U.S. Rep. Howard L. Berman has called for an investigation of "the negative effects of consolidation in the radio and concert promotion businesses", specifically targeting radio giant Clear Channel Communications.
In the press release
, issued January 22, Rep. Berman stressed the need for an investigation to Attorney General John Ashcroft and Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael K. Powell by addressing them a letter on the matter. The complete letter is available to read here
"It has been reported that Clear Channel has "punished" recording artists, including Britney Spears, for their refusal to use its concert promotion service, Clear Channel Entertainment, by "burying" radio ads for their concerts and by refusing to play their songs on its radio stations." wrote Rep. Berman, further mentioning he is "also concerned about related reports of "parking" or "warehousing" of radio and television stations by Clear Channel"
The concept of 'parking' or 'warehousing' stations is Clear Channel arranging for third parties, shell corporations, or related entities to purchase radio and television stations in areas which Clear Channel has already reached it's ownership caps put on them by the FCC. Clear Channel then makes an agreement to purchase the stations if the cap is ever removed, strategically planning for a future of uncompetitive domination in that market.
If taken seriously by the FCC and Attorney General John Ashcroft, the effects of the investigation could have dramatic effects on the future of the music industry overall.
If you are an artist or member of the community that would like to see this matter taken seriously, contact FCC Chairman Powell
and let him know of your concerns. Please note: if you include a hyperlink in your form letter to the FCC, or simply start raving about something extreme you could actually harm the chances of an investigation. Anyone that does will not be taken seriously either, so don't bother if you can not represent yourself in a logical / mature manner.