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Clear Channel sees the future

Clear Channel Radio has formed a new content research and development team to leverage the company’s resources for new alternate delivery systems. Headed by executive VP of content development Tom Owens and executive VP of online music and radio Evan Harrison, the team also includes former regional VP of programming/modern rock KTCL (Channel 93.3) Denver PD Mike O’Connor and Eric Seibert, recently recruited from IBM. “The purpose of the group is to generate new thinking,” Owens tells Billboard Radio Monitor in an exclusive interview. That means “fresh ideas on talent, product, features, formats and partnerships.”

It’s nice to see some vision in the radio industry, and this announcement by Clear Channel reflects exactly that.

Among the plans announced:

– A Cincinnati-based “format lab” that will house 75 low clutter formats, running the gamut from mass appeal to ultra niche and available to the company’s terrestrial, HD multicast, Internet and wireless platforms.

– Offering commercial-deleted versions of thirty of its terrestrial radio products through wireless carriers, including several offered internationally.

– Obtaining licensing rights across all major formats to synchronize, with on-air programming, music videos streamed on its Web sites and via cell phones.

Along with other stuff that Clear Channel won’t discuss yet (nor should they).

If YOUR radio group isn’t putting these kinds of pieces together get ready to say goodbye to your future.

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