Democratic Media Advocate Sneaks Into NAB

  • Democratic Media Advocate Sneaks Into NAB
    You can read two versions of the story. First, we’ll shower in the mainstream, from Radio and Records:

    As close to a dozen individuals held up signs outside of the Washington State Convention and Trade Center Friday morning protesting Clear Channel and corporate radio, Prometheus Radio activist Hannah Sassaman was ejected from the convention floor after unfurling a large “Cheap Channel” banner. Sassaman tells R&R her pass, obtained through trade publication Radio World, was confiscated. The former WXPN/Philadelphia staffer then joined the crowd outside, which was almost outnumbered by uniformed Seattle Police officers. Sandy Johnson, a former Citadel/Modesto, CA employee seeking an LPFM in the market, held up a sign that criticized NAB President/CEO Eddie Fritts, FCC Chairman Michael Powell and Clear Channel’s Lowry Mays and Tom Hicks for their role in what Johnson says is a worsened radio industry following the 1996 Telecom Act. “I was a news director and public affairs director,” she says. “Since the Telecom Act, we’ve seen a lot of changes. We don’t have any local news or public affairs shows anymore in Modesto.” Johnson says her desire for an LPFM signal was hindered by a third-adjacency signal issue and that she’s not heard anything from the FCC on her petition in two years.

    Now, the Indymedia account:

    At 9:45 on Friday, September 13th, at the Exhibition Floor of this year’s National Association of Broadcasters Convention, activists succesfully formed a marriage between the media democracy movement and the daily activities of corporate broadcasters. The marriage was attended by journalists and attendees of the NAB convention, although the media-democracy brides were escorted out, minutes later, by angry policemen. Hannah Sassaman, the program coordinator of the Prometheus Radio Project, and Jeff Perlstein, the executive director of the Media Alliance, posed as cheerleaders for Cheap Channel Radio ( They walked into the exhibition floor, gathered the attention of the merchants and corporate representatives, and delivered a scathing parody of Clear Channel’s business model to corporate executives and salesmen all too familiar with the way the company works. It was this same familiarity that Sassaman and Perlstein used to their advantage. They unfurled a banner emblazoned with Clear Channel’s marketing message, slightly tweaked — “How many times has Cheap Channel breached you today?” it read. To the sudden amazement and intermittent delight of the staffers of the Arbitron booth, nearby the presentation, and the Prophet Systems booth, the only wholly-owned Clear Channel subsidiary to exhibit this year, Sassaman and Perlstein touted the ‘superior synergistic technology’ of their organization.

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