Suspended radio network warns against consolidation of industry // Low Power FM FCC applications due in October
A radio network that once syndicated such grumpycats as Laura Ingraham, Michael Savage and Monica Crowley, previously Dick Morris etc claims to be halting operations because of abuses by the massive Westwood One network, which is attempting to merge with Cumulus Radio.
Having driven around a lot lately, it's clear American radio is really quite terrible nowadays, with mindless auto-repeats of top hits copied and re-copied around the country, the only local content crudely spliced Emergency Alert System weather alerts. Talk Radio Network (TRN) seems pretty typical of the industry but indeed more consolidation will just make things worse.
Press release: SOURCE Monday, September 9, 2013 - TALKERS.COM
TRN Issues Response to Reports of Financial Problems at the Company. TALKERS magazine has received a press release from Talk Radio Network and CEO Mark Masters in response to reports of financial problems at the company. Below is the full press statement as received from TRN at 2:30 pm ET on 9/9:
ARE YOU DIAL GLOBAL’S (WESTWOOD ONE’S) NEXT VICTIM?
The truth about the proposed merger between Dial Global/Westwood One and Cumulus is a dark one for our industry. Dial Global/Westwood One’s market power in programming and sales representation, combined with Cumulus Network’s programming and distribution power in the top 100 U.S. markets, will have a devastating effect on most every area of the radio industry. Our previous experience with Dial Global/Westwood consists of improper, illegal, and/or unethical conduct that is set forth in the second amended complaint http://www.trn1.com/uploads/files/SecondAmendedComplaint.pdf in our pending antitrust action against Dial Global/Westwood One and others. If this merger is allowed to occur, the results of our previous experiences with Dial Global/Westwood One will be magnified tenfold to radio stations and content producers, which will be at the mercy of the newly empowered Dial (Westwood One)/Cumulus and the leverage that can be brought to bear by this new behemoth.
If this merger is allowed to occur, the culture of corruption at Dial/Westwood, as described in our second amended complaint, and other filings, will surely infect and spread within the new behemoth entity and victimize the rest of the industry, resulting in a super monopoly.
Sadly, the actions described in the second amended complaint are forcing the TRN companies to cut back to the basic operating essentials pending resolution of the multiple issues raised in their legal actions against Dial Global/Westwood One. We had hoped that the change in management at Dial Global/Westwood One would bring about a new paradigm focused on correcting the prior harms in a manner which would be helpful to our companies and the industry as a whole. Sadly, recent events have shown that the opposite is true and that the behaviors that gave rise to the lawsuits against Dial/Westwood One are endemic throughout the Dial/Westwood One monopoly. The ruthless and unethical behaviors that have continued through multiple executive teams at Dial/Westwood are breathtaking in their scope and arrogance.
We encourage the rest of our industry to stand together, and with us, now. We have been in business for 20 years, and have had excellent relationships with the other companies in our industry during that time. But this is a horse of a different color. Please contact the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (email@example.com or (202) 307-2040), your state’s Attorney General, and your local member of Congress about the dangers of this proposed merger and its threat to your First Amendment rights, business and products. As for us, we will continue to pursue Dial Global/Westwood One in federal court and other appropriate forums, for monopoly and other improper behaviors, expose the behaviors described in the second amended complaint, and achieve ultimate victory from the tragedy that Dial Global/Westwood One have imposed upon our companies and others within the industry.
DIAL/WESTWOOD ONE SCORES INITIAL VICTORY WITH ARNN
The actions described in the second amended complaint with respect to America’s Radio News Network (“ARNN”), and additional actions which will be the subject of future filings, have now succeeded on an interim basis with respect to ARNN. Specifically, ARNN has been forced to suspend its broadcast operations, effective at the close of its broadcast day on Friday, September 6, 2013, pending the successful outcome of its actions against Dial Global/Westwood. ARNN has arranged for appropriate feeds to be provided to its affiliates for a reasonable period of time to enable them to secure alternate programming.
AS TO RUMORS OF OTHER ONGOING OPERATIONS
All of the TRN companies have been severely damaged by the Dial Global/Westwood One conduct addressed above and also addressed in the various legal actions which the TRN companies have brought, or will bring, against Dial Global/Westwood. That conduct has forced all of these companies to make wrenching internal decisions and to take painful internal actions. As Dial Global/Westwood One has been collecting our advertising revenues, but refusing to pay them over to us or to account for them, these companies have now been forced to reduce as many operating costs as possible. However, the current rumors of an alleged shutdown of broadcasting operations for non-ARNN programming are unfounded. Broadcasts of the other programs are continuing without interruption.
CALL TO ACTION!
If Dial/Westwood can do this to us, they certainly can do this to you – so you need to join together, and with us, in opposing this dangerous merger, with as much force as you can muster, so that you can have a future that is not controlled by a monopoly http://www.trn1.com/uploads/files/SecondAmendedComplaint.pdf
Is anyone interested in Low power FM licenses? See FCC Update: Low Power Window Announced at Last! | Prometheus Radio Project Due in October with awesome 4 month window of opportunity :/
The new low power application form is out! To get a sense of what is on the application and what you need to do, Prometheus has prepared a checklist. This checklist is designed to help organizations along the path to apply for low power FM (LPFM) radio licenses.
Be sure to fill out the Prometheus applicant support form to get updates and support through the application process.
Click the number to the left to read the full details about each task.
Meet the FCC Requirements
We have confirmed that there is an available channel at our location.
We are an eligible nonprofit (or school, government agency, or Indian Tribe) and we can prove it.
The members of our board either meet all eligibility requirements or fall into the listed exceptions and we can prove it.
Our organization is based close enough to our transmitter site and can prove it.
We have a description of our organization’s educational program and how our proposed station will be used to advance it.
We have a detailed description of the nature of our proposed station programming and, if possible, program schedules.
Improve Your Chances
We meet the 2-year established community presence point and can prove it. +1 point!
We can pledge to produce at least 8 hours of locally originated programming every day. +1 point!
We can pledge to maintain a publicly accessible studio in our community and staff the studio at least 20 hours a week. +1 point!
We pledge to meet both of the above criteria (we will produce locally originated programming AND maintain a staffed studio). +1 point!
Our organization has no other broadcast stations. +1 point!
We are a Tribal Applicant and our station will be located on our Tribal lands. +1 point!
Find a Channel and Antenna Location
We have identified an antenna location and we can prove that we have permission to use it.
If there are multiple channels available at our site, we have identified which one we will apply for.
Our proposed station complies with all technical rules and we have collected all necessary data about our antenna site.
We agree to operate within the power and height restrictions that the FCC will calculate based on the data we provide.
We have identified a possible studio location.