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Protest Clear Channel as FCC Deregulates

by CodePink * Media Challenge Wednesday, May. 28, 2003 at 11:37 AM

On Thursday, May 29--just four days before the Federal Communications Commission votes on a proposal to radically deregulate the media--free speech advocates and media consumers will protest at Clear Channel Communications radio stations in seven cities, including Los Angeles, to draw attention to the problems that resulted from the last media deregulation.

CodePink € Media Challenge€ Global Exchange € Media Alliance



WHEN: Thursday, May 29, NOON- 1:30 PM

WHERE Clear Channel-owned KFI AM Talk Radio Station at 610 S Ardmore Ave. (near Normandie and Wilshire).

WHAT: On Thursday, May 29--just four days before the Federal

Communications Commission votes on a proposal to radically deregulate the media--free speech advocates and media consumers will protest at Clear Channel Communications radio stations in seven cities, including Los Angeles, to draw attention to the problems that resulted from the last

media deregulation.

(If you can’t join us on May 29, call KFI AM. Call KFI's phones and demand they stop toeing the Clear Channel line and provide real community news and balanced views. List the public issues you care most about. KFI listener phone: 800-520-1534 or 213-20-1534. KFI General Manager: 213-385-0101.)

For more information about demo call: 310-827-3046

*If you ever wondered why it seems like the same seven

songs are playing on every radio station in the United States, you can thank Clear Channel Communications and its take-over of radio stations after the 1996 media deregulation. We can't let the same thing happen with television stations and newspapers, and that's just what could happen if the FCC gives more power to the media companies on June 2," said Andrea Buffa, who works

with Global Exchange and Media Alliance, two of the groups organizing the Clear Channel protests.

Clear Channel protests are planned for New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Pittsburgh, and Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. They are part of a multi-pronged effort by free speech advocates and media consumers to stop the FCC from approving a radical deregulation of the media that will allow huge media corporations to own more television stations, radio stations, and newspapers, endangering media diversity. FCC Chairman Michael Powell, Colin Powell's son, is pushing for a June 2 vote on the media deregulation proposal, despite opposition from an unlikely coalition of liberal and conservative groups that oppose giving more power

to the large media companies

Clear Channel was chosen as the target of street protests because it exemplifies the problems that can arise from media deregulation. After the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Clear Channel gobbled up hundreds of radio stations throughout the country and now owns more than 1200 stations nationwide. Not only is the company the world's largest radio broadcaster, it's also the world largest concert promoter and billboard advertising firm.

Clear Channel owns a total of 9 Stations in Lo

Angeles: KACD-AM, KBIG-FM, KFI-AM, KHHT-FM, KIIS-FM, KLAC-AM, KOST-FM, KXTA-AM and KYSR-FM. KFI's line-up includes right-wing talk show hosts Dr. Laura Schlessinger and Rush Limbaugh. In the area Clear Channel also owns

Glen Helen Blockbuster Pavilion, Verizon Wireless Amphitheater

Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza and Wiltern Theater.

Clear Channel's monopolistic practices have accelerated the homogenization

of the airwaves. The company promotes cookie-cutter style radio that has

urban stations throughout the country seemingly playing the same

focus-group-selected songs. It shuts out independent artists who can'

afford to go through high-priced middlemen and is responsible for taking the

practice of voice tracking to new heights. Voice tracking creates brief,

computer-assisted voice segments that attempt to fool the listener into

thinking that a program is locally produced, when in fact the same content

is being broadcast to upwards of 75 stations nationwide from a central site.

Clear Channel also uses its stations to promote its conservative political

agenda. After September 11, the company came to the public's attention when

executives circulated a list of blacklisted songs including John Lennon's

Imagine and Cat Steven Peace Train. This year Clear Channel became one

of the first media companies in recent times to sponsor political

rallies‹the company sponsored pro-war rallies in cities around the country

before and during the war on Iraq. Another "Rally for America" was held in

Huntington, West Virginia this past weekend.

*If the FCC passes Michael Powell's proposed new media rules, companies like

Clear Channel will be given even more control over the public airwaves than

they already have. Literally a handful of large corporations already

dominate 80% of what the American public sees and hears. Our democracy can't

afford this constriction of the public debate," said Gael Murphy of

CodePink, a women's peace group that is organizing several of the Clear

Channel protests. Other groups are Media Challlenge, Global Exchange, Citizen Works,

Media Alliance,, United for Peace and Justice NY, Prometheus Radio Project,

Free Press, the Youth Media Council, and Democracy Rising.

The following rules are being considered for modification or elimination by

the FCC:

€Newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership prohibition. Prevents broadcast TV

companies from buying newspapers in communities in which they have TV


€National TV ownership limit. Limits the number of local broadcast stations

any one broadcast company can own to systems serving 35% of the TV

households in the U.S.

€Local TV multiple ownership. Allows a broadcast company to own two TV

stations in the same market only if at least one of those stations is ranked

below the top four stations and there are at least eight independently

owned-and-operating, full-power TV stations in that market.

€Radio/TV Cross-Ownership restriction. Prevents one company from owning both

a radio station and a television station in the same market.


Media Challenge

Global Exchange

Media Alliance

Clear Channel protest website


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