Perhaps no one has had a greater impact on radio in the 21st century than L. Lowry Mays, Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer of Clear Channel Communications, Inc.
Mays was an investment banker in 1972 when he founded San Antonio Broadcasting Company and purchased
his first radio station. With the subsequent purchase of WOAI/San Antonio, the company had its first “Clear
Channel” station, designated with its own frequency nationwide.
With the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and subsequent deregulation of the broadcast industry, many of the
previous constraints of media concentration were abolished. Mays and Clear Channel responded by purchasing
49 radio stations and an interest in the largest radio group in New Zealand. By 2004, Clear Channel owned
more than 1,200 radio stations and 41 television stations in the United States. Clear Channel also owns a crosssection
of media and entertainment-related avenues, including more than 750,000 outdoor advertising displays
and one of the nation’s leading live entertainment companies. In addition, the corporation currently operates
in 66 countries with more than 50,000 employees and equity interests in more than 240 international radio
L. Lowry Mays was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2004.
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