The Radio Neutralizer - Lyin' Baloney

Friday, November 18, 2005

Friday Radio News Roundup

Many Radio Lawsuits Settled Before the Holiday
Radio One, SBS, Salem, and Maloney’s favorite Air America all settled lawsuits this week. Radio One and SBS (the former being focused on serving urban formats, the latter on Hispanic) had both been hit with investor class action suits regarding their IPOs. It seems that the underwriters neglected to state how they were compensated in those deals.

Salem, who operates primarily Christian stations, settled a suit brought on by plumbers’ unions.

To be frank, dear readers, I’m not a stock market whiz so I’m forced to summarize: Apparently the unions filed suit regarding a stock offering last April where (according to them) Salem overstated its value. The suit is for $5mm. (If this were say, Air America, I daresay the “equalizer” would be on a tirade about how Al Franken stole pension money from plumbers in an Enron-style financial scam.)

Conservative powerhouse (and Limbaugh parent) Clear Channel is heading back to court to fight a JamSports case with alleged anti-competitive behavior and even anti-trust implications. In a previous trial, a judge awarded JamSports $90mm in damages.

At the heart of the case are internal Clear Channel emails that allegedly suggest using its radio clout to badmouth JamSports and its events. Also included was an email from Clear Channel CFO Randall Mays to the effect that they should “kill, maim and destroy” their competition. This comes on the heels of multiple high-profile terminations of CC station program directors following NY attorney general Eliot Spitzer’s payola probe.

Air America’s case involved a dispute with Multicultural Broadcasting who allege that AAR didn’t pay airtime lease payments in 2004. Multicultural quickly took AAR’s programming off the air. In the time since, AAR has completely revamped its management team and sought to make amends for this and other mismanagement in its early days.

Yes folks – it’s true. Despite the skewed perspective certain other blogs might give, lawsuits are fairly common in radio… even with conservative and Christian companies. In fact, they’re common in business in general.

O’Reilly Backlash Continues (Sort of)
San Francisco has introduced legislation to formally request Bill O’Reilly’s termination from both Westwood One and FNN. While it’s not likely such a request would hold much weight, it does stand a chance of drumming up additional publicity for Bill.

Obviously San Francisco doesn’t have the most media savvy city management in the US, but they’re part of this country (and uh, human beings) and a difference of opinion is not a good reason to call on our enemies to attack and kill them.

Republicans Drop Ball - Cede FCC Majority to Democrats
In DC, it appears the Republican controlled white house has seriously bungled their FCC appointments. With commissioner Kathryn Abernathy’s departure on 12/9, it will leave the FCC with a 2-1 Democratic majority. For those not familiar with the FCC, the party in control of the presidency is supposed to have a 3-2 majority on the commission, but the Republicans have been slow to nominate a replacement for Chairman Michael Powell who left in mid-March, and with Abernathy leaving, they will spend at least some time with only one commissioner in office.

Worth noting: the FCC is one of the only government organizations to have done their jobs in through the recent hurricanes. They have been praised by citizens, broadcasters, and the government for their quick decisive actions in the wake of Rita and Katrina. Whatever you think about their stance on broadcast decency or other issues before it, they are clearly there when it counts.


  • Interesting on FCC. What exactly did they do during Katrina? The fact that they kept the information channels relatively open and free from propoganda? In other words, no lockdowns.

    That seems worthy of accolades, but on the other hand, that's just the FCC doing their job.

    By Blogger WHT, at 12:14 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home