I’m not sure if you guys heard but recently several of major companies where caught red handed paying major radio stations to play specific tracks more than others. This is isn’t necessarily illegal, but its pretty unethical
The first report came on Jan. 11 in an article by The Hollywood Reporter (found at mediaweek.com). According to that and subsequent reports, including one this week on National Public Radio (npr.org), the companies — Clear Channel Communications, CBS Radio, Entercom and Citadel — will agree to adhere to a code of conduct and to give more airtime to independent music, but they will not admit wrongdoing.
Some politicians are even getting in on the action.
After the reports surfaced, Senator Russell D. Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin, wrote an open letter to Mr. Martin urging the F.C.C. to “instead seek strong binding settlements” with the broadcasters that would “reassure consumers they will have access to small, independent and local labels and artists via the public airwaves”
Yay! right? I mean, more independent music is always a plus! Maybe the radio will stop sucking… one can dream. But, just like when a conservation of energy bill is passed, there are a whole lot of people out there claiming that this simply isn’t enough.
Free Press, a nonpartisan media-focused advocacy group, called the reported settlement a “slap on the wrist” that “won’t stop payola”
In my opinion, they are entirely right. The FCC is capable of fining individual radio stations up to $500,000 just for swearing, but when going head to head with the parent companies – the big boys with the real money- they only hand out a stern talking to and a wag of the fingure.
The Article Continues with some commentary on what else money can buy, including blog posts, good reviews.
I was not paid by the NY Times or any of their affiliates to quote their article. yet…