Blog Post

Clear Channel’s Format Labs Goes Outside Family

Clear Channel has suddenly become progressive, or at least some way towards it: Clear Channel’s format lab, an eclectic menu of 75 new, mostly jockless 24/7 channels, is now being pitched to competing broadcasters — smaller operators with fewer resources with which to fill HD and Web bandwidth, after bieng rolled out to company stations.
Part of a content R&D division formed last year with a multimillion-dollar annual budget, some of the formats launched in January on the company’s HD side channels and Internet streams. The format lab is overseen by executive VP of content development Tom Owens and executive VP of online music and radio Evan Harrison; the division is managed by co-VPs of content R&D Mike O’Connor and Eric Siebert.
Besides the lab, Clear Channel also has an agreement to provide Motorola with content for 75 channels for its nascent iRadio cell-phone subscription service in what will likely be a revenue share deal. Additionally, Clear Channel is providing Sprint customers in 32 markets with news and sports updates on their cell phones on a trial basis.
MarketWatch: More than 200 programmers and production personnel worked on the development of the Format Lab, and Clear Channel gave them leeway to trust their instincts, rather than rely exclusively on research..