Take My Station, Please

Clear Channel apparently will get less for CBS affiliate WPRI(TV) Providence, R.I., than it paid for it. In 1996, Clear Channel paid $68 million. Now it's selling it to Smith Broadcasting for an estimated $50 million-$60 million. The scenario of Clear Channel taking less than it paid is unusual, but the company feels it doesn't have a choice, a spokesman says. Under new FCC duopoly rules, Clear Channel by next August would have to give up owning WPRI, while also managing Smith Broadcasting's WNAC, the market's Fox affiliate. Clear Channel doesn't like standalone stations.