The $550,000 Nipple
Rumors are circulating concerning indecency's imminent and valiant return to the limelight, following an extended period of hibernation. Almost all of FCC Chairman Kevin Martin's pawns are in place to unleash a new line of assault against free speech: democratic and cartoon-butt-hating Commissioner Copps began his second term on the commission recently, republican Deborah Tate was sworn in as the newest member of the commission a few months ago, and republican Robert McDowell is awaiting confirmation for his recent appointment to fill the remaining empty seat on the panel. We also hear whispers of the Christian Coalition attempting to resurrect the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act. Things might get messy soon...
Commercial Radio hit with Payola Investigations
NY Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has moved on from squeezing hundreds of thousands of dollars out of hulking major record labels accused of engaging in pay-to-play, to reprimanding commercial radio conglomerates who received bribes with open arms. Sadly, Mr. Spitzer is under the impression that "payola hurts listeners, because under that system, money, not talent, affects what music they hear and which bands become popular." Silly Spitzer, advertisements affect the music people hear on the radio... talent hasn't factored into the airplay equation in years.
College Station Bullied by NPR Affiliate
WMUC, a small 10-watt station run by students at the University of Maryland, College Park, is in danger of disappearing thanks to a proposed power increase by 10,000-watt NPR giant WYPR in neighboring Baltimore. Although WYPR is fully aware of the repercussions that their power increase will have on WMUC, they plan to proceed with the upgrade anyway.
Undie Rock in Portland
A commercial rock station in Portland is making use of the multi-channel options available with the new high definition (HD) radio format (which, by the way, has lower fidelity than traditional analog radio): one of their sub-channels is dedicated to "Underground/Independent Rock." Although we have no idea what a commercial station might deem "independent" or "underground," we have nothing but respect for their moniker: Undie 100.
Other Radio News Headlines in brief:
- The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO, the department of the UN that deals with copyright-related issues) is debating the need for international copyright laws in this wild and wooly digital era. As usual, the U.S. wants to take the fun out of things like webcasting and podcasting... Excellent coverage and analyses of these talks have been provided by Public Knowledge, EFF, and Boing Boing.
- A La Carte cable TV may be on its way.
- Satellite radio's recent woes. Broadcast radio's recent woes.