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by CodePink ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ Global Exchange ÃƒÂ
Thursday, May. 29, 2003 at 1:22 PM
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 € Global Exchange € Media Challenge
May 28, 2003
As FCC Commissioners Prepare to Eliminate Media Regulations
Los Angeles Consumers to Protest Thursday at Clear Channel
“Poster Child” of What's Wrong with Media Deregulation
***PHOTO OPP: Dressed like Dixie Chicks and playing their music
Protesters to “Pink Slip" (as in lingerie) Clear Channel****
WHEN: Thursday, May 29, NOON- 1:30 PM
WHERE: Clear Channel-owned KFI AM Radio -610 S Ardmore Ave. (near Normandie & Wilshire).
(Protests are also scheduled for Washington, DC, New York City, San Francisco, Charlotte, Portland, Pittsburgh, and Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina)
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 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, Charlotte, 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 radio stations in Los 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't 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 intothinking 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.
Tom Hicks, VP of radio monolith Clear Channel, ordered that all Clear Channel stations were to drop the Dixie Chicks from their playlists, is reportly old Texas crony and business associate of Bush.
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 inHunington, 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 peacegroup that is organizing several of the Clear Channel protests. Other groups are Global Exchange, Media Challenge, 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
€Newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership prohibition. Prevents broadcast TV companies from buying newspapers in communities in which they have TV stations.
€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.
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