September 3, 2008

HD Digital Radio Alliance Lifts HD2 Programming, Commercial Restrictions

ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The HD Digital Radio Alliance, a joint initiative of leading radio broadcasters to accelerate the rollout of HD Digital Radio, today announced that all of the major objectives for programming on which the Alliance was founded have now been achieved and all restrictions on how member broadcasters can program and generate revenue from their HD2 broadcasts have been completely lifted. At the same time, the Alliance announced that all member broadcasters have pledged to preserve the local diversity and consumer choice of their HD2 content, as well as the clutter-free nature of the programming.

"We set out three years ago, in part, to do something revolutionary with radio programming -- create and nurture the first new set of radio broadcasts since FM," said Peter Ferrara, president and CEO of the HD Digital Radio Alliance. "And we've succeeded: we've fielded the technology; we've rolled out the broadcasts nationwide; we've created consumer choice and diversity; and we've restricted commercial content. It's now time to place more control and priority in the hands of our industry's outstanding local market managers, general managers and program directors. We've planted the seeds and now it's time for our industry to roll up its sleeves and make this garden grow."

In the three years since the Alliance was founded, the number of HD2 broadcasts has grown to more than 800 and member broadcasters have adopted an innovative approach to revenue-generation. Instead of the commercial spot approach favored by AM and FM broadcasts, HD2 channels use other forms of advertising, including sponsorships and day-part "takeovers". The result: more music and talk and fewer commercial interruptions.

"There's no question that our business commitment to HD2 programming in Detroit has reaped clear benefits for our FM stations in terms of driving audience," said Peter Smyth, president and CEO of Greater Media. "Whether we've used the 'extension' programming strategy or the 'complementary' strategy, we've seen real and tangible business benefits to investing in quality HD2 programming."

With the reins being taken more directly by broadcasters, the HD Digital Radio Alliance will now devote even more resources on marketing HD Radio broadcasts to consumers, with particular focus on local HD2 programming.

"The real driver for HD Radio's success is diverse and compelling content," said Mark Mays, CEO of Clear Channel Communications. "Aggressive and direct marketing is now key to accelerating interest, listening and ultimately, demand."

About the HD Digital Radio Alliance

The HD Digital Radio Alliance is a joint initiative of leading radio broadcasters to accelerate the successful rollout of HD Digital Radio. Current members include major radio groups and independent station owners: Beasley Broadcast Group, Bonneville International, Buckley Radio, CBS Radio, Citadel Broadcasting / ABC Radio, Clear Channel Radio, Emmis Communications, Entercom, Greater Media and WBEB Philadelphia. For more information on HD Digital Radio, visit

HD Digital Radio Alliance

CONTACT: Scott Cianciulli, [email protected], or Michele Clarke,[email protected], both of Brainerd Communicators, Inc., +1-212-986-6667,for HD Digital Radio Alliance

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