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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pay to Play.....Literally

This morning on Radio One affiliate, 97.9 The Box in Houston, TX, Cathy Hughes (owner/founder of Radio One) called in with a desperate plea on behalf of all minority owned radio stations. She was protesting HR848, a new
performance rights act that amends federal copyright law to "grant performers of sound recordings equal rights to compensation from terrestrial broadcasters." Hughes stated that if this bill were to pass, it would be the end of minority owned stations because of their inability to afford to pay for music played on their stations.
Apparently, later on today this act will be voted on that will entitle non-commerical, broadcast radio stations whose yearly revenue does not exceed 1.25 million, to begin paying for all music played on their stations.

Now of course this may look good for the record companies financially. However, Hughes implied that if this happens, many new artists will not get fair airplay because of the lack of demand for them. In other words, know one will know who they are because radio stations will most likely not want to pay for an unestablished artist as opposed to paying for those that are established and highly requested by listeners.

In my opinion, I think its just a nasty way of getting back at African Americans in power. Hughes even stated this morning on the Mad Hatter Morning Show, that Minority stations played a huge role in the presidential election last year. She feels that this act is merely an act of retaliation by those who were not happy with the outcome of President Obama winning the election.

Although it is a good point, it will be sad to see the minority station become extinct. It touches close to home because my father once worked for a major Black station in Birmingham, and once the white owned Cox Radio came into town, they were practically forced to go out of business.

In this day and time, I hate for race to still be an issue in all of this, but sadly I still believe it is. African-Americans have waaaay to much power and many 'others' are intimidated by that.

For radio stations to have to pay artists to play their music is absolutely absurd if you ask me. That's like an advertiser telling the station to pay them to play their commercial. Free radio is free advertising for artists. Now I know the internet has destroyed their record sells, but it should not be taken out on the stations that support them!

This is absolutely ridiculous if you ask me...........


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