I apologize, it's been far too long since I've used this blog to geek out on radio news. A few recent happenings have drawn me out of this whole "working in radio" thing and into talking smack about it on the internet for a few minutes!
First up: Webcasting Royalties
In case you haven't heard, webcasters and SoundExchange (the web streaming arm of the RIAA) have renegotiated terms for webcasting royalties. Instead of accepting SoundExchange's initial offer of web performance royalty rates that would surely put webcasters out of business, webcasters threw a fit (we were part of the fit), held rounds and rounds of negotiations, and over a year later accepted a new rate scheme that would only nearly put them out of business. These new terms, which for large webcasters is a minimum of 25% of annual revenue, have been lauded by some. However, if you look at typical performance royalty rates for satellite radio (6.5% in 2009), or ASCAP/BMI royalties for terrestrial radio (roughly 1 - 3%), that 25% figure starts to look bloated. Luckily for WFMU, NFCB and CPB made separate negotiations with SoundExhange including more affordable rates, and we are covered under these terms.
New FCC Chair
The Obama administration's nominee for FCC Chair, Julius Genachowski, was recently confirmed by the Senate. After outgoing FCC Chair Kevin Martin thoroughly angered congress and the public with scandalous antics like that Details magazine spread, relaxing media consolidation rules, and "losing" an important study on media ownership (and all the while leading the fight against broadcast indecency) Genachowski has some mopping up to do. The good news is, Genachowski has heard of the internet: he believes in net neutrality and might actually re-do the FCC's website to make it a little less 1996ish (more on the Genachowski team here). The bad news is, Genachowski leans towards the gestapistic view of broadcast indecency (he supports enforcing fines for fleeting profanity), and the FCC's main proponent of 1st Amendment protections, Jonathan Adelstein, will be leaving the commission soon.