Feingold Takes On ‘Payola,’ Consolidation

Feingold Takes On ‘Payola,’ Consolidation
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Feingold Takes On ‘Payola,’ Consolidation

Is it payola? Could it cost you your station license?
Democrat Sen. Russ Feingold wants to ban what some artists call payola-like practices. He also wants to take a hard look at the impact of radio consolidation.
He admits there’s little time on the legislative calendar for Congress to pass a measure this session, but vowed to stick with the issue as long as it takes.
NAB opposes the measure.
The bill directs the FCC to revoke the license of a station that uses its cross-ownership of promotion services or venues to discriminate against musicians, concert promoters or other radio stations.
Further, it would require the FCC to study the effects of consolidation on independent radio stations, concert promoters and consumers and would ban an increase in the local radio ownership limits.
A representative from the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists said the measure would correct what some artists see as a big problem: “Artists can’t get access to the airwaves unless they’re prepared to buy their way” on the radio.
The legislation is called the “Competition in Radio and Concert Industries Act.” Feingold said he introduced it because “I’ve been hearing from independent radio stations and concert promoters in Wisconsin who are being pushed out by anti-competitive practices, that are, in turn, a result of concentration.”
Feingold mentioned Clear Channel’s name several times; the company repeatedly has stated that its practices are legal.


Avoid the Payola Police

During 2005, the issue of payola received more public attention than at any time since the "pay-for-play" record scandals of the late 1950s.