jacor's first entry into a major market was Gannett's KIIS-AM-FM in Los Angeles. Jacor quickly improved ratings at KIIS-FM and turned the AM (now KEIB) from a 5000 watt unknown to a successful sports station that for several years was the flagship station for Los Angeles Dodgers baseball games.

Jacor TV

Jacor also operated WKRC-TV in Cincinnati, and for a short time WTSP in St. Petersburg, Florida. During the 1980s Jacor also owned Telesat Cable, a Northern Kentucky cable provider.

Jacor Executives

Sam Zell (Chairman)

Terry S. Jacobs (Founder and CEO from early 80's through 1993)

Randy Michaels (VP Programming & co-COO 1986-1993 / President 1993-1996 / CEO 1996-1999) / Now CEO at Tribune

Frank Wood (President 1986-1989)

Bobby Lawrence (co-COO 1986-1996 / President 1996-1999)

Jay Meyers (SVP 1997-99, SVP Clear Channel 1999-2006 / Now President/CEO of BMTllc)

David Crowl (President of Radio Division 1996-1999 / Now SVP for Clear Channel)

Tom Owens (SVP Programming 1994-1999 / Now EVP Programming for Clear Channel)

Chris Weber (CFO 1987-1999 / Retired)

John Hogan (SVP 1996-1999 / Now CEO of Clear Channel Radio)

Marc Chase (SVP Programming until 2008 / Now President of Tribune Interactive)

Sean Compton (VP Programming until 2008 / Now EVP Programming for Tribune Television)

Gene Romano (VP Programming / Now SVP Programming for Clear Channel Radio)

Marty Gausvick (VP Finance / Now CFO for Cumulus Broadcasting)

Jerry Kersting (VP Business Affairs / Now EVP Tribune Company)

External links

  • Clear Channel Overview
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