Fw: MEDIA REPORT #3 to air starting mid-late this-coming week on WJIB and WJTO

Dan Strassberg dan.strassberg@att.net
Sun Jun 17 15:01:26 EDT 2007

I asked Bob if he'd like me to post this to the list, because he can't (he
can't seem to figure out how to send pure ASCII messages; as usual with his
messages, the original was HTML). He authorized me to post it (see below),
so there should be no questions about whether I have misappropriated
copyrighted material. In addtion, I did not see a copyright notice.

If you have comments, please be sure to copy Bob on your messages:
Jibguy@aol.com. I am just the messenger!

Hi Dan-
Yes, you may do so; post it on Garrett's list.
All well with you these days?
Nothing much new here.


----- Original Message -----
From: <Jibguy@aol.com>
To: <dan.strassberg@att.net>
Sent: Sunday, June 17, 2007 3:33 AM
Subject: MEDIA REPORT #3 to air starting mid-late this-coming week

Media Report - June 2007 - to air on WJIB and WJTO


 There's a nationwide organization called the "Future of Music Coalition",
whose energy is directed against conglomeration in the radio biz, and for
diversity in radio formats, and encouraging the airing and exposure of new
varied artists.  They recently issued a study saying that 75% of all
radio stations in America air only 15 different formats.  Another one of
findings is that local-ownership of stations has dropped by about a third,
the past 30 years.  - Responding to that was the National Association of
Broadcasters who said in a press release: "The Future of Music Coalition's
history of producing questionable research and dubious data to fulfill its
agenda-driven mission is apparent for all to see".   Is the pot calling the
black here?- The National Association of Broadcasters has issued annual
in recent years touting that broadcasting stations have dramatically
public service time year after year.  Most listeners might be scratching
heads on that statement.

Other conclusions from the Future of Music Coalition are:
** the top 4 radio station corporate owners have almost half of all the
listeners in the USA, and the top 10 corporate owners have almost 2/3rds of
**Niche music formats are usually provided by smaller radio groups or
individual owners. Such niche formats mentioned are: classical, jazz,
Americana. Folk, New Rock and even Adult-Standards fits into the
** In 155 markets, radio listenership has declined by 22% in the past 18
years. They suggest that corporate consolidation is possibly to blame.
That's a
very valid point, but we all know that there is a another contributor to
and that is new technology such as ipods and computer music
downloads/and/sharing which makes radio sometimes irrelevant to many young

 Another study says that white males own 87% of all radio stations. And
represent only 1% of people at the head of corporate radio groups. FCC
Commissioner Michael Copps says of minorities and women: "it's not that
riding in the back of the bus, they're not even ON the bus."

 The Federal Communications Commission has reached a settlement of the
recent-years' "pay-for-play" investigations.  Four companies are ponying up
significant cash as a penalty.  Clear Channel had to pay $3.5 million, CBS 3
Entercom $4 million and Citadel $2-million.  All companies have promised
"reforms." -  On May 14th, the Chairman of the FCC said the investigation is
over. They're currently looking at other large radio broadcasting companies.

 How's radio been doing billing-wise? Here in America, its been flat in the
past 18 months, with some sub-categories dropping. All of this after a
continual rise in revenues over the past 10 years.  However, in Canada,
radio station
revenues are up almost 6% in 2006 at the same time ours went flat.

 Radio hobbyists have put together a list of unlicensed radio stations in
Boston area. A list of 26 AM stations and 25 FM stations; not all of which
are presently on the air, and some who broadcast only at night, or weekends.
an unlicensed station to be legal, its signal should not go more than
city blocks, a small distance which is an unfamiliar trait of many of their

 Those so-called infomercials heard on radio in half-hour blocks, disguised
as radio talk-shows, peddling diet pills to get-rich-quick schemes... 10
ago, they were only on the smallest stations in America. -  Well, they're
in New York City.... even on most of the 50,000-watt AM radio stations, late
at night.  Those things started out and are still aired on the smaller
in New York at any time of the day, and of course, in Boston too (but not
HERE on this station). I wonder why the Federal Trade Commission is asleep
this.... Seems like they're in the latter-middle part of an ordered

 A group called the "AM Daytimers Association" has submitted their approval
for a proposal for rule-making to the FCC.  –to allow some
and no-power-at-night AM stations, to have a moderately-low-powered FM
station.  This means, stations like WJIB and WJTO might be able to have
signals repeated on the FM dial.   This is one of the very few efforts to
assist smaller AM stations.  But there ARE restrictions to this idea, and it
quite possible that the whole intent of the idea may be corrupted by
Wall-Street broadcasters to somehow use it to their advantage thereby
squeezing out the
stations which really need it the most. See info on this on-line:

 Radio formats in 2006.... the count is in.... how MANY stations are airing
which formats...   #1 is Country Music with over 2,000 stations doing it. A
distant #2 is News/Talk with about 1350 stations... #3 is rock & pop oldies
60's to mid 80's) with 730 stations...  And #4 are all the different kinds
Spanish stations... with 715 stations.... and #5 is adult-contemporary music
stations usually heard on FM...with over 650 stations.  Adult-STANDARDS
stations, like this station... well we didn't make the list, but I'm sure
we're near
the bottom of the pile.  But we probably beat the number of all-Farm-news
stations.  –  - -

 Last November & December, 412 stations went to an all holiday/Christmas
music format; a record number.  Remember 10-or-more years ago, a seacoast
Hampshire FM station did that, and we all laughed?

 You've all heard about the Dom Imus debacle....    Well another New York
City on-air duo made some similar remarks about an Asian ethnic group LONG
Don's comments, and those previous anti-Asian comments were virtually
by ethnic advocacy groups.  But when that same program aired again AFTER the
Imus epoisode (as a radio taped re-run), then they protested, demanding that
the on-air duo be fired.  Just an interesting tid-bit of how "it worked once
for someone else (with Imus), now its our turn".  This is not to say that I
condone ANY of the on-air comments made in New York City.

 A talk-master on another New York City big station,  said that in HIS
contract, there's a provision that says he can be terminated for offending
significant part of the community, but if he's not offending someone every
then he's not doing the job that his wink-wink-nod-nod employer wants him to
This is a situation that plagues most talk-show hosts these days, which
them tensely on the edge of their seats every time they sit in the studio.

 In early-June, an appellate court ruled that the FCC's laws against
indecency in broadcasting, were invalid; which essentially negates
restrictions on
indecency. Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia is preparing legislation
Congress to step in, to give them control over the court decision, and even
over the FCC, in an effort to keep obscenity OFF the air.  Right now,
technically, broadcast stations may broadcast most obscenities, but there's
no rush by
stations to test this out, at least not right away.

 Congress is looking to ban most pharmaceutical products on radio, TV, and
print advertising.  –at least for a 3-year period, so the situation can be
studied. The drug companies spent a whopping 5 & a half BILLION dollars in
media last year.  - Imagine what it would be like the see the 6:30 PM
network news
without those ads! -  Anyway, this started out as a proposed 3-year
moratorium on just NEW drugs, in an effort to see how they work before
of them.


 Satellite radio's subscriptions have slowed down significantly in 2006 and
even more-so in this year so far.  Some of it has to do with internet
which is free, and another aspect of this is hesitation... Hesitation by
consumers who know about the desire of both satellite providers to merge
into one.
 And that's another story in itself.... citing believed-future financial
difficulties, Sirius and XM want to merge.  Over 10 years ago, the FCC
granted the two separate licenses, in the public interest to allow
 Now that they want to merge, they must get government approval which might
be quite difficult.  Hindering such are two happenings; first the fact that
some of the satellite DJ's have been making racist remarks and skits;  -and
has been confirmed that land-repeater transmitters have been running way
authorized power AND there are land-repeater transmitters that aren't even
authorized!  Such of the legal transmitters ARE needed to repeat the
signal into the abysses of large city streets, between tall buildings, since
satellite is not "straight up" in the sky.


 Ever wonder who the money goes to when you download a song for 99-cents?
Here's how it breaks down: 5-cents goes to the credit card company, 7-cents
to the singers/or/band who recorded the song; 13-cents goes to Apple  for
hosting, billing and bandwidth; and a whopping 73-cents goes to the record

 The major record companies, through their common organization, the RIAA,
been brutal to webcasters... people or companies who stream music
on the internet.  Recently, they WON their suit against webcasters,
in new sky-high royalties (almost 3-times what they are now, and in some
cases, as much as 12 times) which are said will put most webcasters out of
business.  Actually, its not ‘business' that most of them are doing... its
more of a
hobby with artistic attributes.  With these new fees that have been approved
by the Copyright Royalty Board (which are retro-active to 18 months ago, and
all due July 15th), are being challenged in court right now, but it still
doesn't look good for webcasters.  The appeal has been filed by
RealNetworks, Yahoo,
Live365 and Pandora, who say in letters to every member of Congress, that
"the new royalty rate will cause immediate bankruptcy of the majority of the
internet radio industry and will actually reduce royalties to record
companies and
artists as services go dark and royalties are never paid by them."  If this
court-approved rate hike stays in place, then starting July 15th, the only
entities that will be webcasting would be the largest corporations and some
scattered people who would not worry about being sued because they have
little or no

 This may very well be "the plan" by the major record companies... to be
to control all webcasting, and additionally all recorded music performed
publicly in the USA.  While presently, webcasting of radio station signals
exempt from this court action of extremely higher rates, the record
companies are
now gearing up to attack the webcasting radio stations too, to get them to
more than they are now.  —A-N-D... there's talk about the RIAA going after
all music-formatted radio stations for just broadcasting on their
signals, too! –stations like THIS ONE. -  This is not to be confused with
current royalties paid by traditional stations to the WRITERS of the songs.
This however is an effort by record companies (the RIAA) to get webcasters
stations to pay the record companies, where then those record companies
dole out a minority percentage to the actual performers that play the music,
and I really mean... a MINORITY of it going to the artists, the players and
singers of the music.

 Right now, non-webcasting stations (like this one), enjoy paying NO
royalties to the record companies, but we do pay to the song-WRITERS. Those
are the
fees I told you about in March, where WJIB's royalties went from $5k+ to
Over the past 80 years, there has been an uneasy agreement between all radio
stations and record companies that stations, while not having to pay the
royalties to the record companies, is in trade for radio stations creating
sales for
the record companies.  After all, without stations' airplay over the past 80
years, record companies would not have sold many records/CD's at all...
excepting for recent developments on the internet.

 If all of this seems confusing... it IS.  All due to American 21st Century
greed.... different industry groups always trying to extract as much money
they can from other industry groups.  And all of this greed regarding music
a jump-start from one thing.... the invention of the digital transmission of
music, where it was stated by record companies 15 years ago that it was so
easy to copy music instead of buying it.  But now, the record companies are
after EVERYONE involved in music, even if music is not easily copy-able such
as off traditional radio stations.  (By the way, if you want to use your
cassette recorder to record music off this station, it's OK... as long as
its for
your own use and not re-distributed as a sale).

 And now, it gets even worse...  On the international stage....  Many
webcasters are finding ways to curtail their music streaming to be only
within USA
borders, due to the fact that the same thing happening here, is happening
"there".  Scores of different countries are wrestling with this same legal
and results, when and if they occur, will likely be all different from each
other. This is important, as many acts aired in the USA are from other
countries.    - This is a good time to be a copyright lawyer and/or

 In addition to the record companies trying to change the laws in order for
them to collect as much money as possible, the Performing Rights
are trying to do the same.  ASCAP and BMI, who represent their own interests
and the WRITERS of the songs, filed suit in order to classify every
song download as a "public performance", therefore they too, would get
royalties for each download.  On April 25th, a federal judge saw through
that and
denied such, much to the glee of AOL and Yahoo who fought the suit.


 While digital radio is suffering a very slow start, digital Tv is rolling
right along.  Also known as HD-TV, many stations are broadcasting now on two
channels; the first one being the ones we're familiar with, and the second
not so familiar.  The real news in TV-land here is that every non-digital TV
America will no longer be able to receive local TV stations come February
2009. That is the month that the FCC is requiring TV stations to turn off
traditional signals, which has been in use since the 1940's. So no more
NewsCenter5 on Channel 5, no more WBZ-TV on Channel 4. And "7, the News
Station" will
be "something-else, the news station".
For those of you who have traditional TV's, which is most of us; all is not
lost, since there will be converter boxes available for you to install to
your TV's still functional.
Retail stores are still selling traditional TV's and the FCC is quite
irritated with them. -not so much for selling them, but for the stores not
would-be purchasers that these TV's have a limited time-span use in the

 The V-Chip so far is useless, says the Parents Television Council, who
lobbied hard for it.  Or at least they say that the $550-million that the TV
industry spent on educating parents about it, didn't work at all. They blame
parents' indifference and even moreso, the networks for presenting shows
that the
organization says is not suitable for children.

Cable TV is now at a 16-year-low, In just one month, November of last year
saw a loss of over 2.5 subscribers.  Mostly due to increased penetration of
satellite-delivered services.


 For $4 a month, you can now get a service that enables a mono-lingual
to speak in French by hearing bits of it so you can parrot it, as if to let
others near you to hear you; -  gives you snappy one-liners to impress
at parties, and even shows little pictures of women that a guy could claim
"his"  The company is appropriately called "Mobile Faker" and its on the


 It just well may be that in the near future, if a newly-released movie show
someone smoking IN that movie, it might get an "R" rating by the Motion
Picture Association of America. Such is being considered right now.

 But even more interesting is that one large cable company has had
discussions with some Hollywood studios on the topic of allowing that cable
company to
air their newly-released movies on "opening day" at theaters. The two
theater companies responded by saying they'd refuse to show movies that
on cable on the same day.

Despite all the messes going on in today's broadcasting industry, some of
which I've talked about here, it's worse in Venezuela, where broadcasters
free speech rights, at least on South American standards... But now, its
different.  The most-watched TV network in Venezuela has just been shut down
Presidente Hugo Chavez.  The network and its stations had been airing
opposition to
Chavez's speech & policies. But Chavez said they were becoming a threat to
country, so he personally stepped in to prevent its licenses from being
renewed.  Now, they are no longer broadcasting.  The stations are now,
according to
Chavez, going to be "public service channels". Critics there say they'll
really be "servicing Chavez channels".

That's it for this Media Report....  Written by myself, Bob Bittner, and
aired exclusively on 740-WJIB Cambridge, Massachusetts...and...730-WJTO,

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