The Fine Print of iHeartRadio

Clear Channel’s had a lot of success enticing broadcasters into its iHeartRadio service. On the surface, it looks like a nice turnkey solution for radio stations which have neither the time, technical knowledge, or money to go it alone on the Internet. Just sign up for distribution through iHeartRadio and set up enough gear to send a source-stream to the aggregator.
From there, Clear Channel does the rest, providing all the front-end bandwidth necessary for your listener base and leveraging its economies of scale to put stations’ streams in front of as large of a potential audience as possible. The iHeartRadio application is a default install on a variety of smartphones, gaming consoles, and vehicle infotainment systems. Continue reading “The Fine Print of iHeartRadio”

FCC Budget: Enforcement Bureau to Get Some New Gear

The Federal Communications Commission has tendered its budget request to Congress for fiscal year 2013. It’s asking for $346.8 million – a $7 million increase from FY 2012. The trades have highlighted the agency’s request for $2.5 million to replace and upgrade “direction finding and wireless monitoring equipment,” of which $1.1 million will be spent on eight custom field enforcement vehicles.
The Clear Channel-owned publication Inside Radio dubbed this an investment in “pirate-fighting funds.” Such sentiments have no basis in fact. Continue reading “FCC Budget: Enforcement Bureau to Get Some New Gear”

FCC Speech Restrictions Not Appropriate in Real Life

Five Republican state senators in Arizona have introduced a bill that attempts to limit free speech in the classroom. SB 1467 would make it an offense for teachers to “engage in speech or conduct that would violate the standards adopted by the Federal Communications Commission concerning obscenity, indecency and profanity if that speech or conduct were broadcast on television or radio.” Continue reading “FCC Speech Restrictions Not Appropriate in Real Life”

Regulatory Innuendo as Stalking Horse?

Never before has an FCC enforcement action hit so close to home.
This week, the agency issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for $44,000 to Chicago radio station WLS-AM. The proposed penalty stems from a complaint filed by a listener regarding news programming aired by WLS that originated with the Madison-based Workers Independent News (WIN) service. The FCC accuses WLS of violating its rules by failing to disclose that it was paid for running WIN newscasts.
(Disclosure: I was one of WIN’s founding producers, helping to develop and launch the service between 2001-2004.) Continue reading “Regulatory Innuendo as Stalking Horse?”

Rest in Peace, Radio First Termer

Clyde David DeLay died last week of acute respiratory distress, just months after having significant heart surgery. He was 63.
DeLay was better known to the world as “Dave Rabbit,” the slick-tongued DJ behind Radio First Termer, a pirate radio station he ran from a Saigon whorehouse during the Vietnam War. Continue reading “Rest in Peace, Radio First Termer”