Originally, a clear channel radio station was one that had somehow gotten the right to have a number on the dial with no other radio stations anywhere near it-- therefore, you could hear it for hundreds of miles, both because it had a very strong signal, and because there were no other radio stations with similar dial numbers competing with it.
35 years ago, you could hear WBZ (which was a clear channel radio station based in Boston) as far away as Ohio.
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