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Weekly AUDIO NEWS for June 25, 2003

Your Last Chance to Keep Broadcasting Somewhat Diverse - The FCC went ahead with their amazing approval of an even more laissez-faire policy allowing huge media corporations to own just about every last radio & TV station and newspaper in a community. As a result a legion of political opponents has been joined into an effort to reverse the media mishegas: including Michael Moore and the NRA, Noam Chomsky and William Safire, and even NOW and the Council of Catholic Bishops would you believe. Senate Bill 1046 seeks to restore limits on station ownership and cross ownership. The entire Senate is voting on it now. Hopes are high that it will pass and move on to the House. Problem is the chairman of the House commerce committee - Billy Tauzin, R-La. - is a big pal of big media and won’t allow the bill to be introduced. So bug Representative Tauzin at 202-225-4031 and let him know how you feel.

Self-Destructing DVDs? - A bit late for April Fools, Flexplay and the home video arm of Walt Disney Co. announced recently they will launch a DVD rental program in August that makes DVDs unreadable after 48 hours so they don’t need to be returned. (Sounds inspired by those ill-fated special DVDs promoted briefly by Circuit City which required special players.) A survey conducted by 321 studios found that 76% of respondents would not be interested in renting a self-destructing DVD. Well, duh... In other words, nobody wants a mission impossible.

Music Downloading Attitudes Polled - A new survey of 12 to 44-year-olds conducted by Edison Media Research for Radio & Records magazine seems to support the RIAA’s contention that more music fans than ever are downloading and burning instead of buying CDs. It said the heaviest downloaders now unfortunately had been the heaviest purchasers in the past. However, the percentage has risen of those who said they won’t download for free because they feel artists and labels should be compensated, and was 14%, up from only 5%. 50% of Americans of this age group feel downloading for free from the Net is morally wrong. The same percentage believe that everyone in the music industry is rich, and 36% believe that local radio has more programming variety now than five years ago, with another 46% believing the amount is about the same. Did they find these respondents on another planet?

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