Clear Channel Communications Inc. (CCU), the nation's largest radio station operator, has picked FOX News Radio (search) to be the primary source of national news for most of its news and talk stations, officials announced Monday.
The five-year agreement initially covers more than 100 radio stations.
FOX will provide a five-minute top-of-the-hour newscast, a nightly news broadcast, and around-the-clock dedicated national news coverage. In return, FOX News Radio will have access to news produced by San Antonio-based Clear Channel's news network. as News Provider
No terms of the deal were disclosed. But FOX, a unit of News Corp. (NWS), says if all options in the agreement are exercised, its radio service could have more than 500 affiliates by the middle of next year.
News Corp. is the parent company of FOX News Radio and the FOX News Channel, which operates FOXNews.com.
"Working this closely with a premiere national news provider for the majority of our news/talk stations makes overwhelming sense," said John Hogan, chief executive officer of Clear Channel Radio. "Because of the breadth of this relationship, our local news directors will get a more customized and higher quality national news product — and that's great for listeners."
"This deal positions FOX News to become a significant player in the radio industry and is another example of our commitment to the medium," said Roger Ailes, FOX News chairman and CEO.
Clear Channel, which operates 1,200 stations, has been getting its national news feeds from a variety of providers.
Shares in Clear Channel, slipped 8 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $33.07 in midday trading Monday on the New York Stock Exchange (search) — toward the low end of their 52-week trading range of $29.96 to $47.76.
Shares of News Corp. rose 1 cent, or 0.1 percent, to $18.18 on the NYSE. The stock has traded between $17.16 and $39.74 in the past 52 weeks.