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Radio AM to FM: October 4, 2001

Internet Deal in the Works

A bill designed to help save Internet Radio by suspending webcasting royalties for six months was pulled by its sponsor just a short time before a vote was to be taken in the House of Representatives.

HR-5469 was pulled off the calendar Tuesday by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) when negotiators for webcasters and the Recording Industry Association of America claimed that they would have an agreement by today.

The deal, if it pans out, will override the Librarian of Congress' ruling earlier this year that allowed for fees that are higher than the gross income for the vast majority of internet stations. Failing a deal or a stopgap like HR-5469, the vast majority of webcasters would be forced to shut down.

It appears that the deal will set royalties as a percentage of revenues, a plan that webcasters have long pushed. According to, as of press time, agreement on a four-year sliding schedule of rates is either done or close to being done, with other issues remaining to be resolved.

Short Takes

Better than payola ... a musician who wanted his song played on a radio station in Brazil went to great lengths to accomplish his wish: he stormed the broadcast booth at a Porto Alegre FM station and used a gun to force personality Marcio Paz to play his album.

The plan worked ... for a little over an hour. Eventually, Vinicius dos Santos surrendered to police; no one was injured. "He is a quiet boy," said his father.

K-Zep ... Reader Bill Hayes wrote in recently and made a comment that eight out of ten times when you tune in to KLOS you get either Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd or a commercial.

Sounds like a challenge to me. So over the past week I've been keeping track of what is being played at the moment I turn on KLOS during the day (after Mark and Brian leave, of course, since they play so little music). Currently, it's a tie: Seven Zeppelin/Floyd/Commercials to seven Everything Else. This important study will continue.

Hayes says you can do the same thing with KRTH, only the contest narrows to feature only the songs "My Girl" or "Do Wah Ditty." I'll leave that one alone for now ... I don't have the stomach for it.

SPERDVAC ... The Society to Preserve and Encourage Radio Drama Variety and Comedy will hold its annual convention November 1st through 3rd at the Hacienda Hotel in El Segundo. There will be re-creations, panel discussions and a dealers room. Go to or call (310) 219-0053 or (877) 251-5771 for more information.


Copyright © 2002 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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