Quantcast
"Payola is against the public interest. It turns the whole notion of encouraging and promoting this important part of our cultural heritage into a commercial vehicle."
——Michigan Rep. John Conyers Jr.
RANKING DEM SETS SITES ON PAYOLA AT DC MUSIC CONFAB
Michigan Rep. John Conyers Plans to Look Into Play for Pay
Radio play for pay is under the microscope again. Where's Brian Ross when we really need him?

It's been more than 15 years since the NBC investigative reporter cast an eye on the practice of payola on the public airwaves and now Michigan Congressman John Conyers Jr. , the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, plans to call hearings on the subject, according to an interview conducted with the L.A. Times' Chuck Philips.

An amateur musician himself, Conyers will address the issue at this week's second annual Future of Music Policy Summit, which starts today at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

On payola laws being obsolete in a deregulated radio environment: "Payola is against the public interest. It turns the whole notion of encouraging and promoting this important part of our cultural heritage into a commercial vehicle."

On the practice of giant broadcast corporations devising questionable practices to generate "nontraditional" revenue to sidestep payola laws: "Well, at least that explains why I'm hearing so much bad music so often lately."

On whether FCC investigators care: "The environment for enforcement is not alive in America anymore."

How consolidation has affected the public airwaves: "It's bigger than a simple dispute between the artists and the radio conglomerates. This is a matter of national interest. There is not enough oversight of these kind of transactions. The government has been snoozing. We intend to probe these issues and ask a lot of questions this year."

Sounds like a man who has a solo album on tap in the near-future.

Meanwhile, the Future of Music confab will be distinctly anti-establishment, with conference organizer Jenny Toomey, an activist and musician with the band Tsunami, hoping to concentrate on independent artists who have retained control of their music, like Fugazi's Ian MacKaye and the Rosenbergs' Dave Fagin. Napster CEO Konrad Hilbers is also expected to speak.

Toomey said the industry's current doldrums present an opportunity to revamp the music business. "When you've got a leak in the bathroom, you're tempted to just fix the pipes," she told Reuters. "But when you've got a whole wall falling down you can make a whole new bathroom."

Now we just have to figure out what to do when the toilet's clogged.

NEAR TRUTHS: YEAR-END WRAP-UP, PART 3
Bye-bye Burbank, hello DTLA. (12/13a)
2019 TOP 50 SONGS
What comes after X? (12/12a)
TASK FORCE TACKLES INDUSTRY TROUBLES
A wider view of the issues (12/13a)
A TASTE OF RAINMAKERS II:
SCOOTER BRAUN
A very intriguing dude (12/12a)
HARVEY IN THE MIX
Mason Jr. discusses his senior role at the Academy. (12/12a)
EGGNOG!
Ours is mostly bourbon.
MISTLETOE!
Delicious in salads.
CHESTNUTS!
Ours are roasting, but it could be these slim-fit jeans.
WEED!
An entire Christmas tree made of it. Is what we want. for Christmas.
 Email

 First Name

 Last Name

 Company

 Country
CAPTCHA code
Captcha: (type the characters above)