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Radio News (more headlines) 08-24-2009

MusicFIRST Releases Radio Distortion Handbook

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Don't let the dog days of summer pass you by without taking a look at some of radio's latest tricks. Today the musicFIRST coalition released a compilation of radio's most egregious distortions about a fair performance right on radio called "The Radio Distortion Handbook." The handbook contains the many lies and mistruths to date used by the radio industry in its disingenuous campaign against the Performance Rights Act and those who support it. The Performance Rights Act is a bill that will bring fairness to artists, fairness to other radio platforms and fairness to radio.

"AM and FM music radio stations continue to earn billions in advertising revenue without compensating the artists and musicians who bring music to life and listeners' ears to the radio dial," said musicFIRST executive director Jennifer Bendall. "Instead, radio stations and the National Association of Broadcasters continue to run an untruthful campaign against the Performance Rights act, spreading lies and misinformation to the general public and challenging the character and integrity of member of Congress who support it."

For months, radio stations have been using the public airwaves to run ads and commentary that unfairly prey on the public's fears by calling the Performance Rights Act a "tax"- which it's not, saying all the money is going to foreign companies, which it's not, and intimating that this is a racial issue by claiming that there is no black representation in the process and that it will "murder black radio" - again not true.

"Time and time again we have been told 'NO!' by radio stations when it comes to airing our side of the debate," said Bendall. "Many stations are rejecting our ads without even reading the script. It's an absolute sham. Ironically, they are refusing to take our money at the same time that they cry poverty to avoid fairly compensating artists for the music upon which they have built their businesses."

Earlier this month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced it is seeking comments on the petition filed by musicFIRST. The petition details how radio stations across the country refuse to air musicFIRST ads, threaten artists who support the effort to create a fair performance right on radio and continue to run misleading ads produced by the NAB - all in an effort to further their own private commercial interests at the expense of their public interest obligations.

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