The Senate Commerce Committee is holding a hearing this morning on consolidation in the radio industry. You can watch it live at the CSpan.org website. The video should also be archived for later viewing (I’ll post a permalink if I can find it).
According to Billboard, Sen. Feingold (D-WI) reintroduced his
“Competition in Radio and Concert Industries Act, which he says will help consumers, small and independent radio station owners, and indie concert promoters by prohibiting anti-competitive practices in the radio and concert industries.”
Sen. John McCain, who chairs the Commerce Committee, is likely to sign on as a co-sponsor to the bill.
This bill is aimed squarely at Clear Channel, which in addition to being the nation’s largest radio station owner is also a big player in concert venues, “independent” music promotion and billboards (not the magazine). CC is accused of using its radio and promotion power to bring back payola, requiring record company tithing to its promo agencies to get their songs onto CC’s radio stations. (Billboard link via Slashdot)
In a related note, John at DIYmedia.net takes a critical look at how Clear Channel is trying to clean up its image.