Radio Waves

The record industry wants a share of radio's revenues. Spurred by success at getting Congress to agree to require the satellite companies and webcasters to pay royalties - the record labels and artists are launching a push to do away with terrestrial radio's 80-year exemption. The NAB is positioning this as a fight over a new tax on business and vows it will "aggressively fight" what it's referring to as a "performance tax on local radio stations." Since they can't sell there crappy music anymore they need some other source of cash. I predict much more talk radio if this goes through.

Stations will need to prove age demos to get Kellogg ads. Some stations could see their ads go snap, crackle and pop as Kellogg bows to child obesity criticism and adjusts which products it promotes and which stations get its commercials. Similar to what stations face proving their audience is old enough to get alcohol advertising - they'll now need to prove their audience is old enough to get cereal ads. CEO David Mackay says they may also shift ad spending for less-nutritious products to older demos - something that could actually be good for radio. Kellogg spent $883,000 in radio last year.

Air America Dumps News. The New York Daily News reports that the Air America Talk Radio Network is eliminating its news service at the end of June. According to a staff memo from Air America COO Scott Elberg, "We spent the last three months looking at all the options. In the end, it didn't work." Air America was bought out of bankruptcy earlier this year by real estate mogul Stephen L. Green who pledged to run the network economically.

Limbaugh outpost WIOD, Miami keeps its "emergency" deal. Broward County Commissioners quickly responded to protests - some triggered by Rush Limbaugh's own sarcastic commentary - and agreed to renew the county's deal for WIOD to carry full-length weather emergency broadcasts. Here's the Sun-Sentinel coverage.

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