Mark Ames follows up on The Techtopus (previously) with a new report showing a much larger conspiracy than has been previously reported: [more inside]
A new generation of bike rental is here, where you pick up the bike where you start your ride and drop it off at the destination. Vélib' and Vélo'V are the high-profile, wildly successful products of the JCDecaux ad firm in the cities of Paris and Grand Lyon. Velib' provides 10,000 bikes for cheap hourly rental beginning this past summer. In exchange for fully underwriting the €90 million of expenses, JCDecaux wins exclusive rights to all the city's billboards. JCDecaux' rival Clear Channel beat them out of the gate by a couple months, opening Bicing in Barcelona to similar success, although at a smaller scale. [more inside]
Is this the future of non-satellite radio? So an old rock station flipped formats in the wee hours of the morning. "Lone Star 92.5 will not air traditional spots. Instead, the station will have 'sponsors' whose content will be integrated in throughout the hour [a la NPR]. Lone Star 92.5 will feature such artists as ZZ Top, The Old 97's, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and of course, Willie Nelson. In fact, the Red Headed Stranger will also serve as the voice of the station." This just might be the significant step it takes HD Radio to rise to the challenge of satellite radio. Those who claim to know radio cynically predict the new format will go down in flames. Maybe they just say that because it is a part of the universally reviled Clear Channel Communications.
Here in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, we are truly blessed to have a independent radio station that is not run by a big company or college. It's home to many shows including Crap from the Past, (Fridays at 10:30, CST), and the surf twang sounds of Radio Rumpus Room, (Fridays, 9:00 CST) or a big selection of other shows all available in streaming audio off the website. Take a look around, who knows what kind of audio gems will be found??
If you've been paying attention, then you're probably aware that Clear Channel own your favorite (or least favorite) radio station, your local concert venues, the promoter who organizes shows for them, the billboards that advertise the show, and the company you bought the tickets from. And now they own your favorite dead rock star. SFX Entertainment, a promoter owned by Clear Channel, has bought an 85% share of Elvis Presley's estate and name from Lisa Marie Presley. That includes Graceland. Wow, do they ever suck. (Salon agrees.)
Clear Channel Limits Live CDs. A company called DiscLive has been working with a handful of artists to sell concert-goers a live CD -- of the show they've just seen -- after the concert. However, "Clear Channel Entertainment has bought the patent from the technology's inventors and now claims to own the exclusive right to sell concert CDs after shows." More inside...
There is no room for a left-wing Rush Limbaugh on the radio. "Do you think Karl Rove might have made a phone call to little General Powell, little Michael and said, 'Let's get this over with. Let's give him the fine and get this done with before Stern gets us all voted out of office,'" the National Enquirer’s Mike Walker asked Stern. "First of all, I know that for a fact," Stern answered. "I can't even tell you how, just like you can't reveal your sources. I have two sources inside the FCC. They know exactly what is going on. They had a meeting two weeks ago, freaking out. I seem to be making enough noise that people are realizing we could hurt George W. Bush in the elections. So they are trying to figure out at what point do they fine me. So, you are absolutely right."
Howard Stern yanked off six Clear Channel radio stations The kingdom of the self proclaimed king of all media has been trimmed after Clear Channel dropped the Stern show on Tuesday after he allegedly aired sexually obscene and racist material. The offensive exchange reportedly occured when a caller asked ex-Paris Hilton boyfriend (and sex-tape co-star) Rick Salomon if he had ever had oral sex on a black woman. The caller used the N-word to describe the black woman. Then the caller asked Salomon if it tasted like watermellon. Is this grounds to fire the talk show host, or is it more politically motivated and the beginning of the end of free speech... of highly rated powerful talk show hosts who blast the FCC and aren't Republican. entire stern show here. (BitTorrent rq'd)
How to Lose Your Job in Talk Radio Why did this happen? Why only a couple of months after my company picked up the option on my contract for another year in the fifth-largest city in the United States, did it suddenly decide to relegate me to radio Outer Darkness? The answer lies hidden in the oil-and-water incompatibility of these two seemingly disconnected phrases: “Criticizing Bush” and “Clear Channel.”
Clear Channel DJs advocate violence against bicyclists. "One caller said her dad had purposely hit a biker on the road on the way to church one Sunday and kept on going. That got laughs." Clear Channel apologizes, but won't release transcripts or tapes of the broadcasts. Don't you love responsible radio journalism?
The Big Ten Media Corporations and Clear Channel Communications control most of the major media already. This includes print media, film archives, movie and television production, and the largest Internet Service and News Provider. Right now is the argument is to prevent further consolidation. But should it instead be to break up these mega-corporations instead? Should anti-trust law cover horizontal as well as vertical market ( and employee) domination?
All we need is Radio Ga Ga... Ever heard of Clear Channel? They are the largest owners of radio stations and billboards in the United States. They are based in Texas. Bush is from Texas. Bush is running for President in 2004. Bush and CC are friends. Before the conspiracy bangwagon gets too full, think of all the money and energy spent of political advertising near the end of their campaigns, it's sad to think that most people vote (or don't vote) for what a candidate looks like on a 30 foot billboard rather than his/her political views. Will Bush win the 2004 election? Be very afraid
Habla Usted Clear Channel? So Clear Channel wants to dominate Spanish-language radio? Nothing new. From the first link, the final piece in a Salon series on media consolidation: The deal is big and contentious, and involves politics, music and media -- and, to make matters even more interesting, Clear Channel, the U.S. radio station conglomerate, has a starring role. Clear Channel is HBC's largest shareholder, and the company has been accused by opponents of the deal of maneuvering illegally behind the scenes to exert control over HBC, as well as spreading rumors of drug use about the CEO of HBC's chief competitor.
Based on a software analysis of 250,000 CDs for mathematical patterns, and further analysis of the last 5 years of Billboards' Top 30, Polyphonic HMI thinks they know what it takes to rock your world (i.e., cause a song to shoot up the charts). Of course, major labels are interested (NYT link, scroll halfway down). Will this cause mainstream radio to be overrun with inane, soul-crushingly similar music, and crowd out anything different or interesting? Because I wouldn't like that!
The lawyers for the victims of the Rhode Island nightclub disaster are planning to sue a radio station that broadcast commercials for the concert. Wistow said that while he still needs to nail down the precise nature of Clear Channel's responsibility, he's all but certain to name the company [in the suit].
YOU CANNOT OVERKILL this story Everybody loves Clearchannel, it's true. Here's another reason, as an internal memo from some eager executive is leaked. He's just counting down the seconds until war begins and wants to make sure his affiliates are prepared. Here's a nice sample: "People who have never listened to our stations will be tuning in out of curiosity, desperation, panic and a hunger for information. RIGHT NOW, convert them to P-1's . . ."
Live CDs, immediately after the concert. Many times after I've seen a great show, I've wished I could have a recording of the evening. Now, using CD Burners hooked up to the sound boards, ClearChannel is beta testing a program that would make soundboard quality concert CD's available to audience members immediately after a show ended. I'm torn; it's a great idea, but it's ClearChannel... I want to like it... but I want to hate it, too...
DJ Borg Carson Daly (nyt link, registration required) hosts a weekly nationwide Clear Channel radio show called "Carson Daly Most Requested". Tastes differ in different markets so the show is tailored to local markets by counting down the top ten most requested songs in each market. How then does Clear Channel then simultaneously broadcast different lists with different between song patter but with the same host? Easy. They've created a Carson Daly voice database and their technicians construct his intros and background by assembling voice snippets. (via ArsTechnica)
Should FCC allow big media to get bigger? The FCC will soon rule on whether media megaboxes should be allowed to dominate a given market's radio, television, and print media simultaneously. They have already loosened restrictions on radio and the proliferation of Clear Channel has led to a 30% reduction in radio station ownership and, some believe, to the homogenization of popular music. Should the FCC eliminate the regulations preventing mega-media from monopolizing television and print media?
Clear Channel CEO "We're not ruining radio, we're reinventing radio." OK, I admit it, you fooled me. He also says that radio consolidation is "a long, long way from completion." Well, that's something to look forward too, isn't it? It's Rocktober! Here's Tom Petty....
Negativland Uses Mosquito Fleet To Bite Clear Channel and the NAB. Six unlicensed FM stations in Seattle joined forces, simulcasting a fake "KJR-FM" broadcast created by members of Negativland. The spoofed programming repeatedly jabbed at the Clear Channel affiliate for claiming to play only "The Best Of The 60s and 70s", while injecting at least almost 100 songs from the 80s into it's smotheringly-tight, mechanised auto-pilot playlist. Snippets of the simul-pirate-cast can be heard here.
Clear Channel killed the radio star... Okay, so you and your competition buy up all these radio stations and kill the little guys with the big hearts, then one day your audience turns on you. What do you do? You coldly attempt to mimic the attitude of the once successful radio stations that you and your enemy helped kill years before, and a fickle audience buys into it, at least for awhile. You still look like a bunch of boners, but hey at least the Arbitrons look good for a couple quarters. The Zoo and Q102 are spinning in their vampire-like graves... Is this a success story, or an autopsy? Can good radio survive corporate mentality?
What if they put on a concert and nobody came? Its not sales of recorded music that are in the shitter. Now it turns out that live concert ticket sales are in freefall as well (Lets see Hillary try and blame that on MP3s!) The Clearchannel effect has been discussed here several times, but the concert promotion industry's trade paper, Pollstar, reports that sales are down 10% from last year and assigns the blame squarely on ever higher ticket prices: The average ticket cost across McCartney's recent 29 city US tour was $129.50 !!! CSNY had a tour average of $80. I've always preferred small venue acts, but even those have gotten pricey. I just saw Jorma in a 50 person coffeehouse and the tix were $35. (Coffee not included) So I ask the sizable MeFi musical appreciation crowd: Are you seeing less live music because of the cost?
ClearChannelSucks.org has launched with the goal of being the "premier source for information about Clear Channel, its corporate mentality, and its practices, on the Internet." Site owern Clint Sharp alleges that Clear Channel strategically uses its monopolistic position as the largest owner of radio stations, the largest concert promoter, and largest outdoorsignage company to stifle competition and set their own tangible price tag on what it takes to have any success as an artist in the music industry.
FullAudio and ClearChannel Radio form alliance to bring subscription music services to consumers. Another lame attempt to understand music consumers.The truth is buried in a faq section. Can I listen to tracks on my MP3 player? No. Can I convert my tracks to MP3 format? No. What's the point of this service?
Tonight the lead council from Live365 will be taking calls and answering questions live online here in just a few hours, about the recent CARP proposed rulings for internet streaming radio. If you're interested in seeing internet radio live on, give it a listen, if you prefer the RIAA's stranglehold on distribution and prefer hearing Creed streamed over any one of the thousands of identically programmed ClearChannel outlets, feel free to ignore.
Hey, it's beautiful here in San Dieg . . . I mean, Boise Also, "this morning," which is actually several weeks from now. You prolly know that many DJs aren't local now. But it's this bad? Clear Channel radio chief to the WSJ: "I don’t think it’s at all wrong or deceptive to put together terrific programs that reflect local communities and sometimes use talent who may physically be somewhere else."
The DJ's on your local radio station may not be live 24/7, but are they even local? Turn on WRZX-FM (103.3) from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. weeknights and you might hear a new disc jockey, who calls himself Fletch. From listening to him, you'd guess Fletch was sitting behind the control board at 6161 Fall Creek Road, where WRZX is located. You'd be mistaken. The truth is, Fletch is in West Palm Beach, Fla., where he does a 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. show as well as the night shift here for X103 and in Dallas at KEGL-FM -- all owned by Clear Channel Communications.
I was watching "The Craft" last night, and noticed that they censored the image of Robin Tunney's parents' plane going down (actually a Glamour, but you know that), and later Nieve Campbell's character says "you know the [silence]", they actually cut out the words "plane crash". Has anybody else noticed this kind of censorship? Would anybody have been really shocked to hear Nieve say "plane crash"? Do you think the WB would've been swamped with calls? It's bad enough what they did to homer or what the geniuses at clear channel are doing. Good movie, though.
Clear Channel bans Bruce Springsteen's "I'm On Fire", The Beatles' "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," John Lennon's "Imagine," and "all Rage Against The Machine songs"
Clear Channel bans Bruce Springsteen's "I'm On Fire", The Beatles' "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," John Lennon's "Imagine," and "all Rage Against The Machine songs" (which I am sure they have wanted to do for awhile), but not The Cure's "Killing An Arab" or anything by Twisted Sister. Sounds a bit fishy to me. Clear Channel owns over 1,170 radio stations. [from FuckedCompany.com]
Find out how many radio stations in your area are owned by the same company. Here in Dallas Texas Clear Channel owns six. Then there's four other radio stations owned by Susquehanna Radio which used to be owned by AM/FM Incorporated but they merged with *guess who* Clear Channel last year. So it looks like Clear Channel either directly or indirectly controls almost a dozen radio stations in north Texas alone. How much control do they have over your airwaves? Ever wonder why radio stations all sound the same? Cuz they ARE the same!
Pay for play Why does radio suck? Because most stations play only the songs the record companies pay them to. And things are going to get worse.
NPR on the side of Corporate Radio? Bird on a Wire spotted this Salon story that says that National Public Radio, those bast...ions of freedom of speech, are siding with Clear Channel and Infinity Broadcasting to try and restrict the proposed Low Power FM broadcasting service to third adjacent channels (90.1 -> 90.7) instead of second (90.1 -> 90.5)...
a change that will cut the number of possible stations from thousands... to 75.
a change that will cut the number of possible stations from thousands... to 75.