Jacor Communications was a media corporation, existing between 1987 and 1999, which owned many radio stations in the United States. In 1998, Jacor was purchased by Clear Channel Communications, now iHeartMedia, for $2.8 billion.[1]

Jacor Communications
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryRadio network
Founded1987; 37 years ago (1987)
Defunct1999 (1999)
FateAcquired by Clear Channel Communications & reorganized into iHeartMedia
HeadquartersCincinnati, Ohio, US
Key people
Terry Jacobs, Frank Wood, Randy Michaels
ParentZell Chilmark (1992-1996)
Citicasters (1996-1999)

Jacor Communications began with three religious stations and went on to acquire dozens of radio stations between 1992 and its sale to Clear Channel in 1999. It also owned a few television stations, including WKRC-TV in Cincinnati.



Jacor Communications was founded by Terry Jacobs.[2] Jacobs incorporated Jacor Communications in 1979 and purchased three religious stations in 1981.[3][4] In June 1989, Jacor purchased Telesat Cable, a Northern Kentucky cable provider, for $5 million,[5] which it later sold in May 1994.[4] In 1993, an investor named Sam Zell paid $80 million from the Zell Chilmark fund to purchase controlling interest in Jacor.[6]

In 1992, the Federal Communications Commission increased the number of radio stations a single company could own in one city to 3AMs and 3FMs.[7] After this change, Jacor began purchasing stations, including WKRC (AM) in Cincinnati in 1993.[8]

On February 6, 1996, Jacor announced plans to acquire Noble Broadcast Group Inc for $152 million.[9] After the passing of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Jacor began buying more radio stations.[10]

On February 13, 1996, Jacor announced it would buy Citicasters for $770 million.[11] As part of the merger, Jacor acquired WKRC-TV, a Cincinnati CBS-affiliate television station, and WTSP, a television station in Tampa, Florida.[12][13] In September, Jacor announced WTSP would be sold to Gannett Co. in exchange for three radio stations.[14]

In May 1993, founder and CEO Terry Jacobs left Jacor.[15] The VP of programming and COO, Randy Michaels, was named president of the company that year, and in 1996, he was promoted to CEO.[16] Jacor's corporate headquarters were in downtown Cincinnati from the mid-1980s through 1996 when they moved across the Ohio River to Covington, Kentucky.[citation needed] In 1997, Jacor acquired the assets of Nationwide Communications.[17]

In 1999, Jacor was sold to Clear Channel Communications for $3.4 billion in stock.[18][19] Clear Channel also assumed approximately $1.2 billion of Jacor's debt.[18][19] At the time of its acquisition, Jacor was the third-largest provider of syndicated radio programming,[20][21] owning 230 radio stations and Premiere Radio networks (a radio syndication company), as well as disseminating The Rush Limbaugh Show and the Dr. Laura Schlessinger show.[20]

Clear Channel named Randy Michaels CEO and chairman of Clear Channel Radio in 2000.[22] In 2008, private equity firms Thomas H. Lee and Bain Capital Partners completed a buyout of Clear Channel Communications.[23]


  1. ^ Myerson, Allen (9 October 1998). "THE MEDIA BUSINESS; Clear Channel to Buy Jacor For $2.8 Billion in Stock". New York Times.
  2. ^ Richman, Tom (1986-07-01). "Rising Values". Inc.com. Retrieved 2019-07-18.
  3. ^ "Radio's big bully | Salon.com". 2019-06-06. Archived from the original on 2019-06-06. Retrieved 2019-07-18.
  4. ^ a b "Commission File No. 0-12404 Jacor Communications". Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  5. ^ "28 Apr 1991, Page 91 - The Cincinnati Enquirer at Newspapers.com". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2019-07-18.
  6. ^ Curtis, Richard (20 October 1997). "Sam Zell may be shopping Jacor". www.bizjournals.com. American City Business Journals. Archived from the original on 2000-10-18. Retrieved 2019-07-18. That would make Zell's stake in the company worth more than $800 million, a huge gain on the $80 million his Zell/Chilmark Fund put into Jacor in early 1993 to take over the then-struggling broadcaster.
  7. ^ Andrews, Edmund L. (1992-03-13). "THE MEDIA BUSINESS; F.C.C. Loosens Restrictions On Owning Radio Stations". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  8. ^ Cincinnati Magazine. 1994. p. 26.
  9. ^ "Company News;jacor Communications to Buy Noble Broadcast Group". The New York Times. Reuters. 1996-02-06. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  10. ^ Brotman, Stuart (2006). Communications Law and Practice. p. 38. ISBN 9781588520708.
  11. ^ "Citicasters to Be Purchased by Radio Firm Jacor". Los Angeles Times. 1996-02-14. Retrieved 2019-07-30.
  12. ^ "Jacor Communications Inc". Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  13. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (5 October 1996). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 101. {{cite book}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  14. ^ "Gannett Announces Agreement with Jacor Communications". TEGNA. 1996-09-26. Retrieved 2019-07-30.
  15. ^ Curtis, Richard (9 August 1999). "Merger would redraw market". www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2019-07-30.
  16. ^ Carr, David; Arango, Tim (19 October 2010). "Tribune Board Said Ready to Oust Chief Executive". Herald-Tribune.
  17. ^ Peers, Martin (1997-10-28). "Jacor's Nationwide". Variety. Retrieved 2019-06-28.
  18. ^ a b Journal, Alejandro Bodipo-MembaStaff Reporter of The Wall Street (1998-10-09). "Clear Channel Wins Bidding Contest, Agrees to Buy Jacor Communications". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2019-08-01.
  19. ^ a b Nolan, John. "Clear Channel Buys Jacor". AP NEWS. Retrieved 2019-08-01.
  20. ^ a b Morgan, Richard (1998-10-09). "Clear Channel buys Jacor". Variety. Retrieved 2019-08-01.
  21. ^ News, Bloomberg (1999-08-04). "Clear Channel Buying 5 FM Radio Stations". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-08-01. {{cite news}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  22. ^ "Clear Channel Taps Top Management". Radio World. 2000-05-22. Retrieved 2019-08-01.
  23. ^ "Bain, Thomas H. Lee complete Clear Channel buyout". Reuters. 2008-07-30. Retrieved 2019-08-01.