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                                  STATEMENT OF

                         COMMISSIONER MICHAEL J. COPPS

    Re: CBS Radio, Inc., File No. EB-06-IH-1109, Order

   Re: Citadel Broadcasting Corp., File No. EB-06-IH-1108, Order

   Re:  Clear Channel Communications, Inc., File Nos. EB-05-IH-0059,
   EB-05-IH-0144, Order

   Re: Entercom Communications Corp., File No. EB-05-IH-0033, Order

   Pay-for-play broadcasting cheats consumers, musicians and the law.  It
   denies consumers choice in what they hear, it deprives musicians of the
   exposure they need to survive and it is illegal.  It is also insidious,
   because just as soon as one payola hole is plugged, another is opened and
   the payola band plays on.  Today the Commission takes action against
   payola.  While not a lethal blow, this action makes real, tangible
   progress against unacceptable pay-for-play practices.  It opens some
   long-denied access for independent musicians who have faced tough times
   getting their songs on the airwaves in markets long dominated by
   pay-for-play.  And it is good news for listeners who have been drugged by
   years of standardized, homogenized music playlists.  Who knows, if this
   works well a listener driving coast-to-coast might actually hear some good
   local and regional music along the way instead of the same 20 songs.  Just
   as importantly, today's action--rightly implemented and monitored--can be
   good news for the radio business, putting it back in touch with the roots
   from which its earlier successes sprang.  These agreements remind us of
   the special community medium and artistic treasure that free, over-the-air
   radio can be.

   While we celebrate these efforts, we cannot forget what led us down this
   road.  How we got here--how we allowed music on free, over-the-air radio
   to be hijacked by a band of pay-for-play promoters--is a tale worth
   telling.  If I were to give this tale a title, I would call it "The Way
   the Music Died."  It didn't happen in a day or a month or a year.  But two
   culprits combined to all but slay local and independent music on the radio

   First was payola itself.  Payola is by no means a recent arrival on the
   music scene.  From the days of Alan Freed the quid pro quo of cash for
   airplay has lurked behind commercial radio.  The times may have changed,
   but the basic mechanics of payola have not.  If an envelope stuffed with
   cash motivates what gets played, musical merit falls by the wayside.  When
   only artists represented by big labels can afford to play the game,
   independent and home-grown voices lose out.  Payola by itself is bad

   But we put the pernicious effects of payola on steroids when we allow
   excessive consolidation among the licensees of our airwaves.  Here, then,
   is the second culprit: media concentration.  The Telecommunications Act of
   1996 eliminated the national radio cap, leading to a tremendous wave of
   consolidation in terrestrial radio.  The top ten radio conglomerates now
   control 2/3 of the total U.S. radio audience.  As a result, the payola
   kingmakers must grease only a relative handful of palms in order to get
   their anointed commercial artists on the air.  This makes an ugly
   situation uglier.  It makes for radio that sounds the same everywhere.  It
   is why in so many places the same handful of songs by the same small crop
   of artists is in heavy rotation, while local and independent voices never
   get a spin.  What a price we pay.  Musical genius in this country runs
   deep and wide.  But, by and large, our airwaves do not reflect it.
   Concentration of radio ownership has ushered in a new and especially
   challenging age of payola.  But don't just take my word for it.  As the
   American Federation of Television and Radio Artists puts it bluntly:
   "[b]ecause the radio industry is so consolidated, it is more difficult
   than ever for artists to get airplay on commercial radio."

   This is why I believe these agreements are a starting point, not an end.
   They address payola in some of its guises, but ignore the harms inflicted
   by consolidation.  And, sadly, they also fall short of acknowledging
   culpability.  Nonetheless, I remain optimistic that the progress made here
   is real.  So we will give this effort a play.  If, one year from now, we
   are hearing more independent voices on the radio, we'll know that the
   progress is real.  If, in one year, we are hearing more local musicians
   instead of the same slim crew of nationalized fare over and over again,
   we'll know we advanced the ball.  And if, in one year, we can say that
   free, over-the-air radio is the place to go for fresh new sounds and
   dynamic voices, we can all be proud of what we claim to have accomplished

   I intend to closely monitor what happens next.  I hope my colleagues will,
   too.  But what I really want to know is how consumers take the measure of
   these commitments.  So I urge listeners to contact the FCC.  Tell us how
   you think these commitments are being implemented.  Let us know if you're
   hearing more and better music.  We don't need a formal document from you,
   just e-mail us at [1] (with "Payola" in the subject line)
   and tell us how you think it's going.

   In closing, let me note that this agency's payola work is built on the
   historic efforts of former New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.
   We owe him a debt of gratitude for his path-breaking efforts to stomp out
   pay-for-play.  He awoke a new generation of music lovers to the persistent
   harms of payola and raised in listeners a belief that we can do better by
   our airwaves.  Let me also thank my colleagues, in particular Commissioner
   Jonathan Adelstein who pushed this matter front-and-center here and did
   yeoman's work to see these consent decrees through.  Finally, let me also
   thank musicians, other creative artists, independent companies and
   consumers across the land who helped us see the light and who suggested
   remedies to confront the problem.  I appeal for their continued vigilance
   to make sure that the commitments which have been made are carried out
   comprehensively and faithfully--and also to keep their watchful eyes open
   for any evidence of new pay-for-play practices designed to perpetuate a
   crime that never seems to go away.

                  Federal Communications Commission  FCC 07-27


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