All Access Exclusive: Neil Responds To Furor Over Radio Artist Royalty Comments
August 3, 2007 at 8:30 AM (PT)
The tone of the dispute over a proposed artist royality fee to radio was cranked up a notch when performers complained YESTERDAY about remarks made by COX RADIO Pres./CEO ROBERT NEIL. R&B legend SAM MOORE, for one, is demanding that he be fired, reports FOX NEWS. Meanwhile, NEIL didn't back down from his basic perspective, in responding to MOORE and FOX's reporting in an exclusive interview with ALL ACCESS.
NEIL originally said in COX quarterly conference call, "I saw the (Congressional) testimony yesterday, and the reality is a lot of those people would be sitting in a shack somewhere in a small town if it wasn't for the fact that radio supported their music when it was coming up."
...if we have to pay tons of money to do that, then what you're going to see is fewer and fewer music stations because nobody is willing to pay it.
In his press statement, MOORE alleged that the term "those people" is pejorative. COX RADIO owns R&B stations and Oldies stations that MOORE says have made their money from black artists for 40 years.
NEIL stood his ground. "The reality is that if radio doesn't play their music, they're not gonna sell their recordings," he told ALL ACCESS. "If we have to pay tons of money to do that, then what you're going to see is fewer and fewer music stations because nobody is willing to pay it. It would be absolutely deadly to small radio stations. It's just silly. It's absolutely silly. There's no other word to describe it."
NEIL told FOX that if the performance bill passed, he would charge artists to play their records. "That’s not payola, because it’s out in the open. It’s perfectly legal," he said. "The songwriters may make a million dollars over a lifetime on their royalties, but the performers made a hundred million dollars up front on record sales and concerts. Now they’re coming back and telling us to pay them. We won’t."
Bob Neil Responds To Fox
"This must be my week to upset some folks," NEIL told ALL ACCESS, referring to his PPM comments,and specifically his remarks used in the FOX NEWS report.
"FOX NEWS had an agenda here, and reporter ROGER FRIEDMAN told me that he felt artists should be paid. 'Those people' that ROGER referred to meant those artists who support radio paying them to play their music. A composer may make a million over the life of the song, and the perfomer gets their money through sales, performance/concerts, and merchandising. So, if artists make bad deals with label, spend all their money, they should now be able to come back and ask radio to make up the difference? I don't think so."
"Also, when I made my original statements about this, it was in response to a financial analyst's question on the COX earnings conference call. I had no idea who had testified at that point, so for anyone to say I'd made racist remarks is just plain wrong."