Fiscal "Threat" Posed By NY Pirates Belied By Broadcasters' Own Data

As a part of the campaign now underway to bring the (nonexistent) hammer down on unlicensed broadcasting in the New York metropolitan area, licensed broadcasters are alleging a variety of “harms” caused by pirate stations. Many of them are vastly overblown, such as the threat of interference they pose to a variety of communications networks, dangers from uncontrolled radiation — and, in the newest charge, economic hardships they cause to licensed stations.
The contention that pirate radio stations infringe on the radio industry’s right to make mad profits was first floated in an April 2015 blog post by Republican FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly; he claimed unlicensed broadcasting “causes unacceptable economic harm to legitimate and licensed American broadcasters by stealing listeners.” Continue reading “Fiscal "Threat" Posed By NY Pirates Belied By Broadcasters' Own Data”

Good Riddance to BusRadio

It is with no small sense of satisfaction that I note the passage of BusRadio, a hare-brained idea that, for about the last three years, force-fed advertising into school buses under the guise of “safety” and then crowed to its potential sponsors about the size of its “captive audience.” Details are sketchy, but late last month the company suddenly called it quits, citing adverse market forces.
BusRadio, above and beyond the ethical issues it raised, always seemed to me to be a little bit sketchy. And after several school districts – followed most recently by the FCC – took a closer look at the modus operandi of the business, it would seem investors dried up. And for good reason. Continue reading “Good Riddance to BusRadio”

The Wheels on BusRadio Go Round, Fall Off?

A recent Counterpunch article on BusRadio, the secretive yet insidious company which desires to hard-wire school buses into a closed-circuit radio network chock full of targeted advertising, highlights the company’s struggling fortunes: recently the school board in Jefferson County, Kentucky rejected an overture from BusRadio after mass protest from parents, students, and citizens. Continue reading “The Wheels on BusRadio Go Round, Fall Off?”

Drive-Time for Schoolkids

As if Channel One, which force-feeds kids adverts masquerading as infotainment over a closed-circuit TV system hard-wired into schools, wasn’t bad enough. BusRadio hits the children up with ad-patter on their way to and from school. And since the kids most likely to be found on a school bus skew younger than Channel One’s target demographic, one might say BusRadio softens students up for later Channel One exposure (the companies are not linked in any way that I can tell, except for the exploitation fetish, born from BusRadio founders’ earlier success in this regard). Continue reading “Drive-Time for Schoolkids”

Clear Channel Tacitly Approves Newsroom Name Sales

Madison IMCsta turned pro blogger Kristian Knutsen has written a threepart series on Clear Channel stations in Madison and Milwaukee selling the naming rights to their newsrooms.
Kristian queried Clear Channel corporate about the deals and whether they’re part of any national trend: he got a response from someone at Brainerd Communications, a PR firm which specializes in corporate crisis management. “[C]orporate offices are not commenting. These were local decisions made by local stations.” Kristian thus surmises “the company does not disapprove of this new business direction, and considers newsroom sponsorships to be appropriate.” Continue reading “Clear Channel Tacitly Approves Newsroom Name Sales”

Newsroom Naming Rights: A National Trend?

There’s been buzz about two Clear Channel radio stations in Wisconsin that have sold off the naming rights to their newsrooms. WISN in Milwaukee christened the “PyraMax Bank News Center” last year; come January, anchors at Madison’s WIBA will report from the “Amcore Bank News Center.” WISN and WIBA constitute Clear Channel’s primary news presence in both markets and both stations carry conservative-talk formats.
The deals have been portrayed as a kind of throwback to the “Camel News Caravan” days. Sort of quaint, even. Any working/teaching journalist who believes this should hang it up and bundle themselves into a rocking chair to reminisce on the golden years. The menace of such sponsorship is the perception it stands to engender about who bankrolls your news. Not to mention that it’s tacky as f*ck. Wasn’t appropriate then, still not now. Continue reading “Newsroom Naming Rights: A National Trend?”

Powell Pimps Invasive Adverts

Former FCC chairman Mikey Powell joins Reactrix Media Systems as a “senior advisor.” This is in supplement to his main gig, moving large capital in telecom investment-land.
Reactrix is deploying what it calls “reactive media network” technology – motion-sensitive electronic billboard-style advertising – in malls, theatres, chain stores and other spaces of public commerce.
Mikey sez: “This new reactive media that Reactrix has pioneered, like the Internet before it, has the long-term potential to fundamentally change the way consumers receive and exchange information.” Add another feather to his stellar legacy.

Viacom Wants Insurance to Cover Lost 9/11 Ad Revenue

The January 13 issue of Broadcasting & Cable magazine reports that Viacom – parent company of the CBS and UPN television networks, Infinity radio conglomerate, Paramount Pictures, and a bevy of cable-TV channels, among other properties – has filed a claim with its insurance company seeking $200 million in compensation for lost advertising revenue due to the 9/11 attacks on NYC and DC.
You may recall (with a pleasant, warm feeling) that for a brief few days following the attacks the major networks (both broadcast and cable) went ad-free with wall-to-wall news coverage and docudrama. The common wisdom at the time was, within the broadcast industry, that running adverts during a time of national crisis was in bad taste.
That was then – this is now. Continue reading “Viacom Wants Insurance to Cover Lost 9/11 Ad Revenue”