Quantcast
“We now recognize that these relation-
ships may appear to be something they’re not.”
——Clear Channel's Mark Mays
CLEAR CHANNEL: INDIE NON GRATA
Radio Giant Says It Will Dump Middlemen, Work Directly with Labels
In what appears to spell the end to a brief but tumultuous era in the relationship between radio and record labels, Clear Channel Communications today announced it would sever ties with all independent promoters, citing concern expressed by members of Congress.

“We heard Senator [John] McCain and Senator [Orrin] Hatch loud and clear,” said Clear Channel President/COO Mark Mays in a statement, referring to senate hearings on radio ownership convened in January following the re-introduction of Sen. Russell Feingold’s proposed Competition in Radio and Concert Industries Act, which seeks to curtail further radio consolidation, ban anti-competitive behavior and revise current payola law.

“We now recognize that these relationships may appear to be something they’re not,” Mays continued. “We have zero tolerance for ‘pay for play,’ but want to avoid even the suggestion that such a practice takes place within our company.”

In the same statement, Clear Channel Radio CEO John Hogan said once existing independent promotion contracts expire this summer, the company will “begin working directly with the recording industry on specific group-wide contesting, promotions and marketing opportunities,” promising a “restructured relationship” that will benefit both the labels and their artists.

“Strong relationships with artists and record labels are a priority for our business,” Hogan said. “Eliminating these relationships with middlemen should alleviate legislators’ concerns and provide opportunities for us to create better ways to market and promote music for all concerned.”

The move comes following months of legislator and artist concerns over both Clear Channel’s indie policy and its alleged practice of keeping artists who don’t use its touring arm off the air. Facing increasing heat in Washington, though the company enjoys strong ties to the Bush family, Clear Channel recently hired a Washington lobbyist to help with its often bully-like image.

For example, last year, Mays stopped just short of calling the labels stupid by saying that as long as they were willing to pay indies for nothing more than Clear Channel stations’ add information, and as long as the indies were willing to pay Clear Channel, the company would treat the payments as found money.

Clear Channel has long maintained that its corporate relationships with indies such as Jeff McClusky & Associates and Tri-State Promotions do not affect what gets played on its stations.

PRIMARY WAVE CHECKS INTO
THE FOUR SEASONS
Mestel walks like a man. (10/22a)
UMG IPO SET FOR '22
And Q3 figures look good as well. (10/21a)
TOP 20: TAY'S FOLKLORIC RUN CONTINUES
A Swift return to #1. (10/22a)
REVENUE CHART: “LEMONADE” AND OCEAN SPRAY
The Rumours are true. (10/22a)
GRAMMY PREVIEW:
PHOEBE BRIDGERS
Could she be this year's left-field anointed one? (10/22a)
RAINMAKERS 2020
Bring your umbrella.
GRAMMY OUTLIERS
Mulling possible surprises.
HALLOWEEN IN QUARANTINE
Why not wear a mask indoors?
ELECTION 2020
What drugs will help us get there?
 Email

 First Name

 Last Name

 Company

 Country
CAPTCHA code
Captcha: (type the characters above)