Just a week before Christmas, Kevin Martin and the FCC voted to relax media ownership rules, allowing cross-ownership of a newspaper and TV station in the country's top 20 markets. Naturally, this controversial decision inspired a backlash from a wide swath of groups concerned about homogenization and dwindling local news coverage, as well as the lack of women and minority-owned media outlets. The decision also upset plenty of folks in Congress, and the House is now formally investigating the FCC's practices. Be sure to read Bronwyn's take on the new FCC rules!
Meanwhile, the commission is investigating Comcast, the largest cable provider in the U.S., for allegedly blocking customer access to file-sharing services like bit torrent.
RIAA and Digital Music
The Washington Post was recently on the receiving end of the RIAA's wrath after publishing an article that made a claim that the recording industry considered ripping CDs to a computer a criminal act. The paper has since apologized for apparently misrepresenting the RIAA's views. In other music industry news, it turns out that overall music sales were up 14% in 2007, but album sales continued to decline. Let's hope that this means less whining from the RIAA and record labels in '08. Last month Radiohead ended their pay-what-you-will experiment, halting the digital offering of their latest album In Rainbows.
Other Items of Radio Interest
- Studios at Austin community radio station KOOP were severely damaged due to arson. This is the third fire the station has suffered in 2 years.
- Free speech battle for radio in Hong Kong.
- Check out Mike Lupica's rap on Edwin Armstrong.
- Pick up a few old time radio recommendations from Listener Kliph.