Clear Channel Towers and Black Dot Media
Please note that Steel in the Air, Inc. is not affiliated in any way, shape, or form with Black Dot Media and never will be. Nor are we affiliated with Clear Channel Radio. If you have reached this webpage accidentally while searching for Black Dot Media or Clear Channel, please visit their websites at www.blackdotwireless.com and www.clearchannel.com.
Steel in the Air is a firm that helps tower owners and landowners with broadcast tower related issues. Recently, a client of ours who owns a broadcast tower received a letter from Black Dot Media stating that they represent the Clear Channel Radio Lease Optimization Program (ooh…official sounding). Black Dot Media suggests in the document that the "current economic turmoil" in the US and world has impacted Clear Channel and they need your help to "move costs in line with revenues." Despite this letter being sent to a tower owner, the letter warns that landowners who don’t participate in the program will run the risk that Clear Channel will consider other options.
We assume that Black Dot, who previously contacted landowners on behalf of Sprint, Nextel, AT&T, Cingular, and Alltel was retained by Clear Channel on a contingency basis whereby they get compensated based upon how successful they are in getting landowners and broadcast tower owners to agree to reduce their broadcast tower lease rate. By using implied threats that the lease will go elsewhere, they hope to procure favorable concessions. In the letter, Black Dot Media requests that the landowner agrees to a long term extension and takes a short term concession on the broadcast tower lease rate/escalation.
There is truth to parts of the letter. Clear Channel has suffered along with the rest of the broadcast industry. Radio is hurting and profits are down. In certain cases, it does make sense for Clear Channel to consider other options especially for broadcast towers where the lease rate is significantly higher than average or there are other options for relocation. Despite this, we at Steel in the Air suggest strongly against listening to Black Dot's general suggestions that costs need to come down. They do, but that doesn't mean that you need to reduce your lease rate UNLESS it is significantly higher than average or you perceive that Clear Channel could readily move to another tower. In some cases, it is appropriate not only to reject the proposed reduction, but to ask for an increase as well. In other cases, it might make sense to concede to their proposals provided you fully understand what the long term impact of those proposals will be.
Some broadcast towers cannot be moved without a significant expenditure by Clear Channel. Other leases are simply convenient for the company but are at risk of becoming too expensive. Let us assist you with evaluating the proposal from Black Dot Media on behalf of Clear Channel regarding your broadcast tower lease. We can evaluate Clear Channel's ability to relocate from the site. We can compare your current lease agreement to others and suggest whether you should consider a concession or simply tell Black Dot Media to get lost. We regularly work with one of the foremost experts in the country on broadcast tower leases who can ascertain whether Clear Channel can move and if so, what the costs would be.
Please don't hesitate to contact us regarding any proposal to modify your broadcast tower lease agreement.