In a recent blog post, Michael Garfield – the yadda yadda Texan asks “And what’s wrong with Clear Channel?”

This was in response to a comment made by Mark Cuban of Blog Maverick fame when he said of Youtube’s recent announcement about paying for content :

Youtube immediately went from a small but interesting community for its original content, to basically being just like Clear Channel, responsible for programming its different “formats” with the “best” possible content that creates the greatest number of eyeballs and maximizes advertising revenue. It’s big business, just like Clear Channel

You can read Mark’s post for yourself.

While I am sure Mr. Garfield’s question was rhetorical, I can’t help but respond, being a public radio guy and all. Just doing a simple Google search on the term “What’s wrong with Clear Channel” reveals some very tasty tidbits.

Let’s look what people are saying of Clear Channel, the world’s largest radio station operator.

With corporate ownership and a new form of payola strangling play-lists, listeners are tuning out.

By Greg Kot, Rolling Stone Magazine

At a time when a handful of radio corporations are making more money than ever, dissatisfaction with the quality of music programming has reached a breaking point. People are listening to radio less, and the reason is simple: The days of local radio breaking new records, taking chances on unknown acts and responding to it’s audience’s interests have all but disappeared.

Read more…

EFF Kills Bogus Clear Channel/Live Nation Patent

San Francisco – The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has announced it will revoke an illegitimate patent held by Clear Channel Communications after a campaign by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

The patent — owned by Instant Live, a company formerly owned by Clear Channel, and now owned by Live Nation — covered a system and method of creating digital recordings of live performances. Clear Channel claimed the bogus patent created a monopoly on all-in-one technologies that produce post-concert digital recordings and threatened to sue those who made such recordings. This locked musical acts into using Clear Channel technology and blocked innovations by others. – Radio’s Big Bully

Looking for classy radio programming? Don’t look here. The company is known for allowing animals to be killed live on the air, severing long-standing ties with community and charity events, laying off thousands of workers, homogenizing playlists and a corporate culture in which dirty tricks are a way of life.

Check the results of the search yourself. There’s more. And I didn’t even touch on the nasty ways that Clear Channel attempts to squelch our first amendment right to free speech. Google search the term Clear Channel free speech, there’s a good read for you.

I’ll just leave you with the words of Lowry Mays, CEO of Clear Channel Communications as quoted at

“If anyone said we were in the radio business, it wouldn’t be someone from our company. We’re not in the business of providing news and information. We’re not in the business of providing well-researched music. We’re simply in the business of selling our customers products.”

You just might need to ask yourself how far and to what expense they are willing to go to achieve that end.

What’s wrong with Clear Channel?

4 thoughts on “What’s wrong with Clear Channel?

  • May 17, 2007 at 11:13 am

    The list is too long, obviously.
    It’s much easier to ask “what’s right?”

  • May 17, 2007 at 3:55 pm

    Without reading the articles I can also tell you that:

    Because they don’t actually have live DJs anymore, there is a huge problem in case of a local emergency, which I just read about recently happening in the middle of the country somewhere.

    Since the FCC was being run by a Republican, re: Colin Powell’s son, they were happy to let a huge corporation take as much of the pie as they wanted.

    And lastly, I hope their business does tank and that only local non-corporate stations survive. I will be sad to see what once was great AM and FM stations go, but anything bad that happens to Clear Channel will be from their own greed.

  • May 17, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    I don’t know maybe it has to do with the killing off of Houstons rock radio stations?

    Remember Klol, remember the arrow being more then just a handful of songs, remember the Buzz, actually being intresting?

    I’m glad I have an mp3 player, and an fm transmitter that plugs into it, I just listen to CC for the traffic report now.

  • May 29, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    I used to work for a large midwestern radio AM/FM/TV combo. It was owned by a family, then by Jacor and then by Clear Channel. The switch to Clear Channel was soul-crushing for us all. It was taking a great local group of stations and making them like all other stations nationwide. Including being forced to carry programming from other affiliates. I try to make it a point to never listen to their programming in my current town. They’re just icky!

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