More sports on FM: WIP(AM) to simulcast on 94.1

Garrett Wollman
Mon Aug 22 21:26:44 EDT 2011

<<On Mon, 22 Aug 2011 15:37:14 -0400, "Dan.Strassberg" <> said:

> cheap compared to music formats, because all news doesn't require
> music licenses. The record companies appear to be run by total idiots,
> but if they come to their senses, the economics may once again favor
> music formats.

"The record companies" may well be run by total idiots, but they have
no influence over the cost of music licensing for radio stations.
(Well, they can lobby the Copyright Office to increase the statutory
license fee for "digital broadcasting" -- streaming and satellite.)
The people who set the royalty rate for broadcasters are the
collecting societies: in this country, ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC.

I think the big increase in license fees has been due to two changes
in the industry: first, SESAC signed up a number of very popular
songwriters, requiring many stations to get a SESAC license where
previously they could ignore SESAC music and get everything they
needed from ASCAP and BMI; second, the collecting societies moved from
a (more fungible) revenue-based accounting model to an audience-based
model using Arbitron ratings data.  The latter is what hurt people
like Bob Bittner, and is the reason WJIB no longer appears in the
ratings since the introduction of the PPM in Boston.


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