Home URBAN iHeartmedia (formerly Clear Channel) Stations Did Not Report NAB Ads: Reported to...

iHeartmedia (formerly Clear Channel) Stations Did Not Report NAB Ads: Reported to FCC

Two Washington, DC area stations failed to comply with public disclosure rules for ads opposing the Act, the musicFIRST Coalition told the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The stations, owned by , played spots furnished by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) opposing the Act. musicFIRST inspected the stations’ public files and found record of these broadcasts and nothing about the stations’ anti- Act activity.

“We only checked these two stations,” said Jennifer Bendall, executive director of the musicFIRST Coalition, “and found that they failed to meet their obligations under their broadcast licenses. We are two for two. How many other stations failed to file?” iHeartmedia (formerly Clear Channel) has previously refused to air ads from musicFIRST.

“iHeartmedia (formerly Clear Channel)’s actions are further evidence of how corporate radio groups and stations are violating their public interest obligations,” Bendall said. These new developments are included in reply comments filed by musicFIRST in the FCC’s review of charges that radio stations across the country refuse to air musicFIRST ads, threaten who support the effort to create a fair performance right on radio and continue to run misleading ads produced by the NAB – all in an effort to further their own private commercial interests.

“These are political ads covered by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act and FCC regulations,” Bendall said. “They must be disclosed. Local stations don’t get a pass on their public interest obligations because the ads were furnished by the NAB.”   musicFIRST filed its petition with the FCC in June. Since then, radio broadcasters have continued to boycott artists and musicians who exercise their 1st Amendment rights.

The owner-operator of KXIT in Dalhart, Texas told the FCC, “I have removed all songs of artists that are part of musicFirst and will not play their songs for now.”   Radio station WICB in Ithaca, New York, dropped Aimee Mann from its playlist. The station posted a message on Mann’s message board that reads in part, “since you support musicFIRST, WICB hereby drops Aimee Mann and Til Tuesday from our playlist like a bad habit.”

“Our message to the FCC is clear,” Bendall said. “We respect a broadcaster’s right to oppose the . But we cannot tolerate broadcasters’ use of the public airwaves to stifle debate, threaten artists and musicians and undermine the public interest in pursuit of their narrow, private business interests.” AM and radio stations earn billions in advertising revenue every year without compensating the artists and musicians who bring to life and listeners ears to the radio dial. Every other radio platform – , satellite radio and cable TV channels -pay a fair performance royalty. And AM and FM radio stations that stream their over-the-air signal online pay a fair performance royalty for the online program.

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