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ClearChannel Complains About XM, Sirius Radio

timothy posted about 10 years ago | from the keeping-you-underserved-by-government-charter dept.

The Media 344

andyring writes "In the latest attempt by a big corporation with a failing business model to win by legislation and not in the marketplace, ClearChannel is whining to the FCC about XM Radio's recent foray into localized traffic and weather reports." Here I was thinking that satellite radio was a good thing for competition in radio.

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Living the siege of Falluja (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8891126)

Thousands of Iraqis from the besieged town of Falluja have entered Baghdad in the last week. Graham Usher [ahram.org.eg] spoke to one of them

Salim Mubarak sits on a high chair in a small house in Baghdad's Amaria neighbourhood, surrounded by men and women bearing gifts. Dressed in a long grey gown, he is 61 years old and a merchant by trade. His long, leathery limbs and equine features exude nothing if not dignity. But "you cannot live in dignity without sacrifice," he says.

Mubarak is a refugee from Falluja. For four days the town was under siege and bombardment by the US marines: retribution spurred by the slaughter of four American security contractors at the hands of an outraged mob on 31 March. Doctors in Falluja estimate that some 600 Iraqis were killed and 1500 wounded in the assault. The Iraqi Red Crescent says 1,000 families (perhaps 6,000 people) have been forced to leave their homes and 60,000 have fled the city. Falluja has 200,000 people.

On 9 April the marines suspended their offensive, pending cease-fire talks with Iraqi fighters defending the city. Mubarak, with 19 members of his family, used the reprieve to escape. He left Falluja at 9am, arrived in Baghdad at 8pm, a journey that takes an hour by car. This is his story of the siege.

"My son is a doctor in a clinic in the centre of Falluja. He couldn't reach the main hospital -- it's on the other bank of the river, which is under American control. I tried to visit the clinic every day. It was risky, but I wanted to see my son. I saw a lot of injuries there. Many people had terrible wounds to their legs, as though a bomb exploded within them. I saw one whole family -- 24 members -- dead ..."

He wiped a hand the size of a fan across his face.

"I saw children and women whose bodies looked as though they had been through a meat-grinder ..."

The hand folds into a fist and he starts to cry. Uneasy, the men shift in their chairs. The women have left the room. We feel we are the bringers of bad tidings. He sobs for a minute, but then hauls himself back to his high chair, purging grief with rage and a torrent of questions, directed at us.

"Why do the Americans do this? Where is their humanity? They say they are after the resistance, so why bomb homes with women and children? There were very few fighters but the Americans fought us as though we are an army. They should be held internationally accountable for what they have done in Falluja. They said Saddam Hussein dug mass graves. There are mass graves in Falluja. What's the difference? They would drop leaflets from their helicopters telling us not to leave our homes, not to go onto the streets. But they were bombing homes!"

How did he manage to escape? "We heard the army had opened a road out of Falluja -- not from the Americans, from the mosques. We saw whole families leaving, so we followed them. We walked a dirt track, kicking up storms of dust. After I don't know how many kilometres we reached an American checkpoint: there were thousands there, maybe tens of thousands, in cars, on foot, on wagons. The Americans let everyone go, on condition that no one would return."

Does he think there can be a cease-fire?

"No one wants to die for nothing," he shrugs. "The cease-fire depends on whether the Americans will observe it. If they do, any Iraqi will accept it."

His son, Fouad, feels compelled to speak. "When we were leaving Falluja we saw truckloads of American soldiers going the other way. Why do you need troop reinforcements if there is going to be a cease-fire? I think the Americans are using the cease-fire to strengthen themselves, so they can occupy the town completely."

And what about the resistance? "If you see a young man sacrifice his life for his city, you respect him. Yesterday he was an ordinary man. Today," says Mubarak, searching for the right word, "today, he is something more than this."

And Americans? "They are occupiers."

"Failing business?" (4, Insightful)

heironymouscoward (683461) | about 10 years ago | (#8891135)

ClearChannel are a failing business?

Aren't they practically in a monopoly situation and trying to keep it that way?

Re:"Failing business?" (5, Insightful)

Paleomacus (666999) | about 10 years ago | (#8891160)

Yes but as XM becomes more mainstream are you going to listen to ClearChannel stations? I don't have XM and try to listen to Non-ClearChannel stations. ClearChannel stations have the most obnoxious radio shows,commercials, jockeys and play the narrowest selection of music.

XM has many stations that don't even have commercials and cater to any musical taste. In my area we don't even have an FM Jazz station...

Re:"Failing business?" (4, Interesting)

gerbache (540848) | about 10 years ago | (#8891188)

The trouble is that XM and Sirius are still monthy fee services, while I can tune in to FM radio stations free over the airwaves. I know a lot of people are into XM radio and all, but personally, I just don't listen to the radio enough to make it worth my while to pay for a service, and I'd say that a lot of other people are like that, as well.

That being said, I can't see how the competition from them can be a bad thing for anyone but ClearChannel. Plus, if XM is not regulated by the FCC (I don't know this for sure, can anyone verify), we can get around all the censorship BS going on right now with our lovely FCC....

Re:"Failing business?" (3, Interesting)

OS24Ever (245667) | about 10 years ago | (#8891402)

I'm happily paying $9.95 a month so I don't have to listen to commercials.

All of XM's music stations have no commercials. While the 'talk' stations do. It's kinda funny the commercials mainly on the XM Talk channels are 'spam' like such as life insurance, weight loss, and tax free living.

Re:"Failing business?" (3, Interesting)

brandonY (575282) | about 10 years ago | (#8891198)

Here in Atlanta, one popular station, 99X, has a recurring advertisement that boasts loudly that they are not in any way owned by Clear Channel. They're doin' darn well.

Re:"Failing business?" (3, Informative)

generic-man (33649) | about 10 years ago | (#8891244)

Yes. ClearChannel already has a stake in XM Satellite Radio, so they're hedging their bets on the new technology.

Re:"Failing business?" (1)

slowbad (714725) | about 10 years ago | (#8891404)


ClearChannel already has a stake in XM Satellite Radio, so they're hedging their bets

Let them invest where they wish. It still means they are not wiping out local content
and competitors on a whim, determining advertising prices across total local markets,
and forcing out local content with canned programming.

When a company's efforts become "where should we park our money for the next
90-180 days" ... it means they are no longer producing tangible product, and this
would be a good thing for ClearChannel.

Re:"Failing business?" (1)

ComradeX13 (226926) | about 10 years ago | (#8891167)

Yeah, and that's why haven't listened to commercial radio in years.

Their problems, if any, come from being huge jackasses and have nothing to do with XM/Sirius.

I mean, I know four people with sat-radio, the equipment to get ClearChannel's stations comes standard with every goddamn car - how much more of a potential audience do you need?

Re:"Failing business?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8891182)

Last I heard Clear Channel only owned 10% of radio stations. That isn't exactly a monopoly. If you call that a monopoly than there are a lot of monopolies out there.

Re:"Failing business?" (4, Insightful)

Dirk Pitt (90561) | about 10 years ago | (#8891263)

There's a big difference between owning 10% of radio stations, and owning 10% of total listenership. I suspect that a vast majority of the number of radio stations cover a small percentage of the total listeners, while ClearChannels 10% of the stations covers a lion's share of the listeners.

They Chased Me From The Laundromat... (1)

dabigpaybackski (772131) | about 10 years ago | (#8891221)

I stopped going to my old laundromat because of the music they piped in from a Clear Channel-affiliated station? Have you heard the *shit* that spews forth from their playlist? Rod Stewart and Lionel Ritchie weren't good when they were new, but now they are intolerable.

Re:"Failing business?" (5, Funny)

nomadic (141991) | about 10 years ago | (#8891262)

They made profits of $187 million on revenue of $2.29 billion. I wish I could fail like that.

No, they only own less than 10% (3, Informative)

JasonUCF (601670) | about 10 years ago | (#8891330)

According to the FCC, there are about 13,000-15,000 radio stations in the US broadcasting at any one time. At last count Clear Channel had 1,176 stations. That is near 10%, not exactly a monopoly. Clear Channel is the biggest single owner, but they are not the only one. Cox, Infinity, Ennis, are all players in this game, and they are part of a lobbying group that asked for this. Clear Channel did not ask for this, the lobbying group did. This is the problem I keep talking about -- people think CC is the only one wrong so they ignore the other people too. Sigh.

Re:No, they only own less than 10% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8891394)

According to the FCC, there are about 13,000-15,000 radio stations in the US broadcasting at any one time. At last count Clear Channel had 1,176 stations. That is near 10%, not exactly a monopoly.

That's just gibberish. What would the number of radio stations have to do with whether they have a monopoly? If you want to argue that they only have a 10% market share then you'll be lying but at least it'll be a relevant lie. Talking about the number of stations is just pointless.

Re:"Failing business?" (0, Troll)

jxs2151 (554138) | about 10 years ago | (#8891453)

This rant would not even be here if Rush wasn't on ClearChannel stations and the Conservatives didn't own radio.

When I see articles critical of the NYT as well as ClearChannel then I will trust the integrity of the poster. Until then, this is just a silly attack on something the "open-minded" liberals disagree with.

And to think... (5, Insightful)

Jin Wicked (317953) | about 10 years ago | (#8891136)

I got heavily criticised in a story a couple of days ago for saying Clear Channel should get one of those awards for being against free speech.

They may be a private corporation but they have used the FCC and other ways of influencing gov't to make sure that they get to control certain aspects of the airwaves. They may not be John Ashcroft but they are certainly interested in controlling the market and what you hear. =P

You've got it backwards. (0, Insightful)

UPAAntilles (693635) | about 10 years ago | (#8891279)

They may be a private corporation but they have used the FCC and other ways of influencing gov't to make sure that they get to control certain aspects of the airwaves. They may not be John Ashcroft but they are certainly interested in controlling the market and what you hear. =P

Clear Channel are not the ones trying to regulate the airwaves, the FCC is, and ohmigosh, it's their job to do that. The FCC operates under the rules that Congress creates. If people like Howard Stern really thought that their rights of free speech were being violated, then have them sue. Thing is, they'll lose.

This is about business, plain and simple, not free speech. The FCC threatened Clear Channel with a fine of $495,000 if they didn't pull Stern. While $495,000 might seem like a small matter, they were in danger of losing quite a bit more, things like station licenses. Seeing as how those licenses are what allows Clear Channel to exist in the first place, I'd say they were quite spooked.

Congress has a right to regulate commerce. AM/FM Radio is under the commerce clause because it is in the 'public domain'. XM is not, it's a subscription service, so while they can be regulated, they can't be regulated as much. The best example would be comparing it to Network vs. Cable television. Will you see unedited "Sex and the City" on NBC any time soon? No. If "shock jocks" want to make indecent comments, let them move to satellite radio.

Re:You've got it backwards. (1, Funny)

Geek of Tech (678002) | about 10 years ago | (#8891324)

>>If "shock jocks" want to make indecent comments, let them move to satellite radio.

I think we could beat that. I say we start sending shock jocks past satillites. Let them host their shows from the moon, or mars...

Re:You've got it backwards. (1)

mog007 (677810) | about 10 years ago | (#8891334)

Um.. last I checked the FCC was appointed by the Executive branch. They have only the President and his cabinet to answer to, they don't listen to Congress because Congress doesn't appoint members.

Re:You've got it backwards. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8891354)

Congress has a right to regulate commerce.

No they don't you socialist wonk.

Re:And to think... (4, Interesting)

petabyte (238821) | about 10 years ago | (#8891294)

They're probably anti-free speech only in the sense that they don't want anyone else to dare compete with them. Most large companies should be awarded similar awards for clamping down on freedoms. It makes you wonder about what all of this media consoliation is going to do.

I agree Ashcroft is a bit crazy with the censorship but one big difference is that Ashcroft can be asked to resign or be voted out of office (hopefully for someone less restrictive). Monopolies with deep pockets will likely be around for a long time ...

Re:And to think... (1)

mi (197448) | about 10 years ago | (#8891428)

Clear Channel is itself being regulated. All they ask for, is stricter regulation of their competitor. If you accept the limitations on the size and/or content of media companies, Clear Channel's complaints should upset you.

I don't think, this limitations are a good idea at all, so my solution is to unregulate Clear Channel too...

This has nothing to do with the quality of their stations, BTW, which is a separate story altogether.

They may not be John Ashcroft but they are certainly interested in controlling the market and what you hear.

Of course! So are the Sirius and the XM. Let them all compete freely...

Howard Stern (3, Interesting)

Quill345 (769162) | about 10 years ago | (#8891141)

Is XM regulated by the FCC? Could they carry Howard Stern? That'd be a great way to sock it to ClearChannel.

Re:Howard Stern (1)

bersl2 (689221) | about 10 years ago | (#8891168)

I'm going to argue that they could carry Howard Stern. Compare XM to cable (not the best analogy, I know); surely if HBO can put half the crap that they produce on, so could an analogous station on XM.

But hey, IANA FCC censor.

If it is up to mr. Ashcroft ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8891207)

HBO wont be able to pull half that crap anymore ...

Re:Howard Stern (3, Informative)

matts800 (772133) | about 10 years ago | (#8891190)

They are not regulated by the FCC the same way FM and television are. They are in the same boat as HBO.

Re:Howard Stern (1)

Quill345 (769162) | about 10 years ago | (#8891202)

If I can reply to my own comment... As far as I understand, HBO self-regulates (in a way) in order to keep the government from taking an interest in their operation. I'm sure that XM radio would be similarly interested in keeping regulation off their back. If ClearChannel is riding them about what they're doing with traffic and weather, it would probably be in their best interest not to draw further fire with the Howard Stern show. But I'm not a business executive.

Re:Howard Stern (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8891195)

Is XM regulated by the FCC?

If the GOP and religious right have their way it will be. Remember to vote Democrat in '04

Re:Howard Stern (1, Insightful)

fhafner (414503) | about 10 years ago | (#8891203)

Whoever had anything against Howard Stern? If you don't like what he is sayting, change the channel. The money he vrought in must have been amazing though...

Re:Howard Stern (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8891271)

Whoever had anything against Howard Stern?

Where have you been?? If I had a -2 Clueless I would have used it. Howard Stern has been in the forefront of recent FCC controversy over what is said over the airwaves. Not only that ClearChannel recently stopped broadcasting him on their channels. He's been fined a few times in the last few months, so there are a few organizations with power out there that have something against him and they are doing everything thing then can to get him out.

Re:Howard Stern (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8891284)

To answer your questions, XM is apparently not regulated by the FCC (though that is subject to change at any time since they've got this little power-grab going on), and yes, they could certainly carry the Stern show.

In recent weeks Howard has actually been considering moving the show to XM if/when things hit the fan and he gets yanked from the public airwaves.

I'm just hoping he hangs in there until the election so we can vote that SOB Bush out and see about getting some of our rights back from the corporations and bible-thumpers he so loves.

Competition is good for radio.... (2, Informative)

Asprin (545477) | about 10 years ago | (#8891144)


Here I was thinking that satellite radio was a good thing for competition in radio.

Competition is good for radio... because it's bad for Clearchannel.

Pretty sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8891145)

Has anyone heard those radio commercials bemoaning the "problems" with satellite radio? It's really sad.

Re:Pretty sad (1, Funny)

Quill345 (769162) | about 10 years ago | (#8891152)

Are they the same problems that affect the "little guy" like the stunt man and the costume designers?

Re:Pretty sad (1)

Quill345 (769162) | about 10 years ago | (#8891215)

This comment was in response to a poster saying that ClearChannel has been running ads bemoaning the problems with satellite radio...

The point, which seems to be misunderstood from the score, is that its akin to the RIAA/MPAA.

Fuck clear channel (0, Flamebait)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 10 years ago | (#8891154)

What's good for customers, is bad for them. CC want's total control of the market. I've heard good things about XM lately. I think I'll subscribe just to piss them off. I want to listing to what I want to...when I want to. I can't stand CC stations that only play a roster of 10 songs a day...shuffled over and over.

Oh ya, fuck hip-hop! God I had to get that off my chest.

nope (1, Insightful)

bryanthompson (627923) | about 10 years ago | (#8891161)

XM and Sirius ARE good for competition, that's why ClearChannel doesn't like them.

Re:nope (1, Funny)

NigelJohnstone (242811) | about 10 years ago | (#8891230)

"4 out of 5 of America's enemy leaders support Kerry for President. Why do you suppose that is? "

5 out of 5, Spain just change governments.

Re:nope (2, Funny)

NigelJohnstone (242811) | about 10 years ago | (#8891421)

"'4 out of 5 of America's enemy leaders support Kerry for President. Why do you suppose that is? '

5 out of 5, Spain just change governments."

6 out of 6, rogue state Taiwan backs away from Bush. Better add them to the list.

Re:nope (0, Offtopic)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | about 10 years ago | (#8891293)

Off-topic sig rant, but...

4 out of 5 of America's enemy leaders support Kerry for President. Why do you suppose that is?

Actually I'm sure that America's enemies would love to see Bush in power. Hell, the people who trampled federal, state, and international law to put him in the White House are America's enemies, a worse long-term threat to this nation than Bin Laden. (And I'll bet Osama would prefere to see the guy who's been a failure in catching him stay in power.)

Hate America? Vote for Bush.

Precisely (1, Insightful)

Lysol (11150) | about 10 years ago | (#8891423)

Yah, where the shit did that sig come from?

Anyone who's got an inkling of historical perspective will and do realize that we're at a pretty fucked up point in history and god help us if there's another 4 years of the Bush regime.

For real man, you are dead on: the real enemies of America are in the White House right now. Fuckin eh!

Oh noes (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8891164)

New corporate ideology for the 21st century:

When being beaten by a competitor, you have three choices. Bitch, moan, and complain to the government about it.

FM is Going the way of AM (5, Interesting)

Audguy (736134) | about 10 years ago | (#8891165)

There is no chance of them ever competing with XM, because their traffic and weather is so much better, and without commercials, since I got mine, I haven't even once turned on my car radio since. So yes I think that ClearChannel DOES have something to worry about.

Re:FM is Going the way of AM (1)

boarder8925 (714555) | about 10 years ago | (#8891231)

FM is Going the way of AM
If FM's going the way of AM, then ClearChannel should be rejoicing. Over the past few years, AM's been making a comeback.

three words (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8891171)

*fuck* clear channel

Why is CC doing this when they own part of XM? (5, Interesting)

Squeezer (132342) | about 10 years ago | (#8891172)

according to http://www.stereophile.com/news/032904news/ [stereophile.com] and many other news article that can be searched on google news, clear channel has part ownership of XM radio, so why is clear channel trying to stop XM radio? clearly, if XM radio prospers, then so does clear channel.

"Other major XM shareholders include radio giant Clear Channel Communications, Inc."

Re:Why is CC doing this when they own part of XM? (2, Insightful)

harryk (17509) | about 10 years ago | (#8891208)

Because Clear Channel profits from advertising, not from subscriptions.

Its rather simple really. A subscription costs X amount of money, and its a fixed number, sure thats great for paying the bills, but the only way to increase profit is to get additional subscribers, or by reducing overhead. Since the hardware utilized is rather expensive, the fastest way to eliminate overhead is through payroll, I don't see anyone taking a paycut in order to turn a profit.

Advertising on the other hand is on a sliding scale, based on location, time of day, length of time, etc... and therfor can be a real cash cow in some cases.

my 2 cents

Re:Why is CC doing this when they own part of XM? (1)

Squeezer (132342) | about 10 years ago | (#8891255)

yeah but you are forgetting that if XM really takes off, if they can sell their service well, get most major automobile manufacturers to include it standard, etc...then XM radio's shares could go up to very high values, then Clear Channel can sell how ever many hundreds of thousands or millions of shares they own and make many millions, possibly billions of dollars. a lot of easy money to make if clear channel just sits back and lets XM do its thing.

Because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8891267)

They're not complaining about just XM, they're complaining about XM and Sirius.

Now if XM and Sirius both get out of the local weather/news business, the company left out in the cold is Sirius.

XM is hurt too, but as Clearchannel is a major XM shareholder, I suspect this is less important.

Re:Why is CC doing this when they own part of XM? (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 10 years ago | (#8891327)

They have been slowly exiting their position in XM for a while and I wouldn't be surprised if they were completely out of XM by now -- maybe because it was ammunition for people evanglize Sirius over XM, but probably it was just the decision of some bean-counter at clearchannel.

Re:Why is CC doing this when they own part of XM? (5, Interesting)

brutus_007 (769774) | about 10 years ago | (#8891335)

What CC wants is for the FCC to regulate the content on satellite radio. They threw in XM because it has name recognition, despite their stake in it (which I believe stands around 30%), but what I believe is part of their true objective is FCC regulation, which means they could potentially have a controlling interest, or even flat out own, both major players. Remember, ClearChannel isn't only radio, they have those innumerable billboards on the road, they own a great number (65%-70%+) of concert venues in the U.S.

For those who have poor opinions of Microsoft's business practices, ClearChannel's doings are roughly similar, except they want to control not just what software you run, but also the computer on which you use said software, where said computer can be used and what the software will stop you from doing if it doesn't think what you're doing with it is decent.

In the UK (3, Interesting)

lxt (724570) | about 10 years ago | (#8891179)

...you don't hear commercial radio stations complaining about local BBC (which are commercial free) stations providing local traffic...they still complain in general, but they do have a point (because BBC radio is free to all, even though it's paid for off the TV licence)

Re:In the UK (1)

pjt33 (739471) | about 10 years ago | (#8891224)

I haven't heard them complaining - in both Kent and Cambridge commercial stations seem to have a much bigger mindshare than the local BBC stations. I remember one occasion when my brothers' school was closed due to heavy snow, and almost everyone turned up - because the headmaster had informed BBC Radio Kent, but not Invicta FM, so no-one had heard it was closed.

Re:In the UK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8891258)

but they do have a point (because BBC radio is free to all, even though it's paid for off the TV licence)

Whether you pay for it via taxes or via a monthly statement from a corporation, it doesn't change the fact that it is NOT free. Sheesh, what is with the brainwashed people lately? Sure, the US can have universal health care but it'll just be taken out of our taxes instead of monthly premiums paid to a corporation. As many of us realize, the government is the most inefficient organization in the world.. why would I want to rely on them for my health care!?

Re:In the UK (1)

moonbender (547943) | about 10 years ago | (#8891290)

As many of us realize, the government is the most inefficient organization in the world.. why would I want to rely on them for my health care!?

Because governments answer to the people, while corporations answer to their shareholders. Supposedly, at least.

Ironic (2, Insightful)

matts800 (772133) | about 10 years ago | (#8891181)

This is ironic because ClearChannels is an XM investor (not much, but still owns a small percentage of the company and puts their talk shows on a couple of the channels).

XM (2, Insightful)

bendsley (217788) | about 10 years ago | (#8891184)

I am a subscriber to XM radio and have been for almost a year. I don't listen to public radio anymore. If I could get uncensored comedy and headline news from a public radio station, we wouldn't have a need for subscription services. I think that if I'm paying for service, then XM/Sirius are more than welcome to push any content to me that they want, minus commercials.

General Principle: (1)

Ensign Regis (249331) | about 10 years ago | (#8891187)

Regulations tend to be bad. Let the free market (ie, the customers) decide whether Clear Channel or XM is better. If Clear Channel isn't as good (although it has the advantage of being free...) then it will, and should, die.

But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8891278)

" Regulations tend to be bad. Let the free market (ie, the customers) decide "

Except when it comes to the FCC regulating content. That regulation is bad, right? Its just the regulation you don't like is "bad".

Why focus on Clear Channel? (5, Insightful)

bkirkby (133683) | about 10 years ago | (#8891205)

The petition was filed by the National Association of Broadcaters of which Clear Channel is a member. I've heard so many tinfoil hat theories about Clear Channel that when I see /. editorial content that modifies the story like this it makes me question the motive here.

MOD PARENT UP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8891323)

Clear Channel is a member of NAB as is Apple, IBM, and Cisco.

Considering NAB's coverage, I'm surprised XM and Sirius aren't members. The first place I ever heard about XM was at an NAB convention.

URL.... what??? (4, Funny)

julesh (229690) | about 10 years ago | (#8891216)

"cnn.netscape.cnn.com/ns/" ...! How many times do they need to get each organisation's name in there?

Now it is all starting to make some sense ... (5, Interesting)

stull13 (693912) | about 10 years ago | (#8891220)

Many people wondered why Clear Channel was so quick to dump the Stern show in six markets without putting up any kind of a fight.

While at first they presented themselves as being truly ashamed of the "Indecency" over their airwaves, it seems now that they were supporting the FCC in a very public arena so they could work themselves into a position where they can influence FCC policies. It probably doesn't hurt that they are a huge corporate donor to the Bush campaign.

On a recent Stern show episode, Howard suggested holding concerts in major Clear Channel markets to combat their growing power. With this latest news we have all the more reason not to support them and their anti-competitive policies.

For more information go here. [howardstern.com]

Re:Now it is all starting to make some sense ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8891339)

Remeber when the war was starting. The pro-war rallies were all started by Clear Channel. They say the listeners started them, but I listen to talk radio and it was explained that all the listeners had to do was form a group and contact Clear Channel. Clear Channel would do the rest.

They used to use Stern as proof they weren't politically biased. I guess with Bush in the White House, they aren't worried about looking biased any more.

Re:Now it is all starting to make some sense ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8891447)

Clear Channel organised massive pro-war/pro-bush rallies. It was only after Stern started to critisize the dreadful debacle that is Iraq and your idiot president that CH ditched him.

You may also be interested to know that thousands of anti-war protesters also came to these rallies.

Most were herded into "free speech" zones well away from the war-drum-banging folk. Those that resisted were arrested. Some were shot with rubber bullets.

I'm not from the U.S myself, but isn't the whole country a "free speech zone" ? Quarantining dissent is NOT what the U.S stands for. At least not until now.

free speech zone [google.com]

fair market (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8891228)

What about satellite TV, they are allowed to air local television, why shouldn't satellite radio be allowed to air local reports as well. If all is fair, local radio is not great and in the morning drives is full of boring talk, not much music. Let them air everything. even yes, Howard Stern, after all no censorship on subscription services.

Radio Killed the Radio Star (4, Insightful)

ljavelin (41345) | about 10 years ago | (#8891234)

Entercom Communications Corp. , the fourth-largest U.S. over-the-air radio company, has been running advertisements poking fun at satellite radio services, roasting the $10-$12 monthly subscription rate as well as lack of local information and spotty signals when traveling between buildings.

Too bad they can't argue on the aspects of quality programming. Broadcast Radio quality has fallen to the point where I simply don't listen to it. Local traffic? Ha, it's usually old information. I get better information via my cell phone. Quality music? Rrrrright.... if you like to hear the same seven songs played hundreds of times within a month. I'll play my own music - at least then I hear something other than those 7 (once-good, now-annoying) songs.

Clearly broadcast radio quality has fallen substantially, and Satellite is quickly filling the void. I don't have it yet, but I'm thinking about it.

Broadcast Radio Quality (1)

tadmas (770287) | about 10 years ago | (#8891405)

Broadcast Radio quality has fallen to the point where I simply don't listen to it. Local traffic? Ha, it's usually old information. I get better information via my cell phone. Quality music? Rrrrright.... if you like to hear the same seven songs played hundreds of times within a month.

The thing that always gets me about broadcast radio is the tendency to lump all commercial breaks into one super-long segment at the bottom of the hour. That way, they can advertise "50 minutes of commercial-free music"... but they don't tell you that means "10 minutes of music-free commercials." It annoys just about everyone I know, so any service that got rid of that is bound to do well.

(Of course, I am a little biased. My father is the operations manager at a broadcast radio station, and his station doesn't do that. They play maybe a max of 3-4 commercials in a row, but spread out over the entire hour. They actually play more commercials, but it seems like less.)

As for music variety, I see satellite radio falling into the same trap. True, there will be some stations that don't do that, but that is also true for broadcast radio.... just not the big/popular (read: Clear Channel) stations.

Re:Radio Killed the Radio Star (3, Informative)

Ironsides (739422) | about 10 years ago | (#8891409)

and spotty signals when traveling between buildings.

Actually, one of the things that is annoying regular radio broadcasters is that either XM or Serius (can't remember which, or if it was both) got special permission from the FCC to put microrepeaters in buildings in built up areas. (one repeater can cover a fairly large area) This allows people to still recieve even in areas with tall buildings if one of these is arround. The reason the radio broadcasters are annoyed is because the repeaters (being about the size of a desk, and having no external antennas and is installed inside of a building) were allowed to bypass local red tape for installation. AKA they only needed to get federal approval, not local.

That's funny. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8891238)

XM is a partnership between GM and ClearChannel Communications. The suit isn't being brought by Clear Channel, but by the National Association of Broadcasters.

And as for listening to satellite radio, I'll take Sirius anyday. They don't have the annoying Clearchannel DJ's and the "every stations sounds the same" Clearchannel effect (have they patented that yet?).

The FCC is evolving (5, Insightful)

w3weasel (656289) | about 10 years ago | (#8891242)

The FCC is evolving from a regulatory agency into a slush-fund generator (with full support of whatever party is in power of course).
Sure, its a bit of a conspiracy theory, or at least its damn cynical, but just look at the slew of recent rulings favoring not what is best for Americans, but what is best for the corporation.
The difficult thing for me to swallow, is that Clearchannel is not so different from the sattelite services, in that 99.9% of Clearchannel programming, including traffic, weather and news, does not originate anywhere near the locality where it is transmitted. In Essence, Clearchannel is a sattelite broadcaster that uses conventional radio transmitter for the last-mile service delivery.

That's Colin Powell Junior (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8891287)

Its less about the FCC than about Michael Powell.

Time to get rid of the FCC. It no longer serves any public interest.

ClearChannel... Isn't this the "network" that.... (4, Informative)

rusty0101 (565565) | about 10 years ago | (#8891247)

... was accused of generating it's own "local" news for many of it's markets? I.E. they didn't have a local news source (online newspaper in the area would probably qualify) so, rather than limiting their news to national coverage, they wrote their own stories with no basis in fact.

Fortunately in the Minneapolis, MN area we do have a reasonably good classic rock station that is not ClrCnl, which has locked out the ClrCnl morning shows. And for local traffic, one of the local Public Broadcast Radio stations provides updates every 10 min during rush hour, and actually has a great Jazz lineup.

ClrChn has attempted to "compete" in the Jazz market with their "Smooth Jazz" channel. I am not what you might call a conisour of Jazz, but I think their playlist is garbage.

I have listened to a couple of XM sat channels, but since I don't own a receiver (yet) I can't make any claims about it.

Radio stations mentioned...
KQRS - http://www.92kqrs.com/ - 92.5 FM
KBEM - http://www.jazz88fm.com/ - 88.5 FM - online
CC-SmoothJazz - 100.5 FM

There are a couple of other locally produced stations in the area. Since I like the Jazz88FM lineup, I have not listened to them.

For those concerned, KQRS is owned by Disney, but the Morning Show should be listened to a few times before you decide to let your kids listen in.

Re:ClearChannel... Isn't this the "network" that.. (1)

Edmund Blackadder (559735) | about 10 years ago | (#8891285)

You are lucky. My favourite hard rock station in San Diego was taken over by clear channel and is now pretty lame.

Corporations and New Technology (4, Interesting)

Art Pollard (632734) | about 10 years ago | (#8891250)

I get tired of corporations complaining about new technology. Clearly XM and Sirius are both new technologies and are the wave of the future. Remember when t.v. cable was new and all these same arguements were presented? For ClearChannel to be competitive over the long haul, it needs to get off its rear and create a satelite network of its own or get its shows carried on the various satelite radio providers.

Passing legislation such as this is stupid to put it bluntly. It will not change anything. If passed, in 10 years, we will be back to hearing the same arguments and eventually, the satelite providers will be providing whatever they choose anyway with or without ClearChannel's participation -- just as cable carries your local t.v. stations. In fact, because of cable the television stations do not spend lots of money putting in new translator stations to obtain expanded signal coverage and instead rely on the satelite or cable providers to carry their local broadcasts.

Well clearchannel OWNS XM (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8891261)

Isn't this suspicious... Clearchannel has Howard Stern on in the morning, and then complains about his indecency to the FCC (not officially, through the court of public opinion).

Clearchannel owns a big chunk (30%?) of XM, and then complains about XM and Sirius.

I guess its all coincidence.

Here's MY playlist (5, Funny)

orthogonal (588627) | about 10 years ago | (#8891264)

ClearChannel is whining to the FCC about XM Radio's recent foray into localized traffic and weather reports."

Clear Channel contends that patiotism demands that traffic reports only recommend right turns and not any of those pro-Dixie Chicks, gay marriage-ing, terr'ist aiding lefty turns.

As for the weather, well, Clear Channel says it's sunny days with n'ary a terr'ist in the skies for all God's chilluns under GW Bush, and there'll be pie in the sky when you die [fortunecity.com] , and you that ain't got rich wealthy parents who provide and protect him / And high office relations [bobdylan.com] , you can join the army, if you fail [bobdylan.com] .

But I saw you don't need a weather man/ To know which way the wind blows [bobdylan.com] . I say pretty soon it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall [bobdylan.com]

Cause I say the airwaves don't belong to a company in Texas, I say that this land belongs to you and me. [geocities.com]

And I hope my playlist here (figurtively) kills Fascists [subvertise.org]

More Yellow Journalism on Slashdot (-1, Flamebait)

fatray (160258) | about 10 years ago | (#8891281)

The petition was filed by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), not Clear Channel. There is nothing in the article that shows that Clear Channel is involved in the petition. Reuters inserts Clear Channel into this by describing the NAB as representing radio conglomerates like Clear Channel. Of course the NAB also represents many smaller broadcasting businesses. It is good business for Reuters and Slashdot to throw Clear Channel into this because they are a current bogey man because of their association with some conservative talk shows, like Rush Limbaugh.

Secondly, how is local radio a failed business model? There are thousands of profitable local radio stations in the US and one of the reasons that Clear Channel is hated is that it is so large and profitable. So which is it? Clear Channel has a failed business model or that they are so successful that they can suppress free speech?

The headline of this article is clearly incaccurate--the editors should read the articles and use a little thought.

MOD THIS UP (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8891296)

It's getting blatantly ridiculous how slashdot is now the techy version of indymedia.

The editors are basically letting their site get trolled and don't seem to care about it.

Go away Clearchannel troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8891307)

Stop defending Clearchannel; they are in inherently corrupt corporation (you guys make Enron look like a bunch of kids).

We know you are you, and frankly, despite posting AC, it is possible to track who you are and where you're posting from.

TROLL!

Re:Go away Clearchannel troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8891316)

except this story involves ClearChannel in the most periphery of ways.

You might as well have include a Microsoft and SCO reference to complete your axis of evil.

Re:More Yellow Journalism on Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8891299)

"There are thousands of profitable local radio stations in the US"

Yes, all owned by large radio conglomerates.

"and one of the reasons that Clear Channel is hated is that it is so large and profitable."

So if they're so successful, why do they hate satellite radio?

You CC whores crawl out of the woodwork everytime we discuss censorship and radio. But ultimately, most of the clear channel people will get cancer and AIDS, because nature is simply restoring karma to a neutral state. When you work for clearchannel, you're saying to god and nature "I am a a virus that needs to be wiped out". God and nature will bless you with the cleansing cancer.

Re:More Yellow Journalism on Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8891370)

I love how the facts are considered "flamebait".

Or it is because this comment does not agree with your opinion?

Thanks /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8891305)

Thanks Slashdot for telling me telling what opinion I should have. I'm too stupid to interpret news on my own. I always appreciate your colorful commentary in your news articles. They are always dead on accurate, and they are never biased, cynical, or unprofessional.

NOT ClearChannel!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8891306)

It's the NAB, which represents a bunch of broadcasters which include ClearChannel.

I love how the headline and writeup makes it look like Clear Channel is the one instigating this when they are now. You guys are pathetic in pushing your anti-corporate agenda. At least get the facts right. Is that so hard?

Re:NOT ClearChannel!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8891358)

The NAB is like the RIAA of radio. Clear Channel and it's next 2 closest competitor megacorps basically control the thing.

Don't tell me you're so gullible as not to be able to tell a front group when you see one?

a little extra info. (3, Interesting)

LabRat007 (765435) | about 10 years ago | (#8891381)

I have a lot of hate for clearchannel but I dont want to rant all day about it here. You can find some observations about the way they do business here [infoanarchy.org] . Keep in mind its a very opinionated site, but then again you are reading articles at /. so you must be used to that by now.

ClearChannel can kiss my *@&%! (1)

nvrrobx (71970) | about 10 years ago | (#8891383)

Those bastards can go away.

I subscribed to Sirius to get away from BS like theirs. The local traffic is fantastic for LA. Before they added that, I got all my traffic off KNX 1070 AM, which is an Infinity Radio, NOT ClearChannel station (I know, not much better)

clear channel sux buttz (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8891384)

lol omg

CC is crooked (1, Flamebait)

Wansu (846) | about 10 years ago | (#8891401)



They bought their way into the position they're in today by paying off Bush and that Michael Powell. Is anyone surprised that they whine about XM?

In NC, CC dominates the FM radio dial. Other than WCPE and college stations, there's CC. How bad do they suck? So bad that in the past couple of years, lots of wonderful Pioneer and Marantz Super Receiver of the 70s are being sold dirt cheap.

Michael Powell is at the center of it all. This is crooked politics at it's worst. I hope a terrible fate befalls him such that he is unable to enjoy his ill-gotten gains. Vote these crooked ass Republicans out this November!

XM worries... by npr stations too (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8891411)

NPR stations are worried about XM too, because of what they see as not only current competition, but also in the event that NPR begins placing NPR programs onto the XM schedule. NPR is like a franchise, with each member station deriving revenue based on NPR programming, with fees paid back to NPR. if XM and NPR were to begin a program agreement, your local NPR repeater (that is all they are really) would begin to suffer from lack of exclusivity. NPR has been vague about its plans, but there is worry at the npr station level that NPR will begin to make deals with XM, once XM subscriber numbers climb to higher levels. The issue of XM and Sirius using their ground level repeaters to offer local content has been worried about now since XM launched, and it will be interesting to see what happens. I say: whatever gives us more choices, and so I'm in favor of XM using their capability to deliver local content. Depending on a listener's preferences, XM probably already offers competitive programming to most of local, commerical laden offerings, and with BBC World Service, offers a better news channel than NPR.

clearchannel adverts misleading (2, Interesting)

nevernet (592488) | about 10 years ago | (#8891417)

Although I've not heard the Clear Channel adverts saying how bad XM is (mainly because I haven't listened to broadcast radio since I have had XM) this stuff about spotty coverage is a joke. I have even gotten reception in an underground parking garage! I can only recall loosing reception one time, for about 2 seconds. I did rent a car which had Sirius and was not nearly as happy with the reception as it did cut out even going under bridges. I am also a bit confused over the advertising against what Clear Channel partially owns..makes no sense. Then again - Clear Channel is the same group that thinks there are only 20 songs worth playing. I think it would be a bit funny for XM to pack up and move overseas. What is the US going to do - shoot down their satellite ushering in a new era of outer space warfare? Not to mention the free speach implications of doing such a thing.

business model (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8891418)

>with a failing business model

that would be ClearChannel's liberalism.

This disgusts me (4, Interesting)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | about 10 years ago | (#8891430)

This type of blind support of the special interest is What Is Wrong With The System (TM). I have been an XM subscriber for about four months. I signed up just before the local stations had ever been announced, but I can tell you, had I know they were offered, I would have signed up even faster. Last week I drove back down to Florida from Maryland down I-95, and I used their Baltimore, D.C. and Tampa channels to anticipate upcoming weather and traffic conditions. If you're not from the local area, you have no idea what AM / FM stations broadcast what type of content, and even then you have to shit through three to five minutes of mindless advertising (ever notice that the majority of ClearChannel ads hawk the same kind of stuff sold in spam?) before there's even a chance of lucking into a traffic or weather broadcast. The XM local traffic and weather stations are extremely helpful and an absolute blessing to frequent travelers.

I love XM because it puts choice of content back in the hands of the user. If I want to hear talk radio, I've got 20+ channels any time I want them, right, left or "neutral." If I want to hear just about ANY type of music, from jazz to death metal, it's always on and commercial free, and the quality is way higher than FM.

Fuck ClearChannel and their shitty ad-supported big media content. I hope they get run out of business, but no doubt their store-bought suckling government officials will shield them from such a fate and punish the sat radio providers accordingly. :(

someone explain please (3, Insightful)

jtilak (596402) | about 10 years ago | (#8891446)

Why cant XM and Sirius offer localized content? (besides the fact that it will create competition for National Association of Broadcasters) The article doesnt say. Isnt this a free speech issue?
"youre not allowed to talk about the traffic or weather"
"why not?"
"because..."
???*confused*
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