The Advantages of Disadvantages

The FCC and your elected officials are responsible for the current sorry state of the broadcasting business. Wall Street distracts us. Steve Jobs attracts us. And Congress, the enabler of many of today's problems for broadcast media whacks us.

Congress passed the Telecommunications Act of 1996 tacking on radio consolidation before the final vote. Congress in its infinite wisdom (or lack of it, thereof) developed the template of growth for the radio industry. A few owners own virtually everything worth owning. It created Clear Channel, the Clear Channel clones and made it impossible for small owners not to sell out to the&hellip

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Pardon Clear Channel?

With all the talk about a possible presidential pardon for Scooter Libby, I got to thinking whether the radio industry should consider pardoning Clear Channel -- not for high crimes and misdemeanors because there has never been evidence such acts were committed but for blowing consolidation.

Some members of the jury have come out in favor of the president pardoning Libby even though they just convicted the aide to Vice President Cheney. Since they can find it in their hearts to forgive Libby, can radio forgive Clear Channel?

Can its employees see it in their hearts to let go of the fact that Lowry and Mark Mays could have&hellip

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HD Radio Wal-Mart Style

The radio industry is all excited about a just-announced decision by Wal-Mart to sell "affordable" HD radios. Bruce Beasley quoted in Inside Radio said Tuesday, "Wal-Mart doesn't pick up on too many bad products to sell."

Unfortunately, HD radio is one of the not "too many".

HD's time has come and gone with the radio industry fighting forever on which system to adopt. HD might have been neat in the early 90's, for instance, when radio had no competition and MTV was the only minor distraction.

And, the price of an HD radio is too steep.

Nobody needs one because the content on the sub-channels is weak. The&hellip

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The Hypocrisy of The Payola Settlement

Four of the six largest radio consolidators have settled with the FCC over alleged payola practices according to the Associated Press. That means Entercom pays $4 million. Clear Channel $3.5 million. CBS $3 million and Citadel $2 million. Previously New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer collected $30 million from the big four record labels and another $6.25 million from CBS and Entercom. Spitzer has been critical of the FCC for doing nothing.

But early reaction to the deal seems to be positive. I wish I&hellip

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The Empire Strikes Out

"Houston, we may not have a problem after all. We just signed a contract for People Meter ratings in Philadelphia and we've now returned to the Mother Ship as a big believer. Over."

"Roger, Evil Empire. Welcome back."

That's how I imagine a conversation between Unclear Channel and Arbitron Mission Control which has launched portable audience measurement in Philadelphia and is doing the same thing in Houston.

Unclear Channel has finally decided to get on board the People Meter Love Train in Philadelphia -- this after refusing to even allow Arbitron to install an encoder on their stations' signals so that more&hellip

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