Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Bust Big Radio Payola



From an email from the the http://www.freepress.net/ website.
Bust Big Radio Payola
Dear David Asher,
Ever wonder why commercial radio has become a mind-numbing repetition of the same songs by Jessica Simpson and Celine Dion? It's not just you. Corporate radio in every town has become a wasteland. And in many cases, it's a crime.
An investigation airing tonight on ABC News "Primetime" exposes illegal payola across the radio dial. Radio conglomerates that control hundreds of local stations are taking bribes to endlessly spin major label acts, keeping independent artists off the air.
FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adlestein calls big radio payola "potentially the most widespread and flagrant violation of FCC rules in the history of American broadcasting." But the FCC's Republican leadership remains reluctant to crack down against the corporate radio giants that have sold off our airwaves.
Tell the FCC to Bust Corporate Radio Payola
This new age of payola is the product of consolidated radio ownership. Several of the largest radio conglomerates in America -- including Clear Channel, Viacom/CBS radio and Cumulus -- are among those now under subpoena in a criminal investigation by the New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.
Spitzer has exposed a shadowy network of promoters hired by the recording industry to launder hundreds of millions in cash and prizes each year, lining the pockets of big radio broadcasters who agree to spin corporate acts nationwide.
"They thought the FCC was asleep, and they shot someone in front of the policeman," Adelstein tells ABC News. "The policeman is obligated to act when evidence is so clear."
Tell the FCC to Stop the Abuse of Our Airwaves
The airwaves belong to the public -- not the media companies with the fattest wallets. Any broadcaster in violation of payola statutes could face severe FCC sanctions and even the loss of their broadcast licenses.
But the FCC won't act unless they feel pressure from you. Please take action today.
Onward,
Timothy KarrCampaign DirectorFree Presswww.freepress.net
P.S. Activists, musicians, students and independent broadcasters are joining with Free Press to stop payola and reclaim the public airwaves. Learn more at www.freepress.net/payola.
P.P.S. Want to do more? Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold has introduced a bill to stop record labels from paying off radio stations in exchange for airplay. Urge your senators to co-sponsor the "Radio and Concert Disclosure and Competition Act" (S. 2058).

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