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ClearChannel Complains About XM, Sirius Radio 344

Posted by timothy
from the keeping-you-underserved-by-government-charter dept.
andyring writes "In the latest attempt by a big corporation with a failing business model to win by legislation and not in the marketplace, ClearChannel is whining to the FCC about XM Radio's recent foray into localized traffic and weather reports." Here I was thinking that satellite radio was a good thing for competition in radio.
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ClearChannel Complains About XM, Sirius Radio

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  • by heironymouscoward (683461) <<moc.oohay> <ta> <drawocsuomynorieh>> on Saturday April 17, 2004 @10:00AM (#8891135) Journal
    ClearChannel are a failing business?

    Aren't they practically in a monopoly situation and trying to keep it that way?
    • by Paleomacus (666999) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @10:05AM (#8891160)
      Yes but as XM becomes more mainstream are you going to listen to ClearChannel stations? I don't have XM and try to listen to Non-ClearChannel stations. ClearChannel stations have the most obnoxious radio shows,commercials, jockeys and play the narrowest selection of music.

      XM has many stations that don't even have commercials and cater to any musical taste. In my area we don't even have an FM Jazz station...
      • by gerbache (540848) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @10:10AM (#8891188)
        The trouble is that XM and Sirius are still monthy fee services, while I can tune in to FM radio stations free over the airwaves. I know a lot of people are into XM radio and all, but personally, I just don't listen to the radio enough to make it worth my while to pay for a service, and I'd say that a lot of other people are like that, as well.

        That being said, I can't see how the competition from them can be a bad thing for anyone but ClearChannel. Plus, if XM is not regulated by the FCC (I don't know this for sure, can anyone verify), we can get around all the censorship BS going on right now with our lovely FCC....
        • by OS24Ever (245667) * <trekkie@nomorestars.com> on Saturday April 17, 2004 @10:57AM (#8891402) Homepage Journal
          I'm happily paying $9.95 a month so I don't have to listen to commercials.

          All of XM's music stations have no commercials. While the 'talk' stations do. It's kinda funny the commercials mainly on the XM Talk channels are 'spam' like such as life insurance, weight loss, and tax free living.

          • XM isn't actively selling the commericals on the talk-format stations. What you hear there are the commercials that are being distributed by the various talk show syndicators on the same feed as the program is on.

            Many of these "network ads" are truely spam-level prices because every single one of the OTA stations are covering the network up with a local ad during that time slot, so only XM listeners end up hearing it. XM might be well served to create some promos for some of their other channels to air in
        • we can get around all the censorship BS going on right now with our lovely FCC....

          "Lovely?" Is that some kind of sexual reference?

        • by Platinum Dragon (34829) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @01:10PM (#8892135) Journal
          The trouble is that XM and Sirius are still monthy fee services, while I can tune in to FM radio stations free over the airwaves.

          You can tune in to local TV free over the airwaves as well, yet somehow, cable and satellite television thrive. You'd be amazed how many people will pay for a bit (or a lot) of additional service and options.
        • by Eshock (646544) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @01:52PM (#8892373)
          You are mostly correct, XM's content is not regulated by the FCC, like over-the-air radio and TV broadcasts are. They are under a looser regulation scheme, like satellite TV. Basically the only thing regulated is what frequencies they're allowed to broadcast on, etc. Content is still 100% up to them though.
        • by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Saturday April 17, 2004 @02:37PM (#8892619) Journal
          It could have been all solved if the US had adopted DAB digital radio like everywhere else in the world...but guess what, Clear Channel had it squashed precisely because it'd bring "too much competition". So the US is lumbered with the rather useless 'HD radio', or pay-per-month satellite radio.
      • by brandonY (575282) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @10:13AM (#8891198)
        Here in Atlanta, one popular station, 99X, has a recurring advertisement that boasts loudly that they are not in any way owned by Clear Channel. They're doin' darn well.
        • by pongo000 (97357)
          They're owned by another corporate entity, Susquehanna [susquehannaradio.com]. They run the same ads here in Dallas on 93.3 "The Bone" (what a stupid name for a radio station..."keep your bone up" is getting old). I'm sure what you hear on 99X is the same as what is played on every Susquehanna station...
      • Yes. ClearChannel already has a stake in XM Satellite Radio, so they're hedging their bets on the new technology.
      • by filekutter (617285) <filekutter0NO@SPAMlycos.com> on Saturday April 17, 2004 @11:39AM (#8891622) Journal
        I agree completely with you... I refuse to listen to ClearChannel radio at all, and point out that ClearChan has also been behind a lot of public radio stations being taken over and given to the christian networks. We are gradually and systematically, losing our public airwaves. Soon, public and indie radio will be just a chapter in media text-books.
        • point out that ClearChan has also been behind a lot of public radio stations being taken over and given to the christian networks

          Really? Given over to Christian networks? That's interesting. Why would CC hand over conquered stations to Christian networks? Can you site a news article or something on this? I'd love to read it.
          • by gnarled (411192)
            I think the poster was a little confused about that. I remember seeing an article in the NY Times a couple months ago (I tried searching but couldn't find it) about how in the south some christian radio owners are taking advantage of a law that gives high power broadcast station precedence over low power signal relay stations. Many places get NPR only because it is retransmitted through a relay station. The article talked about how this man was on a mission to get rid of NPR and did it by starting radio
    • by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld.gmail@com> on Saturday April 17, 2004 @10:28AM (#8891262) Homepage
      They made profits of $187 million on revenue of $2.29 billion. I wish I could fail like that.
    • by JasonUCF (601670) <jason-slashdawt@@@jnlpro...com> on Saturday April 17, 2004 @10:43AM (#8891330) Homepage
      According to the FCC, there are about 13,000-15,000 radio stations in the US broadcasting at any one time. At last count Clear Channel had 1,176 stations. That is near 10%, not exactly a monopoly. Clear Channel is the biggest single owner, but they are not the only one. Cox, Infinity, Ennis, are all players in this game, and they are part of a lobbying group that asked for this. Clear Channel did not ask for this, the lobbying group did. This is the problem I keep talking about -- people think CC is the only one wrong so they ignore the other people too. Sigh.
      • I know you're just trolling, it's very important to look at numbers because when you evalulate individual markets you find that Clear Channel does not own the "top 5" or "top4" or hell even top 3 stations. If you look at Arbitron rankers for Winter 2004 (latest book), you see it's just not there -- Cox, Ennis, Infinity all have stations and most of them beat CC.
        http://www.radioandrecords.com/Subscribers/r a tings /homepage.htm

        My point is that people keep labelling CC as the one bad mojo when in actuali
      • Monopolies (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Detritus (11846) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @11:08AM (#8891465) Homepage
        Clear Channel may only own 10% of the radio stations, but that can be misleading. A 50kW FM station in a top 50 market is worth a lot more, and has a much larger audience, than a 500W AM station in a rural area.
      • by WCMI92 (592436) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @11:37AM (#8891615) Homepage
        CC owns 9 stations in my 20-something station market.

        Those 9 stations, in the ratings, account for about 50% of the listening audience.
    • by WCMI92 (592436) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @11:22AM (#8891533) Homepage
      " ClearChannel are a failing business?
      Aren't they practically in a monopoly situation and trying to keep it that way?"

      Radio ITSELF is a failing business. Arbitron ratings show that people are listening to it less and less, and that the decline has accelerated since the consolidation after the 1996 telecoms act.

      What CC fears is competition, of course, so they are trying to use the FCC to prevent one.

      I wonder what they think of internet radio, a competitor that is growing faster than satellite...

      I, myself run an internet station, hosted at Live 365, and I do live/local shows in the evening on it. http://cat92fm.com I try to actually appeal to a LOCAL audience with it. Though it's more of a hobby than a serious effort, I do have some listeners, and most of them are local, and they listen during the day because the music I play isn't played by the local CC cluster (they own 9 stations in our small merket)

      I think CC wants to impose something like what is done to cable TV providers: Federally mandated monopoly. With cable or satellite, you are legally stuck with your local stations, you can't choose a different one, and it's illegal for the provider to sell them to you.
  • And to think... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jin Wicked (317953) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @10:00AM (#8891136) Homepage Journal

    I got heavily criticised in a story a couple of days ago for saying Clear Channel should get one of those awards for being against free speech.

    They may be a private corporation but they have used the FCC and other ways of influencing gov't to make sure that they get to control certain aspects of the airwaves. They may not be John Ashcroft but they are certainly interested in controlling the market and what you hear. =P

    • Re:And to think... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by petabyte (238821) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @10:36AM (#8891294)
      They're probably anti-free speech only in the sense that they don't want anyone else to dare compete with them. Most large companies should be awarded similar awards for clamping down on freedoms. It makes you wonder about what all of this media consoliation is going to do.

      I agree Ashcroft is a bit crazy with the censorship but one big difference is that Ashcroft can be asked to resign or be voted out of office (hopefully for someone less restrictive). Monopolies with deep pockets will likely be around for a long time ...
    • Clear Channel is itself being regulated. All they ask for, is stricter regulation of their competitor. If you accept the limitations on the size and/or content of media companies, Clear Channel's complaints should upset you.

      I don't think, this limitations are a good idea at all, so my solution is to unregulate Clear Channel too...

      This has nothing to do with the quality of their stations, BTW, which is a separate story altogether.

      They may not be John Ashcroft but they are certainly interested in contro

      • Re:And to think... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by SnapShot (171582)
        Actually, Clear Channel's complaints don't upset me in the slightest.

        Whether or not they are competitors from the FCC's point of view is a resonable question. FM radio is liscensed in the 88 to 108 Mhz range (so that's what those numbers on the dial stand for, I seriously never knew). Sattelite radio is licensed in the 2.48 to 2.8 Ghz range. (* [jneuhaus.com])

        Sure, from the users point of view they both are just "radio", but Clear Channel is running its radio in the cheap seats under a government sponsered and enforce
  • Howard Stern (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Quill345 (769162) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @10:01AM (#8891141)
    Is XM regulated by the FCC? Could they carry Howard Stern? That'd be a great way to sock it to ClearChannel.
    • I'm going to argue that they could carry Howard Stern. Compare XM to cable (not the best analogy, I know); surely if HBO can put half the crap that they produce on, so could an analogous station on XM.

      But hey, IANA FCC censor.
    • Re:Howard Stern (Score:3, Informative)

      by matts800 (772133)
      They are not regulated by the FCC the same way FM and television are. They are in the same boat as HBO.
    • Re:Howard Stern (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      To answer your questions, XM is apparently not regulated by the FCC (though that is subject to change at any time since they've got this little power-grab going on), and yes, they could certainly carry the Stern show.

      In recent weeks Howard has actually been considering moving the show to XM if/when things hit the fan and he gets yanked from the public airwaves.

      I'm just hoping he hangs in there until the election so we can vote that SOB Bush out and see about getting some of our rights back from the corpor

  • Here I was thinking that satellite radio was a good thing for competition in radio.

    Competition is good for radio... because it's bad for Clearchannel.
    • by Selecter (677480) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @11:36AM (#8891610)
      Exactly why is that statement a troll?

      This might get modded as off topic, but I'm gonna do it anyways. People need to understand what a bunch of bastards Clear Channel and the NAB are and some semi related background info on their past behavior might be useful.

      The real travesty in radio is that the only real ownership liberalization in many years was stifled at the request of the NAB and Clear Channel - Low Power FM stations which can be licensed and brought on line at very low cost compared to a "regular" station. This would have allowed normal folk with little capital to began legally broadcasting with decent range and signal - somethingthe NAB and Queer Channel didnt want.

      Becuase of the NAB and Queer Channel the 1000 watt provision of the LPFM proposal was yanked due to what turned out to be a bogus phony "interference" concern that was later DISPROVEN by the the FCC's own hired examiners. The 1000 watt proposal was killed becuase in many cases it would have allowed station ranges to be competitive with their CC corporate owned stations.

      The LPFM proposal if it had been left intact and not gutted by Queer Channel and the NAB lobbyists would have done more to revolutionize radio than satellite radio - becuase there would have been thousands of new voices on the air in every city and town. You bet yer ass they dont want competition from anyone, and most of all form ordinary citizens, to whom the PUBLIC airwaves are SUPPOSED to belong. Of course they are going to whine to the FCC - it's gotten the desired result before for them....

      So of course now the gutted remnants of the LPFM ( cumbersome application process, limited licenses to be issued, only 10 and 100 watt power limits, too low to have any range ) are not having much effect. Geee, wonder why?

      Lets hope the satellite companies fight Clear Channel with everything they have. If this rant was too off topic, sorry, but I gotta get my ya-ya's out sometimes, boss. The way they sliced and diced LPFM really pissed me off royal. Can ya tell? :D

  • Oh noes (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 17, 2004 @10:06AM (#8891164)
    New corporate ideology for the 21st century:

    When being beaten by a competitor, you have three choices. Bitch, moan, and complain to the government about it.
  • by Audguy (736134) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @10:06AM (#8891165) Homepage
    There is no chance of them ever competing with XM, because their traffic and weather is so much better, and without commercials, since I got mine, I haven't even once turned on my car radio since. So yes I think that ClearChannel DOES have something to worry about.
    • I dont listent to FM anymore, only AM...
      • " I dont listent to FM anymore, only AM..."

        Me too. I am mainly an AM listener, because I love talk radio. If I want music, I have my 20GB Nomad player in the car.

        I don't think it's AM or FM that is doomed, but it's MUSIC RADIO itself that is doomed to die off.

        15-20 stations in a market just can't compete with the greater variety that portable MP3, satellite, and internet radio offer.

        Internet radio is ALSO a threat. As internet becomes more and more unwired, the day may come soon when we can listen to
    • There is no chance of them ever competing with XM, because their traffic and weather is so much better, and without commercials, since I got mine, I haven't even once turned on my car radio since.

      I'm happy for you that XM works for you, but I'm a bit surprised you got modded +5 Informative/Interesting for that.

      Are you (and the mods) saying that XM's traffic and weather being better is a sustainable differentiator? If that's really a big reason, it's not like XM has some secret inside info to weather and
    • by LostCluster (625375) * on Saturday April 17, 2004 @12:39PM (#8891943)
      What has the NAB going crazy is that XM has some land-based repeaters to fill holes in their satellite patern. In order to get those land-based repeaters, XM had to promise that they'd never use them to create local stations by broadcasting different things in different places, they had to relay the whole national signal.

      Now, the "local traffic and weather" channels on XM now are actually national channels. That is to say, you can hear a Boston traffic report in Los Angeles perfectly clear. Not sure why anybody would want to, but it's there if you want it. All of the land-based repeaters are relaying all of the channels, even the ones intended for far-away cities. Therefore, XM is complying with the letter of the agreement just fine.

      However, the NAB is trying to say that these "local" services violate the rules just to make life harder for XM.
    • by danaris (525051)

      I don't know a single person who listens to XM radio. I listen to FM (NPR).

      I seriously, seriously doubt that any satellite radio will make serious inroads into ordinary radio listeners, FM or AM, while it costs money. You don't need to pay a cent to listen to FM radio (except the tiny cost of the radio itself). That's a pretty big advantage over XM.

      Also, listening to NPR stations, I don't get commercials (at least, I certainly wouldn't call the regular announcers calmly reading the sponsors' slogans co

  • by Squeezer (132342) <awilliam.mdah@state@ms@us> on Saturday April 17, 2004 @10:08AM (#8891172) Homepage
    according to http://www.stereophile.com/news/032904news/ [stereophile.com] and many other news article that can be searched on google news, clear channel has part ownership of XM radio, so why is clear channel trying to stop XM radio? clearly, if XM radio prospers, then so does clear channel.

    "Other major XM shareholders include radio giant Clear Channel Communications, Inc."
    • Because Clear Channel profits from advertising, not from subscriptions.

      Its rather simple really. A subscription costs X amount of money, and its a fixed number, sure thats great for paying the bills, but the only way to increase profit is to get additional subscribers, or by reducing overhead. Since the hardware utilized is rather expensive, the fastest way to eliminate overhead is through payroll, I don't see anyone taking a paycut in order to turn a profit.

      Advertising on the other hand is on a sliding
      • yeah but you are forgetting that if XM really takes off, if they can sell their service well, get most major automobile manufacturers to include it standard, etc...then XM radio's shares could go up to very high values, then Clear Channel can sell how ever many hundreds of thousands or millions of shares they own and make many millions, possibly billions of dollars. a lot of easy money to make if clear channel just sits back and lets XM do its thing.
    • They have been slowly exiting their position in XM for a while and I wouldn't be surprised if they were completely out of XM by now -- maybe because it was ammunition for people evanglize Sirius over XM, but probably it was just the decision of some bean-counter at clearchannel.
    • What CC wants is for the FCC to regulate the content on satellite radio. They threw in XM because it has name recognition, despite their stake in it (which I believe stands around 30%), but what I believe is part of their true objective is FCC regulation, which means they could potentially have a controlling interest, or even flat out own, both major players. Remember, ClearChannel isn't only radio, they have those innumerable billboards on the road, they own a great number (65%-70%+) of concert venues in the U.S.

      For those who have poor opinions of Microsoft's business practices, ClearChannel's doings are roughly similar, except they want to control not just what software you run, but also the computer on which you use said software, where said computer can be used and what the software will stop you from doing if it doesn't think what you're doing with it is decent.
      • by LostCluster (625375) * on Saturday April 17, 2004 @12:25PM (#8891854)
        What CC wants is for the FCC to regulate the content on satellite radio. They threw in XM because it has name recognition, despite their stake in it (which I believe stands around 30%), but what I believe is part of their true objective is FCC regulation...

        You hit the nail right on the head. Broadcasters basically think at this point that they cannot safely air Howard Stern, Bubba The Love Sponge or any other similar program without fear of large FCC fines. However, right now those shows can find a safe haven on XM and Sirius with no FCC content restrictions at all. XM and Sirius might sensor their "family level" channels on their own, but Playboy Radio being a premium channel can do absolutely anything they want.

        The broadcasters see this as a popular content type that they're about to lose access to about to be used against them. They want the same standards applied to the satellite broadcasters...
  • In the UK (Score:4, Interesting)

    by lxt (724570) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @10:09AM (#8891179) Journal
    ...you don't hear commercial radio stations complaining about local BBC (which are commercial free) stations providing local traffic...they still complain in general, but they do have a point (because BBC radio is free to all, even though it's paid for off the TV licence)
    • I haven't heard them complaining - in both Kent and Cambridge commercial stations seem to have a much bigger mindshare than the local BBC stations. I remember one occasion when my brothers' school was closed due to heavy snow, and almost everyone turned up - because the headmaster had informed BBC Radio Kent, but not Invicta FM, so no-one had heard it was closed.
  • Ironic (Score:2, Insightful)

    by matts800 (772133)
    This is ironic because ClearChannels is an XM investor (not much, but still owns a small percentage of the company and puts their talk shows on a couple of the channels).
  • XM (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bendsley (217788)
    I am a subscriber to XM radio and have been for almost a year. I don't listen to public radio anymore. If I could get uncensored comedy and headline news from a public radio station, we wouldn't have a need for subscription services. I think that if I'm paying for service, then XM/Sirius are more than welcome to push any content to me that they want, minus commercials.
  • by bkirkby (133683) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @10:14AM (#8891205) Homepage
    The petition was filed by the National Association of Broadcaters of which Clear Channel is a member. I've heard so many tinfoil hat theories about Clear Channel that when I see /. editorial content that modifies the story like this it makes me question the motive here.
    • The petition was filed by the National Association of Broadcaters of which Clear Channel is a member.

      I'm absolutely sure it was done over Clear Channel's strident objections, too.

      Get real: This kind of anti-competitive crap is almost always done through industry associations. It makes better PR and helps to legitimize it to people who don't know any better.

      • Actually. Clear Channel is usually in favor of keeping regulations away from XM, since they own a stake in it.

        Clear Channel is practically out of the NAB because to put it mildly, their interests are often contradictory to the interests of small station owners. They just don't fit in with the club anymore.
  • by julesh (229690) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @10:17AM (#8891216)
    "cnn.netscape.cnn.com/ns/" ...! How many times do they need to get each organisation's name in there?
  • by stull13 (693912) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @10:18AM (#8891220)

    Many people wondered why Clear Channel was so quick to dump the Stern show in six markets without putting up any kind of a fight.

    While at first they presented themselves as being truly ashamed of the "Indecency" over their airwaves, it seems now that they were supporting the FCC in a very public arena so they could work themselves into a position where they can influence FCC policies. It probably doesn't hurt that they are a huge corporate donor to the Bush campaign.

    On a recent Stern show episode, Howard suggested holding concerts in major Clear Channel markets to combat their growing power. With this latest news we have all the more reason not to support them and their anti-competitive policies.

    For more information go here. [howardstern.com]

  • by ljavelin (41345) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @10:22AM (#8891234)
    Entercom Communications Corp. , the fourth-largest U.S. over-the-air radio company, has been running advertisements poking fun at satellite radio services, roasting the $10-$12 monthly subscription rate as well as lack of local information and spotty signals when traveling between buildings.

    Too bad they can't argue on the aspects of quality programming. Broadcast Radio quality has fallen to the point where I simply don't listen to it. Local traffic? Ha, it's usually old information. I get better information via my cell phone. Quality music? Rrrrright.... if you like to hear the same seven songs played hundreds of times within a month. I'll play my own music - at least then I hear something other than those 7 (once-good, now-annoying) songs.

    Clearly broadcast radio quality has fallen substantially, and Satellite is quickly filling the void. I don't have it yet, but I'm thinking about it.
    • by Ironsides (739422) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @10:59AM (#8891409) Homepage Journal
      and spotty signals when traveling between buildings.

      Actually, one of the things that is annoying regular radio broadcasters is that either XM or Serius (can't remember which, or if it was both) got special permission from the FCC to put microrepeaters in buildings in built up areas. (one repeater can cover a fairly large area) This allows people to still recieve even in areas with tall buildings if one of these is arround. The reason the radio broadcasters are annoyed is because the repeaters (being about the size of a desk, and having no external antennas and is installed inside of a building) were allowed to bypass local red tape for installation. AKA they only needed to get federal approval, not local.
    • by Guppy06 (410832) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @12:07PM (#8891745)
      "has been running advertisements poking fun at satellite radio services,"

      Yeah, we're going to tell you about how awful commercial-free music is... by running commercials...
  • That's funny. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 17, 2004 @10:22AM (#8891238)
    XM is a partnership between GM and ClearChannel Communications. The suit isn't being brought by Clear Channel, but by the National Association of Broadcasters.

    And as for listening to satellite radio, I'll take Sirius anyday. They don't have the annoying Clearchannel DJ's and the "every stations sounds the same" Clearchannel effect (have they patented that yet?).
  • by w3weasel (656289) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @10:23AM (#8891242) Homepage
    The FCC is evolving from a regulatory agency into a slush-fund generator (with full support of whatever party is in power of course).
    Sure, its a bit of a conspiracy theory, or at least its damn cynical, but just look at the slew of recent rulings favoring not what is best for Americans, but what is best for the corporation.
    The difficult thing for me to swallow, is that Clearchannel is not so different from the sattelite services, in that 99.9% of Clearchannel programming, including traffic, weather and news, does not originate anywhere near the locality where it is transmitted. In Essence, Clearchannel is a sattelite broadcaster that uses conventional radio transmitter for the last-mile service delivery.
  • by rusty0101 (565565) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @10:24AM (#8891247) Homepage Journal
    ... was accused of generating it's own "local" news for many of it's markets? I.E. they didn't have a local news source (online newspaper in the area would probably qualify) so, rather than limiting their news to national coverage, they wrote their own stories with no basis in fact.

    Fortunately in the Minneapolis, MN area we do have a reasonably good classic rock station that is not ClrCnl, which has locked out the ClrCnl morning shows. And for local traffic, one of the local Public Broadcast Radio stations provides updates every 10 min during rush hour, and actually has a great Jazz lineup.

    ClrChn has attempted to "compete" in the Jazz market with their "Smooth Jazz" channel. I am not what you might call a conisour of Jazz, but I think their playlist is garbage.

    I have listened to a couple of XM sat channels, but since I don't own a receiver (yet) I can't make any claims about it.

    Radio stations mentioned...
    KQRS - http://www.92kqrs.com/ - 92.5 FM
    KBEM - http://www.jazz88fm.com/ - 88.5 FM - online
    CC-SmoothJazz - 100.5 FM

    There are a couple of other locally produced stations in the area. Since I like the Jazz88FM lineup, I have not listened to them.

    For those concerned, KQRS is owned by Disney, but the Morning Show should be listened to a few times before you decide to let your kids listen in.
  • by Art Pollard (632734) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @10:25AM (#8891250)

    I get tired of corporations complaining about new technology. Clearly XM and Sirius are both new technologies and are the wave of the future. Remember when t.v. cable was new and all these same arguements were presented? For ClearChannel to be competitive over the long haul, it needs to get off its rear and create a satelite network of its own or get its shows carried on the various satelite radio providers.

    Passing legislation such as this is stupid to put it bluntly. It will not change anything. If passed, in 10 years, we will be back to hearing the same arguments and eventually, the satelite providers will be providing whatever they choose anyway with or without ClearChannel's participation -- just as cable carries your local t.v. stations. In fact, because of cable the television stations do not spend lots of money putting in new translator stations to obtain expanded signal coverage and instead rely on the satelite or cable providers to carry their local broadcasts.

  • by orthogonal (588627) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @10:28AM (#8891264) Journal
    ClearChannel is whining to the FCC about XM Radio's recent foray into localized traffic and weather reports."

    Clear Channel contends that patiotism demands that traffic reports only recommend right turns and not any of those pro-Dixie Chicks, gay marriage-ing, terr'ist aiding lefty turns.

    As for the weather, well, Clear Channel says it's sunny days with n'ary a terr'ist in the skies for all God's chilluns under GW Bush, and there'll be pie in the sky when you die [fortunecity.com], and you that ain't got rich wealthy parents who provide and protect him / And high office relations [bobdylan.com], you can join the army, if you fail [bobdylan.com].

    But I saw you don't need a weather man/ To know which way the wind blows [bobdylan.com]. I say pretty soon it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall [bobdylan.com]

    Cause I say the airwaves don't belong to a company in Texas, I say that this land belongs to you and me. [geocities.com]

    And I hope my playlist here (figurtively) kills Fascists [subvertise.org]
    • Clear Channel contends that patiotism demands that traffic reports only recommend right turns and not any of those pro-Dixie Chicks, gay marriage-ing, terr'ist aiding lefty turns.

      So how do you explain 43 pretty patriotic guys going out on a Sunday afternoon and spending 4 hours making left turns?

      Though you may have hit on why Clear Channel doesn't carry MRN/PRN.
  • Sounds like CCCI needs to quit whining and get on with business.
  • a little extra info. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LabRat007 (765435) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @10:52AM (#8891381) Homepage
    I have a lot of hate for clearchannel but I dont want to rant all day about it here. You can find some observations about the way they do business here [infoanarchy.org]. Keep in mind its a very opinionated site, but then again you are reading articles at /. so you must be used to that by now.
  • Those bastards can go away.

    I subscribed to Sirius to get away from BS like theirs. The local traffic is fantastic for LA. Before they added that, I got all my traffic off KNX 1070 AM, which is an Infinity Radio, NOT ClearChannel station (I know, not much better)
  • CC is crooked (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by Wansu (846)


    They bought their way into the position they're in today by paying off Bush and that Michael Powell. Is anyone surprised that they whine about XM?

    In NC, CC dominates the FM radio dial. Other than WCPE and college stations, there's CC. How bad do they suck? So bad that in the past couple of years, lots of wonderful Pioneer and Marantz Super Receiver of the 70s are being sold dirt cheap.

    Michael Powell is at the center of it all. This is crooked politics at it's worst. I hope a terrible fate befalls him suc
    • Clear channel bought their way in long before Bush came into office. They have been buying stations left and right for ten+ years, making them the 800 Lb. gorilla of radio. There biggest problem is their short and repetitive playlist. You would think every group they play has only 3 songs in their library. We won't even go into the mind numbing commercials. After 2 hours you have heard everything you will hear for the rest of the day. I hope they fail big time.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    NPR stations are worried about XM too, because of what they see as not only current competition, but also in the event that NPR begins placing NPR programs onto the XM schedule. NPR is like a franchise, with each member station deriving revenue based on NPR programming, with fees paid back to NPR. if XM and NPR were to begin a program agreement, your local NPR repeater (that is all they are really) would begin to suffer from lack of exclusivity. NPR has been vague about its plans, but there is worry at
  • Although I've not heard the Clear Channel adverts saying how bad XM is (mainly because I haven't listened to broadcast radio since I have had XM) this stuff about spotty coverage is a joke. I have even gotten reception in an underground parking garage! I can only recall loosing reception one time, for about 2 seconds. I did rent a car which had Sirius and was not nearly as happy with the reception as it did cut out even going under bridges. I am also a bit confused over the advertising against what Clea
  • This disgusts me (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PeeAitchPee (712652) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @11:03AM (#8891430)

    This type of blind support of the special interest is What Is Wrong With The System (TM). I have been an XM subscriber for about four months. I signed up just before the local stations had ever been announced, but I can tell you, had I know they were offered, I would have signed up even faster. Last week I drove back down to Florida from Maryland down I-95, and I used their Baltimore, D.C. and Tampa channels to anticipate upcoming weather and traffic conditions. If you're not from the local area, you have no idea what AM / FM stations broadcast what type of content, and even then you have to shit through three to five minutes of mindless advertising (ever notice that the majority of ClearChannel ads hawk the same kind of stuff sold in spam?) before there's even a chance of lucking into a traffic or weather broadcast. The XM local traffic and weather stations are extremely helpful and an absolute blessing to frequent travelers.

    I love XM because it puts choice of content back in the hands of the user. If I want to hear talk radio, I've got 20+ channels any time I want them, right, left or "neutral." If I want to hear just about ANY type of music, from jazz to death metal, it's always on and commercial free, and the quality is way higher than FM.

    Fuck ClearChannel and their shitty ad-supported big media content. I hope they get run out of business, but no doubt their store-bought suckling government officials will shield them from such a fate and punish the sat radio providers accordingly. :(

  • by jtilak (596402) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @11:06AM (#8891446) Journal
    Why cant XM and Sirius offer localized content? (besides the fact that it will create competition for National Association of Broadcasters) The article doesnt say. Isnt this a free speech issue?
    "youre not allowed to talk about the traffic or weather"
    "why not?"
    "because..."
    ???*confused*
  • by gone.fishing (213219) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @11:13AM (#8891495) Journal
    This is like the pot calling the kettle black. Clear channel is a large national company that "owns" most of the large markets in the U.S.

    Before deregulation local radio stations were pretty much just that. Many were locally owned, had local programming staff and even those that were owned by outside interests functioned pretty much autonomosly.

    In Minneapolis (and many other cities) Clear Channel has bought up most of the more popular stations and consolidated their operations. The different stations share sales staffs, engineering staffs, and administrative staff and in some cases even on-air personalities. Their programming decisions come down from the corporate level.

    Not all of this is bad. There are improvments in effiency and reduced labor costs and other business related benefits. I have no problem with that.

    What does bother me is that it makes it difficult for new artists to get airplay. When the programming decisions are handed down by such a select few people for the whole country, they only pick from a stable of artists that are already established or have the right "influence."

    It is like the difference between going to Mc Donalds and going to a mom & pop locally owned cafe. You aren't gonna find any local specialties and while you can probably find something you like at McDonalds, you won't get anything really great either!

    • by Anonymous Coward
      How about when those "local" traffic reports come on, and the announcers have east-coast accents and can't even pronouce the local road names correctly?

      Since Clear Channel and their ilk have already largely nationalized their supposedly "local" content, their argument against satellite radio doing the same thing is completely without merit.
  • Out of curiosity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LinuxInDallas (73952) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @11:21AM (#8891529)
    Why is it that the FCC gets any say into what can be broadcast from space?
  • C'mon now (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mortenmo (95589)
    I know bashing on Clear Channel is popular, but this is getting ridiculous.

    First of all, it is not Clear Channel but National Association of Broadcasters that filed the complaint (contrary to what the original posting says) which Clear Channel is one of many members (as someone pointed out, they only got about 10% of the radio market).

    Also, this request isn't that far out there. After all, local radio and TV stations have to pay fees and licenses to transmit locally, so why shouldn't satellite based radio
  • This just fits the pattern of what the Bushies love to do - use government institutions to further their own agenda. I find it interesting how many Republicans talk of the evils of 'big government' yet seem to be the first ones to wield it's awesome power to crush those who oppose them. Regarding CC, I have been reading about the Bush connection for a couple years and have personally observed it - here in Phoenix there was a lot of hoopla over CC's yanking a talk show host who frequently criticized Bush -
  • by mabu (178417) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @11:42AM (#8891638)
    * Microsoft complains to the FTC about the Real Player

    * AT&T files a complaint with the FCC claiming that Verizon promotes confusing cell phone plans

    * Conservatives complain about liberal media taking over television and radio

    * Hummvee company complains that the Toyota Prius is "too gay" to be allowed on highways

    * Republicans cry "foul" over moveon.org PAC

    * Spammers decry latest anti-spam legislation

    * MTV files complaint against cartoon network citing inappropriate programming for young people

    * Sony files suit against the makers of pong saying it infringes on a patent they hold relative to Everquest

    * DMCA seeks to expands its powers to incorporate people thinking about movies as being a violation of copyright.

    * Comcast sues ESPN, citing that the cable channel is "too appealing" to some consumers and detracts from their 14 cubic zirconia shopping channels.

    * Bush holds a press conference
  • by ninejaguar (517729) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @12:12PM (#8891774)
    Here [xmradio.com], and here [fool.com].

    = 9J =

  • yeah... (Score:5, Funny)

    by nuggetman (242645) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @12:15PM (#8891790) Homepage
    I haven't listened to to any stations owned by $conglomorate in $years. There are so many better alternatives out there like $NPR1, $NPR2, $internet_radio_station, or $satellite_company.

    Besides, I don't even listen to radio while I'm doing $activity. I use my $mp3_player_brand or cd player.
  • by Rex Code (712912) <rexcode@gmail.com> on Saturday April 17, 2004 @12:34PM (#8891902)
    Really, this seems like a no-brainer to me. When ClearChannel took over most of the stations in the Fargo area, trying to get any kind of news or weather report out of the radio became a lot harder. Perhaps because they pipe these broadcasts all over the state of North Dakota, they don't want to localize them too much or people will "catch on" (like they haven't already).

    Instead of whining to the government about their perceived competition, why don't they start a competing satellite service? They might be forced to learn a thing or two about what the listeners want instead of pushing the same tired station "formats".
  • by 87C751 (205250) <sdotNO@SPAMrant-central.com> on Saturday April 17, 2004 @01:54PM (#8892391) Homepage
    There's a lot of noise in this thread (ya think?), but most is missing the essential point. The business model that's beginning to crumble is advertising as a revenue base. Like so many other outlets, terrestrial broadcast radio exists for one purpose: to get you to listen to the ads. Listener counts are used to set advertising rates, and advertising revenue is the largest portion of a broadcaster's income (bringing in even more than payola). The NAB wants to protect their franchise to bombard you with ads.

    When you think of it, XM and Sirius are the popup blockers of radio.

  • by sheared (21404) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @02:17PM (#8892518)
    I'd probably already picked up one of the two services if the pay plan allowed you to purchase a subscription that works on receivers in the car and in the house. Radio is too portable to be tied to a single receiver, and for the monthly fee (plus maybe a dollar for each additional unit), I should be able to listen in the car while my wife listens at home. For now, though, the only way to do that is with two full subscriptions.

My idea of roughing it turning the air conditioner too low.

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