Tucson’s radio clusters are made up of three behemoth media conglomerates. Clear Channel and Cumulus probably get the most press, but comparisons between the rivals go further. They have more in common than just general proximity along the Oracle corridor. Both organizations (Clear Channel operates seven Tucson frequencies, Cumulus five) have managed to do an impressive job creating vacant hallways in buildings once occupied by dozens of employees.
Meanwhile, Scripps is the new player in the market. It recently announced a deal to purchase the Journal Broadcast Group’s electronic media holdings. Unlike Clear Channel and Cumulus, Scripps (still technically Journal until the deal gets finalized next year) has been in the midst of a hiring uptick and continues to add personnel for its television (KGUN TV 9, KWBA TV 58) and radio operations.
But there’s another privately operated outlet that has done pretty well in the market for some time. Three of its radio stations (KFMA 102.1 FM, KLPX 96.1 FM and KCMT 92.1 FM) consistently rank in the top 10 in market share, yet the company, Lotus Communications, has largely maintained a low profile.
That could change.