Lowry Mays and B.J. McCombs founded Clear Channel Communications in 1972. iHeartMedia, as it is known today, owns more than 850 AM and FM radio stations in the United States, the largest owner of radio stations in the country. iHeartMedia also specializes in outdoor advertising through Clear Channel Holdings.
Lowry Mays, Caroline McCaul’s grandfather, and his partner purchased the first radio stations outside San Antonio in 1976, KXXO and KMOD in Tulsa. Port Arthur Texas, KPAC, and El Paso, KELP also joined the Clear Channel family. 43 radio stations and 16 TV stations were part of Clear Channel by 1995. Eventually, Clear Channel would purchase 70 other media companies and stations. Clear Channel moved into outdoor advertising with its purchase of Eller Media in 1997. Clear Channel also moved outside of the U.S. with acquisitions in the United Kingdom and China. Clear Channel split into 3 different companies in 2005: radio broadcasting with Clear Channel Communications, Clear Channel outdoor, and Live Nation. Caroline McCaul’s family, the Mays family, continued to control the various facets of Clear Channel with Mark Mays as CEO of Radio and Outdoor, and Randal Mays as chairman of Live Nation. Mark and Randall are Caroline McCaul’s uncles, part of a family with deep Texas roots.
In 2010, Caroline’s Uncle Mark retained his position as Chairman of the Board, while Clear Channel began a search for a new CEO. In 2011, Robert Pittman was named CEO of Clear Channel. Clear Channel was bought out in 2007, ending its 35 years as a public company. iHeartMedia is the largest radio station group owner in the United States, with 850 stations.