Radio News from Las Vegas: At the International Consumer Electronics Show, 21 of the USA top radio broadcast groups and iBiquity Digital Corporation announced, what they claim, is an historic agreement to accelerate broadcast conversion of 2,000 AM and FM stations to digital HD Radio technology.
Combined with the current 500 stations licensed, 2,500 stations have embarked on an HD Radio future, covering all of the nation's top 100 markets and beyond.
The agreement includes station commitments from the following broadcast groups: ABC Radio (NYSE:DIS), Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: BBGI), Bonneville International Corp., Clear Channel Communications, Inc. (NYSE:CCU), Cox Radio, Inc. (NYSE: CXR), Cumulus Media, Inc. (NASD: CMLS), Emmis Communications Corp. (NASD: EMMS), Entercom Communications Corp. (NYSE: ETM), Entravision Communications Corporation, (NYSE: EVC), Greater Media, Inc., Infinity Broadcasting, a division of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B),. Jefferson-Pilot Communications Co., Journal Broadcast Group, Liberman Broadcasting, Inc. , NextMedia Group, Inc., Radio One, Inc. (NASD: ROIAK and ROIA), Regent Communications, Inc. (NASD: RGCI), Saga Communications, Inc. (NYSE: SGA), Sandusky Radio, Susquehanna Radio Corp., and Univision Radio, Inc.
Separately, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) announced recently a matching grant program for an additional 159 Public Radio stations to speed up HD Radio conversions. With matching funds of $21M to date, this brings the total Public Broadcast station commitment to 309. Another round of matching CPB funds is expected in 2005.