Radio's Hot, and So Is Thomas Hicks

By Gomery, Douglas | American Journalism Review, March 1998 | Go to article overview

Radio's Hot, and So Is Thomas Hicks


Gomery, Douglas, American Journalism Review


The little-known mogul and his partners own five or more stations in seven big markets.

A decade ago, in the hit movie "Working Girl," aspiring Wall Street tycoon Melanie Griffith hatched a plan to help a company gain a foothold in TV broadcasting--through radio. Seasoned Wall Streeters mocked her: "Radio is small potatoes."

But the plot proved prophetic. From January through November 1997, 839 radio deals worth $9.8 billion were struck.

Since President Clinton signed the 1996 telecommunications reform act, fully one in four commercial radio stations have changed hands. Two years after Congress shredded nearly every rule governing radio station ownership, there is no hotter industry.

And no more important figure than Thomas O. Hicks.

While everyone has heard of one--the new

radio colossus, CBS--the other of radio's Big Two, Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, with more than 400 stations, owns twice as many.

Rupert Murdoch and Michael Eisner may be household names; Hicks ought to join them in media mogul status.

Hicks Muse is a private Dallas-based investment firm that in 1997 gobbled up former radio giants Evergreen Broadcasting, Gulfstar, Viacom, Capstar, SFX (pending) and Gannett's radio arm in deals worth an estimated $7 billion.

Today Hicks and his investment banking partners own five or more radio stations in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Detroit and Washington, D.C.

Yet only astute baseball fans had any idea who Hicks was when early in 1998 he announced he would spend a quarter of a billion dollars to purchase the Texas Rangers.

Hicks knew radio's prime times--the morning and afternoon weekday commute--seem immune to competition from other media. He figured that if he collected hundreds of stations, centralized programming and cut sales costs, he could improve the bottom line.

He also knew he could begin to compete with television and newspapers for advertising. In any market, Hicks Muse's stations could reach what TV and newspapers promised, and better target certain audiences. Indeed there were no more interested followers of Hicks' performance than executives in newspapers and TV stations, who formerly had the local advertising market to themselves.

Hicks did not come to radio as some wunderkind. He had cut his teeth buying and selling hotels, and he still controls Ghiradelli Chocolate, Chef Boyardee and Stetson hats. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Radio's Hot, and So Is Thomas Hicks
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.