Decency Drool on the Hill
A recent Senate forum on indecency and broadcasting unearthed a wealth of old ideas and opinions from the usual suspects: FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, outraged christians from the PTC, uptight Senator Ted Stevens, and a few TV networks. As predicted, Martin wants to drag cable and satellite TV into the FCC's domain (they already have a bit, as a recent ruling by the commission requires cable and satellite programmers to comply with the nation's Emergency Alert System, EAS), forcing them to offer a-la-carte programming in the name of protecting families (bad news if you're anything like this guy). The pressure is now on for the FCC to levy indecency fines to TV stations with pending complaints before the end of 2005. Indecency fines for radio stations under investigation for infringements, meanwhile, aren't expected to surface until next year.
Kenneth Tomlinson, the republican former Chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), resigned from the board this November, in light of an investigation that found him responsible for misappropriating CPB funds, violating the organization's ethics code, and breaking federal laws. Earlier this year, Tomlinson secretly hired a "consultant" to uncover evidence of liberal bias in PBS programs, leading to the ousting of veteran host Bill Moyers and the creation of a right-bent news program (more on the debacle here). The republican plan to force a partisan agenda in the venue of public broadcasting has been put at bay, at least for now.
Warner Music Group Fesses Up to Payola Accusations
Another Eliot Spitzer-led payola investigation ends with a multi-million dollar settlement...
Meanwhile, Up North
A malicious radio signal disrupted the band at 390 MHz in Ottowa, Canada earlier this month, disabling remote control garage door openers in a 25-mile radius. Some residents are blaming the U.S. military's new Land Mobile Radio System for the interference, but we suspect that the extraterrestrials have now found our most vulnerable weakness and could launch into a full-fledged attack at any moment.
Energy Drink Disguised as Poison... wait, Poison Disguised as Energy Drink
In Missouri, the gatorade/antifreeze myth finally comes to fruition: a wily radio host was charged with slowly poisoning his wife to death by adding antifreeze to her gatorade.
Other radio news headlines from the past month that you may have missed:
- An online radio station for pets falls short of the precedent set by WFMU's own pet-centric programming
- Pirate radio stations across London were forced to shut down
- Indecency complaints rose during the month of July, thanks to a PTC campaign against The Who
- Remove that aluminum helmet, otherwise the feds might radio-in to your brainwaves
- Montana station fined $4000 for failing to notify a Turkey-hugger that she was on the air
- Read up on what's new at Air America
- A great bio of veteran radio host Bob Lassiter with some hilarious MP3s