Washington, D.C.— The Future of Music Coalition and Media Access Project today filed a formal complaint with the Federal Communications Commission requesting clarification that Clear Channel’s practice of forcing local and independent recording artists to waive potential royalties as a condition of having a song considered for broadcast airplay is tantamount to payola. read more
Two weeks ago, FMC sent out a press release and posted this blog entry that documents us catching Clear Channel red handed in an attempt to force indie artists to sign away their future performance royalties as a condition of consideration for radio airplay. What makes this truly unbelievable is the fact that they did this through the very same program that was set up as a condition of their payola settlement. read more
As we wrote about yesterday and in previous weeks, Clear Channel is attempting to strip indie artists of performance royalties in order to be considered for airplay on its stations.
As part of a settlement with the FCC following an investigation into payola allegations, Clear Channel and other major broadcasters agreed to air 4,200 hours of local and indie programming. Clear Channel set up a page on its station’s web sites that allowed indie artists to submit their music for airplay, but required them to check a licensing agreement that waives the artists’ performance rights. read more
p>Washington, D.C.— Bipartisan legislation was introduced today in both the House and Senate that would bring hundreds of local, Low Power FM (LPFM) radio stations to cities and suburbs across the country. On a national press call today, the Indigo Girls joined religious groups, community radio broadcasters and public interest advocates in support of the "Local Community Radio Act of 2007.
The consent decree reportedly agreed upon today by the FCC will be an important step toward opening up commercial radio to music released by independent labels and local bands. Beyond the reported enhanced enforcement provisions that are said to be part of the consent decree itself, Future of Music Coalition is pleased that the broadcast industry has voluntary adopted the “Rules of Engagement” — basic guidelines that spell out how independent labels and commercial broadcasters can work together in the future. read more
On January 16, 2007, FMC filed reply comments in the FCC’s quandrennial media ownership proceeding that questioned the arguments for further deregulation presented primarily by the NAB and Clear Channel in their comments. FMC also submitted our December 2006 report False Premises, False Promises: A History of Ownership Consolidation in the Radio Industry in the record.
Payola has been the radio and music industry’s dirty secret for decades. While the Federal Communications Commission avoided taking action on payola, leaders like Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, Senator Russ Feingold and then-New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer pushed for progress.
Now, the FCC is reported to be on the brink of pushing through a negotiated consent decree with the broadcast industry. This consent decree could bring to an end the broad investigation that the FCC announced in the aftermath of the Spitzer investigation.
Future of Music Coalition strongly believes that any successful settlement must have three components: read more
In January 2002, Minot, North Dakota, became a symbol of what’s wrong with media consolidation. One night a train derailed, resulting in a chemical spill, and Minot’s emergency-response authorities had difficulty getting their message on the air. Clear Channel, the country’s largest owner of radio stations, owns 6 of the 9 stations in Minot. read more