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FMC Calls For Payola & Localism Scrutiny

WASHINGTON, DC (Hypebot) – The payola settlements of 2007 offered a starting point for radio to make changes that showed a commitment to localism and diversity on the public airwaves. But the reality is that few broadcasters are placing local and independent music in regular rotation.

In response the Future of Music Coalition has created a Payola Education Guide and filed a brief with the FCC asking for a re-examination of the issue. The lack of transparency in the song selection process at commercial radio stations leaves the door open for payola…

according to the FMC. The Payola Education Guide offers an historical summary of the practice, explaining how it can distort everything from industry charts to album sales. The guide describes the reasons behind the FCC's 2007 voluntary agreements and independent set-aside and suggests that more needs to be done to ensure that local and independent artists have access to the public airwaves.

"In an era where information and entertainment have become increasingly globalized, it's all the more important that local broadcasters who operate within communities on the public airwaves consider local interests," said FMC Executive Director Ann Chaitovitz. "Local and independent musicians are being foreclosed from radio, to the detriment of communities across the country."