musicFIRST: FCC Looking Into Performance Fee Opposition
August 10, 2009 at 8:24 AM (PT)
The musicFIRST COALITION, which supports a Performance Fee for music played on the radio, released a new attack TODAY (8/10) on their opponents, writing that radio stations are not accepting advertising supporting Performance Fee legislation, and are threatening performers and refusing to run ads and misleading the public.
"The FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION is seeking comments on the petition filed by the musicFIRST COALITION," they wrote. "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 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BROADCASTERS -- all in an effort to further their own private commercial interests at the expense of their public interest obligations."
musicFIRST made the claim that CLEAR CHANNEL refused their ads in JUNE (NET NEWS 7/30), to which CLEAR CHANNEL EVP/Chief Legal Officer ANDY LEVIN responded "Of course we rejected the ads. We wouldn't take ads from SIRIUS XM either. Why would we air ads designed to put us out of business? This is not about the ads; it's a publicity stunt designed to malign our business and the character or our employees. If musicFIRST is concerned about getting its message out, there is an abundance of other media outlets that would jump at the chance to take their money, especially in this economy. This is just another desperate attempt to breathe life into a failing legislative effort that is clearly against the public interest."
Now, musicFIRST points out that The FCC is seeking comment on these actions and, according to the FCC notice, "whether and to what extent broadcasters are engaging in a media campaign, coordinated by NAB [NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BROADCASTERS], which disseminates falsities about the PRA [Performance Rights Act]."
Claims Of Threats?
musicFIRST also claims there are stations that "threaten artists who support the effort to create a fair performance right on radio."
The last time musicFIRST made that claim was in JUNE (NET NEWS 6/12), when they released the information that a DELAWARE radio station boycotted all artists affiliated with the MUSICFIRST COALITION for an entire month.
ALL ACCESS identified that station as BRANDYWINE SCHOOL DISTRICT Non-Comm WMPH (SUPER 91.7)/WILMINGTON.
When we spoke with WMPH PD/MD KRIS HENDERSON, he told us that the boycott was held "over two years ago. WMPH made an educational boycott for one month simply to make a statement in the music industry. The MUSICFIRST COALITON wants radio stations to pay the artist for playing their music. From mid-JUNE through mid-JULY 2007, WMPH refused to play songs by any artist affiliated with the MUSICFIRST COALITON."
We asked musicFIRST spokesperson MARTY MACHOWSKY twice for specific examples of these new threats -- and were told twice, "We are not releasing information beyond what is in our petition."