Perhaps no other person has had a more significant impact on 21st-century radio communications than L. Lowry Mays. He is the chair and CEO of Clear Channel Communications, Inc.
Mays catapulted his company to success, turning it into the world’s biggest concert promoter, billboard advertising, and radio broadcasting firm.
Many consider Mays as a true business leader in the field of broadcasting because he was able to create a colossal media empire under his company’s name.
L. Lowry Mays – His Road to Success…
L. Lowry Mays didn’t know a lot about the broadcasting business when he decided to venture into it. But his instincts told him it had tremendous financial potential. While decidedly a risky endeavor to undertake, Mays did not let any challenges that came his way interfere with his plans to succeed in the business.
Mays was a simple investment banker back in 1972 when he founded the San Antonio Broadcasting Company and bought his first-ever radio station. His purchase of WOAI San Antonio allowed the company to own its first Clear Channel radio station.
The station was assigned its own frequency for nationwide broadcast. Mays was particularly proud of owning a clear channel station and eventually changed the company name to Clear Channel Communications.
Mays’ purchase of a small radio station served as a takeoff point for his creation of a major media empire. The spread of deregulation down to the telecommunications and radio industries made business people more cautious with their company purchases.
Not so with Mays. He was extremely aggressive with his acquisition of various business entities.
The 1996 Telecommunications Act deregulated the broadcast industry big time. It led to the abolition of various media concentration constraints. Rather than be daunted, Mays and his company responded by buying 49 radio stations and acquiring an interest in New Zealand’s biggest radio group.
When his tenure as CEO ended, Clear Channel Communications had ownership of around 41 TV stations, 790,000 outdoor advertisement displays and 1,300 radio stations across the US. At present, Clear Channel Communications has operations in a total of 66 countries.
It has over 50,000 employees and has equity interests in over 240 international radio stations. This is indeed quite a feat for someone who just accidentally stumbled across the broadcasting business.
The L. Lowry Mays Quick Bio
Full Name: Lester Lowry Mays
Birthdate: July 24, 1935
Birthplace: Texas Company: Clear Channel Communications
Industry: Entertainment Broadcast Media
Key success traits: aggressiveness in business, dedication and a strong commitment
L. Lowry Mays suffered a stroke in 2005 and was forced to relinquish his post as CEO to his son Mark. An alumnus of Texas A&M University, its School of Business is named after Mays. In 2004, Mays was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame.