Reactions to yesterday’s loosening of media ownership limits appear to be divided among lawmakers in Washington.
Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-LA) said the FCC had "taken a big step toward removing the regulatory muzzle from American broadcasters," according to the New York Times. Tauzin actually wanted the FCC to have eased the limits even more. The new rules also brought a thumbs-up from Commerce Department Secretary Donald Evans. "The FCC has answered the call of Congress and the courts to modernize its rules," Evans said.
But like the debate that preceeded the historic rulemaking, there were plenty of opposing viewpoints. "We are extremely concerned that these new changes will significantly undermine current FCC rules that were intended to promote minority participation, and preserve multiple media voices and opinions in the electronic and print media industries," Reps. Ciro Rodriguez, (D-TX), chairman of Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Elijah Cummings, (D-MD), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, and David Wu, (D-OR), chairman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, said in a written statement.
Also criticizing the move are three Democratic contenders for the 2004 presidential election: Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, Senator John Edwards of North Carolina and former Vermont governor Howard Dean. The decision "by President Bush’s allies on the FCC exemplifies everything that is wrong with the administration," Edwards said.
Breaking party lines was Republican Trent Lott of Mississippi who told the Times, "There is not a partisan position here. A lot of Republicans- in fact most of the Republicans in Congress would not agree on this decision."
Three years ago, Streamcast Networks Inc., creators of file-sharing network Morpheus, tried to develop an online radio service. But the company couldn't get licenses from the labels and the service never got out of the starting blocks. Now the record industry has filed suit against Streamcast in a federal court in Nashville, accusing them of acquiring thousands of songs, converting them into a database, and making multiple copies of the songs and the database -- all without permission from the copyright owners.
"This is another step in our ongoing litigation against Streamcast, a company that we believe is responsible for widespread copyright infringement," the RIAA issued in a statement, according to the Los Angeles Times. Last month studios, labels and music publishers brought a copyright infringement suit against Streamcast. The new suit comes one month after a federal judge in Los Angeles ruled that Streamcast and Grokster were not responsible for piracy committed by program users.
A legal expert calls the new suit "forum shopping" – filing a separate suit in a different location likely to get a more sympathetic ear.
Streamcast chief executive Michael Weiss called the industry "sore losers." "It looks like they're coming after us for exploring another legal business model, one that we didn't even launch," he claimed. Jonathan Potter of the Digital Media Assn., a trade group for online broadcasters, claims all Internet radio stations convert CDs to an electronic database, and the 1998 act protects the stations from lawsuits. "The record companies have a history of suing people that they just don't like," Potter commented.
Veteran Rock promotion executive Laura Curtin has resurfaced at Arista as VP Rock Promotion. Based in Los Angeles, Curtin joins New York-based Sr. Director Alternative/Rock Promotion Dave Lombardi at the label. Concurrently, Arista Sr. Director Rock/Alternative Promotion Shannah Miller relocates from L.A. to New York as Sr. Director Rock & Video Promotion. Named FMQB’s Rock Promotion Executive Trendsetter in 2000, Curtin served as DreamWorks Head of Rock Promotion for five years, exiting the label last fall. Prior to that she had a long stretch at Epic Records, culminating in a position as VP/Rock Promotion.
WKLS/Atlanta APD Jimmy Tidwell has been named PD at Clear Channel Classic Rock sister WRDU/Raleigh-Durham, NC. Tidwell will make the move after 96 Rock finds his replacement, which should be in about a month.
"His work ethic and knowledge of Classic Rock are terrific," Clear Channel-Raleigh Market Manger Sherri Sawyer told FMQB. "I wish he could start today!"
"An opportunity to program a Classic Rock station in market 46, that’s pretty much all I needed to hear," Tidwell told FMQB. "It’s a well-known Rock station and has been on the air 19 years. Over the last year it became all Classic Rock, the numbers have increased, and I am looking forward to helping the station grow."
Prior to joining ‘KLS in ’01, Tidwell worked at WPPT/Panama City, FL.
Bubba The Love Sponge has signed a three year contract to remain hosting mornings on WXTB (98 Rock)/ Tampa. Bubba’s fledgling morning radio network includes Clear Channel stations in Hartford, Jacksonville, Ft Myers, and Macon GA, and a non-CC affiliate in Wichita, KS. XM Satellite Radio also carries the show on its "Extreme talk’ channel.
Bubba The Love Sponge
"When Bubba came to WXTB in December, 1996, I knew eventually his show would go to the next level," said ‘XTB GM Dan DiLoreto "With Bubba’s continued success as this market’s top rated morning show, Bubba has rightfully deserved this contract and the upside opportunities that come with it."
"Bubba The Love Sponge has brought a dynamic and ratings success that has branded both himself and 98 Rock as leaders in our industry," said Clear Channel Florida Regional VP Programming Brad Hardin. We look forward to continued growth and success with Bubba and the Bubba Radio Network."
Said Tampa’s top-rated 25-54 dog: "I gotta stick with what got me to the dance. Although there were other interested dance partners, my loyalty is to those two gentlemen, Dan DiLoreto and Brad Hardin, who have done so much for me."
On Friday, 06/06, WMWX (Mix 95.7) will honor morning host Glenn Kalina and his 25 years of service and dedication to the Philadelphia radio community. The soiree will be held on The Battleship New Jersey, docked at Camden’ s waterfront. Glenn was an original member of WCAU’s Hot Hits all-star staff of the eighties, had a long and prosperous run at WIOQ, danced with ALICE104 and is currently mixin’ it up in the mornings at WMWX.
Kalina has received several industry awards including: 1993 FMQB MD of the Year, 1995 Philadelphia Music Conference PD of the Year, 1996 FMQB Most Influential PD, 1997 PA Assoc. of Broadcasters Award for Excellence, along with many Philadelphia AIR awards.
Everyone at FMQB joins Mix 95.7 in honoring a true Philly radio legend.
Amy Hagan is exiting her midday shift at WHJY/Providence to become a Yoga teacher. Hagan worked at the Providence Rocker for 11 years…Tony Harris exits his nightshift at WMWX(Mix)/Philadelphia and will continue to do weekends/fill-in at Greater Media sister Classic Rocker WMGK. FMQB alumnus Charlie Maxx is currently filling in for Harris until a replacement is named… Former WHFS/ Washington personality Pogo has been hired for weekend duties at Modern Rocker WZZN/Chicago…The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports WKZN midday jock JeffThomas and Promotions Director Maloree Hood will serve as interim morning hosts, until a replacement is named for Bo & Beth who exited last week… Modern Rocker KMBY/Santa Cruz, CA promotes parttimer Jason LaChance to afternoon drive… New Youngstown, OH Rocker WWIZ (Rock 104) has hired a few personalities. Matt Spaz who did mornings at WRQK/Canton, OH will do mornings, Interim PD Jim Loboy handles middays and former WBUZ/Nashville personality Mo will handle afternoons. The station is looking for a night jock…Jay Morris has been named PD at Rocker WHBZ/Sheboygan, WI… WHHY/Montgomery, AL has hired former WHTE-WUMX/Charlottesville, VA PD Keith Scott for morning co-host and APD/MD duties… Oldies WORC/Worcester, MA hires radio veteran Jay Beau Jones for PD duties… Carmel Group analyst Jimmy Schaeffler warns satellite radio companies that the next seven months is "the critical time for this industry, that's going to be the make-or-break time," according to Billboard. All of 2003 GM models that include XM, 15 percent of sales include the satellite package, and dealers are preparing for Sirius options to be available on 2004 models. Sirius has also announced its intention to sell subject to market and other conditions, $125 million principal amount of Senior Secured Notes Due 2010 to qualified institutional buyers.