Less of Les ?
With the introduction of television five decades ago,
radio was placed on the back burner by CBS who's
extremely successful record company and the tube was
the apple of "the eye", until the kilowatt king Mel
Karmazin arrived to sit on the throne at CBS�s new
Suddenly radio was again important as CBS moved to
be a major player in the AM/FM game. Charismatic
Mel gave CBS radio a renewed confidence adding a
Texas swagger to the step of employees on both sides of
the hall as sales and programming gained in stature in
an industry that had long dismissed CBS radio.
Unfortunately for Mel, his efforts slanted in favor of
risqu� programming soon brought major fines by the
FCC and concerns of license revocation that led to Mel's
departure and moved a television oriented Les Moonves
to the head of the table.
Many months ago, as far back as the company's
San Diego gathering, it was clear CBS Radio Chairman
Joel Hollander was being over shadowed by his
Gone were the days when the kings sat in the back of
the room or didn�t even bother to attend meetings for
fear of diluting the image of a division head. Virtually
taking over the pep rally, Moonves hogged the spotlight
preaching television doctrine to a hall of radio people,
most of who knew from years of experience in radio,
their is a big difference between the two.
The stable of account executives Mel Karmazin
championed would be crippled when their star
attraction, Howard Stern, jumped ship and joined
his mentor at Sirius satellite radio.
With the Moonves stamp on CBS radio squashing
Hollander�s path, the gap between the two widened
becoming a canyon of discontent when Les informed
Joel the company was selling off dozens of
With months to develop a replacement for Stern,
Hollander�s programmers failed miserably. Not only
did they not develop a new star, they regurgitated two
Stern wanabe�s, Opie and Anthony and adding to that
decision attempted to copy a less than exciting iPod for
a radio jockless �Jack� format. Then came "Free Fm"
that has about the same acceptance as the divisions
David Lee Roth fiasco.
Soon Joel Hollander will be leaving, with Les Moonves
assuming full responsibility for the radio headache
and his less than successful decision to bring Katie
Couric aboard the CBS evening news.
Don�t be surprised about a year from now if chieftain
Sumner Redstone decides his company could do with
less of Les too.
Nail Biting Time in San Antonio
Angered by a stock that is worth half of what it was a
year ago, Westwood One is facing legal action from an
angry stockholder who has filed suit to cancel lucrative
stock options management has given themselves.
A-Maysingly, Clear Channel�s �boys� expected to collect
big time for their past ineptness and continue to ride
the personal money train into the future as they
peddled the company to private equity firms for 19
billion bucks. With a personal family worth estimated
to be just over a billion dollars, the sale would
dramatically enhance their fortune
and give the �kids� even more time to further
mismanage the company.
As stock in the company crashed from $90+ dollars a
share to as low as slightly more than $30 dollars a
share, the banker owner and his sons put Clear Channel
up for sale last year after selling off part of the outdoor
unit, dumping the concert promotion business, and
buying back shares did little to boost the company's
Needing two-thirds of shareholder approval, the sale
hasn�t gained the solid support of investors with the
buyers saying they are prepared to let the deal fall
through if it�s the will of stockholders.
If the sale doesn�t go through Clear Channel stock is
expected to drop even more as industry analyst predict
a continued deterioration for radio.
The vote announced for March 21 will now be delayed
until April 19 giving the company more time to gather
support for a sale that isn't all that exciting to
It�s nail biting time in San Antonio.
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Clear Channel's �Instant Live��.Dead ?
More bad news for Clear Channel as the U.S. Patent and
Trademark Office has indicated it will revoke Clear
Channel�s claims of its INSTANT LIVE project having
exclusive rights on a live concert recording technology
that instantaneously markets CD�s of the event to
fans departing the venue.
Flexing its muscle, Clear Channel took legal steps
against smaller companies also involved in making live
concert recordings, but a digital civil liberties
organization, the Electronic Frontier Foundation
didn�t roll over. In challenging the Texas giant it
persuaded the Patent Office to revoke Clear Channel�s
patent claims and cited the company for failing to
respond in a timely fashion.
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A Savage Nation ?
Now the third most popular talk show host in
America with an estimated eight million
listeners, Michael Savage not only is shaking up
talk radio, he�s sending shivers to the republican
party as he considers a run for the presidency.
Savage was the lighting rod that brought public
attention to a Bush administration plan to turn over
U.S. seaports to a Middle Eastern company. Sparked by
his loyal followers, the white house was forced to call
off the Dubai Ports plan.
Never mincing words, Savage�s idea for winning the
war on terror: "My platform would be nuke 'em and
rebuke 'em. Hit them hard. Hit them fast and get out of
the Middle East. Teach them we are the most powerful
nation on earth and when our interests and their
interests conflict, we are going to win."
His solution for securing our southern border calls
for lining it with troops of the National Guard and tanks
if need be. �I'd reinforce the border after making sure
we still have a border following so many years of having
it melted down under George Bush.�
The highly rated talker, whose books include
�The Enemy Within� and �Liberalism is a Mental
Disorder� delighted his fans last month as he
announced he may leave the airwaves
to run for the white house. An online opinion poll
now claim more than five million people currently
back Michael Savage for President.
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The Red Letters Project
Our long time pal Russ Regan, who discovered dozens
of giant stars such as Elton John, Neil Diamond,
Barry White and Olivia Newton-John and was a major
force behind the 1970�s hit �Jesus Christ Superstar� is
about to introduce another epic,
"The Red Letters Project."
It�s the Book of Matthew from the New Testament, put
to rock music with influences that include Coldplay,
Aerosmith, Lenny Kravitz, James Blunt, Arctic Monkeys,
Gorillaz and Weezer. "The Red Letters Project" starts
with 34 tracks on 2 CD's that will be marketed through
traditional distribution channels. Later this year the
stage production will began touring the nation.
"The Red Letters Project" isn't just a band, it isn't just
a rock opera, its an experience that is being compared
to other musical masterpieces such as Pink
Floyd's The Wall.�
Sample the music of "The Red Letters Project" here
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Revisit the 60's
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My Kind of Search Engine
Click here to
Meet Ms. Dewey
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At a time when many talk radio hosts today are too
young to have experienced events that had a major
bearing on our nation, Author Raymond S. Craft offers
this Talk Radio fact sheet of Historical Significance.
For a quick lesson or reminder, go here.
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r John's Poetry Page - here
The Art of Talk
Radio & Records will be presenting celebrated radio talk show host Art Bell with a "Lifetime Achievement Award" during a luncheon to be held in his honor at the publications Talk Radio Seminar set for the Marriot Marina del Rev Hotel in Los Angeles March 8 � 10.
As the creator of the nation�s most listened to night time radio show, Coast to Coast, Art is now semi-retired but continues to host weekends to a worldwide audience of millions from his home at Pahrump, Nevada.
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The Pendulum Swings
The recent election has given the
political pendulum a new swing, with democrat FCC commissioners
Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps being dealt a new hand in
their efforts to topple the stacked deck of republican chairman
Fueled by massive citizen
complaints over the agency's desire to be nothing more than a
lapdog for an industry intent with swallowing even more of the
nation's airwaves. Adelstein and Copps have often been a thorn
in the side of Martin and his predecessor Michael Powell. They
may have pricked the skin but they drew little blood, that is
until their efforts have now been backed by democrats who want
the previously toothless FCC to exercise more bite in regulating
the monopolization of the media.
Senator Russ Feingold has
signaled he is not satisfied with chairman Martin's proposal to
give broadcasters a "get out of jail card" and just a slap on
the wrist for their promise to adopt lukewarm guidelines in
controlling payola. The Wisconsin senator also insists radio
provide a way for independent record company's and local talent
to regain access to the airwaves.
Perhaps the most troubling probe
of the FCC is coming from representative Dennis Kucinich, who
will be heading up a new House subcommittee focusing on what he
considers to be the misdeeds of the agency. The diminutive Ohio
congressman has already signaled a review of the Fairness
Doctrine that long required broadcasters to give equal time to
opposing views. Its death in 1987 gave a new stage to
opinionated and controversial talk show hosts to vent uninterrupted
on the public airwaves.
In warning, �we know the media
has become the servant of a very narrow corporate agenda,�
Kucinich signals he will spearhead attempts to end the love fest
between the regulatory agency and those it is charged with
Meanwhile commissioner Michael Copps warns against a further loosening of rules that award more radio stations to today's owners who have shown little regard for providing local news and programming to the communities where their stations are licensed.
Rallying public support, Copps adds, �I believe we have the best chance in our generation to settle this issue of who will control our media and for what purposes, and to resolve it in favor of the airwaves of, by and for the people.�
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Mel's Sirius About XM
With both Sirius and XM satellite buried in debt, a merger of the two just might be the only answer that would satisfy investors. More evidence surfaces that some in congress could be warming up to the idea.
Mel Karmazin is Sirius about his desire to combine the two satellite radio company's and would probably wind up in the drivers seat if regulators and stockholders give their blessing. But this week the FCC's Kevin Martin say's any such merger of satellite radio could expect the same result satellite TV faced when Echostar and DirecTV attempted to merge. It was blocked by the regulatory agency.
As is always the case, consolidation benefits the companies involved. You can bet that a merged XM/Sirius would not only increase subscriber fees but would also dramatically lower the dollars the two competitors have handed out to land t exclusive programming content.
With Howard Stern�s 700 million in cash and stock bonuses from Sirius leading the pack, XM�s 650 million for broadcast rights to major league baseball, Oprah�s 50 million and Martha Stewarts 29 million would be easier to swallow if the XM and Sirius were one.
Under Karmazin's leadership, the gap between the two has narrowed with Sirius claiming slightly more than six million subscribers against XM's 7.6 million.
The Howard Stern gamble has paid off big time for the King of Radio Porn, as Sirius hands him a bonus worth almost $83 million one year after he hopped aboard Mel's new bandwagon. Of course, that's over and above Howard's $100 million dollar annual salary from Sirius. Meanwhile, MSNBC tells why "Howard Stern Isn't Worth The Money."
While a subscriber price increase could be in the works in the not too distant future, retail sales of receivers for both companies didn't live up to expectations in the last quarter of 2006. Heading into the Christmas holidays, Sirius, helped by a less expensive unit on the shelves, outsold XM.
Satellite radio is counting on automobile manufacturers to increase their subscriber base as they are looking over their shoulders at Microsoft and Ford, who are pooling a technology that would enable consumers to access the Internet and receive e-mails in the automobile of tomorrow.
HD radio's lack of innovating programming is nothing more than what AM/FM provides.
Internet radio is the future...and its coming on fast.
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Golden Mike Award
Kenny Rogers will perform at the The Broadcasters Foundation of America�s Golden Mike Awards to be held on February 26 at the New York Waldorf Astoria.
Ken Lowe and the E.W. Scripps Company will be 2007�s recipient. Honored at last years black-tie gala was Emmis President Jeff Smulyan.
The organization was formed several years ago to provide aid to men and women in the radio and television broadcast profession who find themselves in acute need.
The foundation reaches out across the country to identify and provide an anonymous safety net in cases of critical illness, advanced age, death of a spouse, accident and other serious misfortune.
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Rising from the Ashes
The birth of a new year always brings with it plans for a fresh outlook, a new beginning and an opportunity to rectify errors that cast a shadow over success.
In recent months, by announcing the sell off of hundreds of facilities, radio�s two biggest companies, Clear Channel and CBS, recognized the demise of the industry, but are blind for the need to reverse the disastrous programming failures that brought them to their knees.
Neither company demonstrated any real leadership in providing radio with the interesting, exciting and fun programming that gave greatness to its history. Especially in small and medium sized markets where local personalities, the magnet that once glued loyal listeners to the radio, were replaced by mistake ridden automation or a voice from a distant location with little if any awareness of issues or events important to a community.
Prior to big media lobby�s pushing congre$$ to pass deregulation, radio was built on serving the city of license. Within hours of brokering a back room deal, unencumbered by any regulatory agency, a feeding frenzy took place. Bankers became broadcasters as they gobbled up radio stations at almost any price. They reckoned a monopoly in any market would allow them to jack up advertising rates enough to satisfy the inflated prices they paid for radio stations. In big markets like Los Angeles, they were correct as advertising revenue skyrocketed past a billion dollars annually with ratings that would have been considered an embarrassment in previous years.
In a need to make the game plan pay off elsewhere, local programming in small and medium sized markets was cut to the bone with the emphases on syndication and automation. Attempting to reach the 25 to 54 listener most favored by advertisers, radio made a major error by chasing away its future as younger consumers moved to discover other alternatives.
While the monopolies of today would argue, they provide a sea of sameness as a wealth of recorded music, new and old, is no longer a part of radio�s excitement.
After a dozen years of on-air performers being encouraged too lace their shows with smut and vulgarities, they are now reduced to a bland presentation by owners concerned with license revocation.
With few exceptions, talk radio is equally as boring with many hosts lacking experience and preparation shoved on the air minus guidance from an experienced program director. Talented performers and programmers have few stages and/or opportunities to develop.
We can only hope that in 2007, a new owner or one with radios past blood still in his or her veins, will emerge to give new birth to an industry in need of rising from the ashes.
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Radio�s Past is its Future
It was an opportunity made for a billionaire Texan.
His political party spearheaded the drive to deregulate the media. With a long time friend in the white house appointing surrogates at both the Department of Justice and the FCC, no hurdles would stand in the way of his gobbling up more than a thousand radio stations, a giant slice of the billboard industry, more concert venues than one could count and the promotional muscle that no competitor could match.
Gaining control of a small or medium sized market, Clear Channel could do just about anything they wanted. Early on, the founder of the company, Lowry Mays, made it clear he had more on his mind than just serving the communities where his stations were located. �We�re not in the business of providing news and information. We�re not in the business of providing well-researched music. We�re simply in the business of selling our customers products,� said the banker turned broadcaster.
It was a statement that would have been a cause for concern by previous FCC chairmen, but not Michael Powell or Kevin Martin.
Instead of performing the job it was originally set up to do, the FCC in recent years has functioned more as a lapdog of the industry than as a watchdog protecting the public�s interests. Until the arrival of commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein, the public interest was woefully neglected.
Actions that would have resulted in a license revocation from FCC�s of the past merely were given a slap on the wrist by that regulatory agency in recent years.
Operating as though they had all the answers, Clear Channel and CBS both repeatedly made major errors that should have given indigestion to even a freshman broadcaster. They are not alone, but because of the enormity of their holdings, Clear Channel deserves more condemnation than perhaps any other company.
While the Mays family has taken care of themselves, stockholders and employees have not done as well.
In an effort to improve the company�s bottom line, at the start of the holiday season hundreds of loyal Clear Channel employees were handed pink slips while CEO Mark Mays demonstrated his insensitivity by announcing his brother and he will continue to enjoy a substantial employment package. �On a personal note, I�m very pleased to let you know that both Randall and I will be staying with the company in our current positions,� stated Mays.
A-Mays-ingly they will continue to guide a company who's stock has dropped from $94 to $37 a share in the past six years. When they finally depart radio you can be assured the Mays family will take far more than they gave to the industry.
The decision to unload hundreds of stations can only be viewed as good news for the communities they have been licensed to serve and for radio as a whole.
We can only hope that an increase in local service will replace the bland, boring, mistake ridden automated programming that has been a hallmark of Clear Channel�s demise in small and medium sized markets.
Before deregulation, generations of radio was built with local programming and a desire to be a member of the community. With pride they would seek out and report news, address important issues and invite local response.
The lessons of radio�s past are its future.
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Video to �Save� the Radio Star ?
�Video Killed the Radio Star� was the anthem of MTV when the music channel debuted in 1981, but if Mel Karmazin has anything to do with it, video could well save satellite radio in the future as a combined Sirius/XM would deliver more than music, sports and news/talk audio programming.
Having failed to excite sufficient numbers of radio users to switch from AM/FM radio to satellite radio, both XM and Sirius have already taken steps toward offering limited video data beamed to subscribers.
Wetting the appetite of consumers at recent trade shows, Sirius fed them a prototype system that would send video to automobiles. Besides reducing operating expenses by eliminating duplicate marketing and programming, a combined Sirius/XM could free up channels for the distribution of more video and also increase signal strength overall.
A merger coupled with the addition of video to satellite radio just might be the gauze needed to stem the flow of red ink the industry has experienced thus far.
Disallowing satellite radio is �broadcasting�, the National Association Broadcasters continues to limit their representation to just AM/FM as they lead all efforts to kill any merger of satellite radio calling it a �monopoly.� Never mind the NAB championed the mergers that monopolized AM/FM radio in recent years.
With the owners of today insisting mergers were needed to �save� AM/FM radio, Karmazin�s prescription for satellite radio deserves similar consideration.
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He�s the darling of New York media, a former time salesman, or as he would insist, �an advertising executive,� who moved up to manage, then own radio stations trading his way into becoming head honcho of Viacom�s vast media empire.
Mel Karmazin, known as �the Larry Flynt of radio,� mentored and road the bad boy of the airwaves, Howard Stern, into the winners circle before the FCC reigned them in, forcing them out of the Viacom stable and thrusting the two on the barren stage of an almost unknown satellite company. It was exactly what Mel was looking for, it could go nowhere but up.
Handing Howard the keys to the store, Mel began to signal Sirius was serious about taking on XM, as he added a potpourri of programming challenging the satellite leader.
While XM attempted to make hay by signing an almost forgotten Bob Dylan, Sirius scored the obvious by presenting 24/7 the Elvis channel, the Sinatra channel and other programming that rivaled that of XM.
Wasting no time, Mel began to fuel the rumor mill with suggestions XM and Sirius should merge. Shareholders of the two were listening and soon showed an eagerness to join the Mel machine.
Using the stage of his once fledging satellite radio network, Mel received more attention than all of the other radio heavies combined.
A promotional genius, Mel had the leaders of AM/FM actually promoting satellite radio as they continued to glance over their shoulder expressing concern about any merger that could put satellite radio on a par with their thousands of FM/AM stations.
As noted on this site week�s ago, the two satellite networks have signaled their intention to merge with Karmazin in the driver�s seat. If anyone can sell the idea to regulatory agencies, it�ll be Mel.
If allowed to merge, Mel has already promised to cut expenses, cut employees and cut duplications of programming.
It�s what mergers are made of.
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President of the Savage Nation ?
Millions tune in to hear him preach a doctrine even more conservative and strident than that of El Rushero. Michael Savage minces few words and leaves no doubt the San Francisco based blowtorch has no patience for spineless politicians who excuse themselves from entering his oven.
With four best selling books to his credit, Savage�s predictable unpredictability has sent a shiver through the GOP by signaling he is considering entering the presidential sweepstakes.
�A non-politician with a very large following, who is very conservative, and who believes in a simple message of borders, language and culture has a great chance of electrifying the American people� according to Savage.
While law would require him to relinquish his almost 400 station megaphone, Savage is convinced he could be the voice that forces the Republican Party to follow the conservative path of another radio voice of the past, Ronald Reagan.
If Michael Savage is right, he could move from being the voice of the Savage Nation to President of the Savage Nation.
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Stones Repeat at #1
Country is 3 of Top 10
A slide in the sale of CD�s didn�t interfere with the fortunes of recording artists in 2006. The top ten acts on the Forbes list of money makers added a collective $973 million to bank accounts thanks largely to the sale of concert tickets.
It was �A Bigger Bang Tour� that brought in $138.5 million for the Rolling Stones who after adding CD sales and product endorsements ended the year lapping up $150.6 million, the second year in a row Mick and the boys topped the chart.
Faith & Tim Rascal Flatts Kenny Chesney
Country music stars occupied three slots in the survey with husband and wife act of Tim McGraw and Faith Hill banking $132 million thanks to an extensive tour. Third in line was another country act, Rascal Flats, at $110.5 million. Madonna was fourth with $96.8 million and despite only $4 million in the sale of CD�s, an average ticket price of $300 a seat landed Barbra Streisand in fifth place adding $95.8 million to her bank account.
Country music star Kenny Chesney was sixth in the top ten with $90.1 million in revenue. Canadian songbird Celene Dion warbled her way to seventh place with $85.2 in CD and concert sales. Eighth was Bon Jovi who ended the year $77.5 million richer. CD sales of 40 million helped Nickelback end up in ninth place with $74.1 million. Continuing to sell out stadiums, the Dave Matthews Band rounded out the top ten at $60.4 million.
Of course, the success of recording artists in concert hasn�t gone unnoticed by waning record company�s as they are now complaining the stars that provided the product for them to sell, should also �share� touring revenue with them.
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Lining the Nest, Laying Eggs
The Dixie Chicks may have lined the nest with a bunch of Grammy�s but chances are they�ll continue to lay eggs with the fans of country music. Radio programmers recognize the vote that gave the �chicks� five Grammy�s wasn�t about their music as much as it was about their politics and that of the Recording Academy.
Past winners of a Grammy land slide like that given the Dixie Chicks could count on a silver lined career but theirs will probably have just the opposite effect in sparking even more of a back lash against the "outlaw" group.
The love of country music fans for the Dixie Chicks turned sour in 2003 when chick Natalie Maines criticized President Bush by telling a London audience, �we�re ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas�. The red, white and blue roots of country music lovers expressed their outrage for her comments, especially made on foreign turf.
Scrambling any attempt to woo fans back, the Dixie Chicks said they were never comfortable roosting in Nashville anyway and hatched a new album with a single, �Not Ready to Make Nice.�
With the exception of former American Idol winner Carrie Underwood winning best new artist honors, the voting Grammy elite demonstrated they aren�t grazing in the same pasture where country music is seeded. The single that won the Dixie Chicks a Grammy received almost no airplay, had dismal sales success and peaked no higher than #36 on the billboard charts before falling with a thud.
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Talk radio built the fire that has finally been recognized by the mass media of the imprisonment of two border patrol agents, Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean.
Both are serving prison time after being convicted of shooting a suspected drug smuggler who was attempting to flee back across the Mexican border to avoid being captured.
The white house �open borders� contingent is squirming to escape the heat that now includes many lawmakers in Washington who are demanding President Bush act to release the agents ASAP.
In his own party, representatives Dana Rohrabacher, Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo are promising to hold the president responsible if anything happens to the two while in prison. The word �impeachment� has been tossed around by Democrats, but this time Republicans have joined in too.
California�s democrat senator Dianne Feinstein says, �the aggressive prosecution of Border Patrol agents has a chilling effect on their ability to carry out their duties and on the morale of all agents.�
Talk radio won�t let the issue of the two border agents go away as they expose government misdeeds in convicting the agents. Bush say�s he needs time to have someone explain the case to him.
And that my friends could take some time to find someone in the white house who can help him also understand a sworn duty to protect our national borders.
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On Coast to Coast George Noory invited best selling author
Jerome Corsi to explain the latest wrinkle of our
government taking direction from Mexico. World Net Daily
provides the details.
Mexico demanded U.S. prosecute sheriff, agents
Documents show role of consulate in cases of Gilmer Hernandez and Ramos-Compean
The Mexican Consulate played a previously undisclosed role in the events leading to U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton's high-profile prosecution of Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, who are serving 11 and 12 year sentences for their role in the shooting of a drug smuggler, according to documents obtained by World Net Daily.
And Mexican consular officials also demanded the prosecution of Texas Sheriff's Deputy Guillermo "Gilmer" Hernandez, who subsequently was brought to trial by Sutton, the documents reveal.
Read it all from World Net Daily here
Clear Channel Sellabration
The following will soon sellabrate Clear Channels decision to shed radio facilities in their communities. Nearly all will be sold within the next few weeks, with hopes the new owners will return local radio to their programming.
Alabama -Gadsden, Montgomery
Alaska- Anchorage, Fairbanks
Arkansas - Fayetteville, Ft. Smith, Jonesboro
California - Victorville, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara
Florida - Florida Keys
Idaho - Boise, Pocatello, Twin Falls
Illinois - Marion-Carbondale, Springfield
Iowa - Burlington, Fort Dodge, Mason City, Sioux City
Kentucky - Frankfort, Somerset
Louisiana - Shreveport
Maine - Augusta, Bangor
Maryland - Salisbury
Michigan - Ann Arbor, Battle Creek, Muskegon
Minnesota - Duluth, Mankato, Rochester
Mississippi - Laurel, Meridian, Tupelo
Montana - Billings, Bozeman, Missoula, Shelby
Nebraska - Lincoln, Ogallala
New Hampshire - Lebanon
New Mexico - Farmington, Gallup,
New York - Binghampton, Rome-Utica
North Carolina - Statesville
North Dakota - Bismarck, Dickinson, Fargo, Grand Forks, Minot
Ohio - Ashland-Mansfield, Ashtabula, Chillicothe, Defiance, Findlay-Tiffin, Lima, Marion, Sandusky
Oklahoma - Lawton
Oregon - Albany, Medford
Pennsylvania - Lancaster, Reading, Williamsport
Tennessee - Cookeville
Texas - Abilene, Amarillo, Lubbock, Lufkin, Midland-Odessa, Texarkana, Tyler, Wichita Falls, Victoria
Vermont - Burlington
Virginia - Charlottesville, Randolph
Washington - Centralia, Tri-Cities, Yakima
West Virginia - Huntington, Parkersburg, Wheeling
Wisconsin - Eau Claire
Wyoming - Casper, Cheyenne, Laramie
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Barry Gibb has purchased and is restoring the lake front home of Johnny Cash near Nashville. Barry�s hoping the vibes of the previous resident will enhance his creativity there, maybe give birth to a country album from the former Bee Gee.
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Dolly Parton has pledged $500,000 towards construction of a hospital and cancer center in her Smoky Mountain hometown of Sevierville, Tennessee.
The dollars will come from the Dollywood Foundation, a charitable organization spun off from her very successful Dollywood theme park.
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The End of �The End�
It may take a total format and name change for Entercom�s 107.9 - �The End� to recover from a shock jock contest gone wrong.
Licensed to Sacramento as KDND, the station�s morning show invited listeners to �Hold your wee for a Wii� drinking contest that challenged contestants to drink as much water as possible to see who could hold it for the longest period of time. The winner would receive a Nintendo Wii gaming console worth about $250.00, which is just a fraction of what it will cost Entercom to answer the anticipated legal action from not only the young mother who died attempting to win the contest, but also from a reported dozen other contestants who suffered adverse reaction from competing.
Once the news hit the national media, Entercom terminated not only the lead three members of the �Morning Rave,� but seven others who worked on the daily program.
Again, the entire industry suffers still another black eye for this. Management surely must realize the �shock jock� era has ended.
Representing Jennifer Strange, the woman who died as a result of the contest, attorney Roger Dreyer called the conduct of Entercom, �oppressive and irresponsible� and has asked the FCC to revoke KDND�s license.
For too long the industry has followed the beat of smut peddlers until public outcry drove them from AM/FM radio. Now radio is faced with uncontrollable performers who have little idea about how to attract listeners without lacing their programming with "shock".
Sure radio of a different generation featured crazy stunts and fun contests, but the mean-spirited desire to humiliate and embarrass contestants is a result of the Howard Stern era that ushered in financial punishment and threat of license revocation by the FCC. That programming has been tamed down and chased over to subscriber based satellite radio with limited success.
Entercom can claim they have taken immediate action. But the company might best review how a planned promotion got on the air without it being cleared by the station program director. They might also give their program directors the encouragement and time to motivate talent.
Station managers and program directors lacking the ability to control performers and programming, should also be held accountable for what takes place on the air. Their lack of attention gave birth to the problem that now faces KDND.
Art Comes Home
He's returned to his "Kingdom of Nye" and you can tell by his voice that he's glad to be back.
Its been quite a year for Art Bell. Barely a week into 2006, following an asthma attack his wife Romona died . Her passing questioned his reason to continue living as he shared his innermost despair with Coast to Coast listeners.
Three months later he surprised them by announcing his marriage to Airyn Ruiz, a 21 year old Filipino beauty. Purchasing a high rise condo, Art and his bride declared they would make Manila their home and he would revolutionize radio by broadcasting his show live from half way around the world.
While he didn't dwell on it, Art's comments from time to time made it clear he yearned for a return to the states, if for no other reason to escape the extreme humidity and the never ending hammering of typhoon's to the island nation.
Then the final straw came when an old and false report that claimed Art had referred to the Philippines as �a disgusting and filthy place� made its way into the newspapers there, resulting in Art and his wife receiving death threats. It was reason enough for him to convince Airyn that his secure compound, with state of the art studio and home at Pahrump, Nevada was the place to be.
His fans are delighted he's returned �home.�
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Kris Erik Stevens survives fiery crash
Kris Erik Stevens
Our thoughts and best wishes for a speedy recovery go to our long time pal Kris Erik Stevens.
While driving on a wet dark road, his Ferrari hydro-planed, spinning out of control and ended with a fiery crash into a giant tree. Kris with his car totaled, was rushed for emergency care to a hospital with head injuries.
Kris say�s the mishap �gives me reason to rethink my life� and during the holiday season encourages all to �be careful out there�.
Send him a �get well� here
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Democrats Are Now Holding the Reins
Much like a New York stockbroker attending a country livestock auction, FCC chairman Kevin Martin�s appearance and comments at the Nashville forum not only didn�t make a sale, they didn�t even get a bid.
The auctioneer at the event was FCC commissioner Michael Copps, who not only understood the issues, he spoke in a dialect the �folks� understood. His side kick Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein wasn�t wearing the boots of his native South Dakota, but he too spoke words that brought applause from the foes of run-a-way deregulation.
The two democrat commissioners roped in Chairman Martin as he attempted to explain how opening the gate for even more media consolidation would benefit the public. Copps challenged, �If anyone tells you big media�s push for more consolidation has gone away, don�t believe it. People don�t have enough say about how their airwaves are used, and it�s time for that to change.�
Saddling up and heading back to what he hoped was a more favorable turf in the nation�s capital, Martin faced an inquiry from seven democrat congressional leaders questioning his announced study on the effects of media ownership. Asking just how impartial would the researchers be and will they be hog tied from providing a fair analysis of the effect media consolidation has had on the industry and the public.
While Chairman Martin�s two republican co-harts give him the benefit of blunting the concerns of democrats Copps and Adelstein at the FCC, he no longer has the backing of a congress controlled by his party.
Democrats are now holding the reins.
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The Death of the Dollar
Big media will be the last to report it.
Talk radio and the internet�s World Net Daily once again break the story of the coming collapse of our nations economy and how the Bush administration will introduce the �amero� to the new Republic of the America's, the US, Canada and Mexico.
Always one of talk radios most interesting guests, Dr. Jerome Corsi analysis �The New World Disorder� here.
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FCC chairman Kevin Martin has always been in favor of loosening regulatory hurdles that slow down big media�s desire to gobble up more and more of the industry. In the past, stalled by two democrat watchdog commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps, Martin has once again felt their bite as he unleashed a project that he expects will further his agenda.
Hoping any awareness of his plan to conduct limited studies might be lost during the holiday, chairman Martin waited to make any announcement of the research he expects will rubber stamp his goal until just hours before Thanksgiving.
Commissioner�s Adelstein and Copps immediately collared Martin�s move casting a shadow over who the chairman had selected to conduct the research, how much was it going to cost taxpayers, how the invitation of peer review would muzzle the important issues at hand and why the topics lacked specific questions that have been raised over and over by the public at large in open forums.
Copps reminded the absent minded chairman, a federal court has already questioned a previous FCC vote to loosen ownership rules, warning Martin any republicram attempt to do it again would be met with intense public opposition.
Adelstein questioned the limited scope, methodology and sources of data that would be a part of Martin�s study project, adding �The period of time to complete the studies is an ingredient for a study that doesn�t engender public faith and confidence.�
Despite major public opposition to any continuation of lessening ownership limits, Martin will be using recent moves by CBS and Clear Channel to sell off blocks of their radio stations as reasons why ownership limits should no longer be of any concern.
It will be interesting how the chairman will explain why virtually all of the stations will be or have been sold to other group owners. New blood is missing from the ownership ranks and it�s doubtful the sale of CBS & Clear Channel radio stations will provide a single transfusion to an Industry badly in need of one.
America's First Free Gay Station
Broadcast Veteran Burt Sherwood and son Jason debut on January 1st, the first over the air, free gay TV station in the country with WGAY-TV in Key West, Florida.
"Our goal is to offer a variety of free programming both online and through local cable affiliates, that will appeal of the diverse gay and lesbian population, says GM Jason Sherwood. "It's exciting for us to create the concept that gay and lesbian vacationers can watch from the comfort of a hotel room on their Key West vacation or back at home when the go online here
Key West is one of the top destinations for Gay and Lesbian tourists. Research indicates that for every dollar invested in gay tourism marketing, $153 was returned in direct economic spending in shops, hotels, restaurants and attractions, making the gay community a viable niche audience for travel and entertainment.
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Bush's coup d'etat
Talk radio and World Net Daily have done more to expose the Bush agenda to erase our borders and end our nation�s sovereignty than all other media combined.
A regular guest on George Noory�s �Coast to Coast�, Dr. Jerome Corsi has given the light of day to hundreds of documents outlining how the White House under the umbrella of the �Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America� is engaged in a merger of Canada, Mexico and the United States to form a new �American republic� copied from the European Union.
"This is totally
outside the U.S. Constitution, virtually an
executive branch coup d'etat," say�s Corsi. "SPP is creating new trilateral memoranda of understanding and mutual agreements which should be submitted to Senate for two-thirds votes as international treaties."
Dr. Corsi added, "We'd like to see both the House and the Senate in the 110th Congress conduct a serious investigation and get full disclosure from SPP of all documents," he said. "If the Bush administration wants to continue to deny that we're on the same track that Europe went on to create the European Union and the euro, then there should be no harm in full disclosure."
The documents can be viewed on a special website set up by the Minuteman Project here
Congressman Ron Paul
Meanwhile, republican congressman Ron Paul of Texas agrees with Dr. Corsi in denouncing plans for the proposed "NAFTA superhighway" in his state as part of a larger plot for merger of the U.S., Canada and Mexico into a North American Union.
�The real issue raised by the superhighway plan and the SPP is national sovereignty� says Paul.
Read it at World Net Daily
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The Council on American-Islamic Relations often attempts too intimidate radio hosts demanding apologies for airing most any reference to Islam, be it factual or humorous.
The latest example is when Dave Ryan of KDWB aired a comedic version of TV�s �Jeopardy� describing a category as �infamous infidels� where the female host would be beheaded if she answered a question incorrectly.
CAIR issued a complaint that brought the following statement from the Clear Channel station, �KDWB does not condone making light of Islam and Muslims. We regret that listeners found the �Muslim Jeopardy� comedy skit of one of our on-air hosts to be insensitive.�
Ryan is in good company joining the list of on-air talents CAIR has attempted to silence that includes Paul Harvey, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Don Imus, Jay Severin, Michael Graham & Bill Handel.