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Promoter Sues Christian Broadcaster, Claiming Monopoly

PORTLAND, Ore. (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — A concert promoter has sued a Christian broadcaster in federal court, alleging that the broadcaster exercises monopoly power in the Portland market.

According to Courthouse News, Vancouver, Wash.-based LMG Concert is claiming that Salem Communication's ownership of all Christian radio stations in the Portland metropolitan area, combined with their live music division Fish Concerts, provides Salem with a virtual monopoly in the market.

The Federal Communications Commission provides licenses to Salem for four radio stations in the market, only one of which is commercial: 104.1 FM The Fish.

LMG maintains that this domination of the airwaves undermines LMG's ability to compete.

"The list of artists Salem Communications has promoted reads like a Who's Who in the Contemporary Christian Music industry and includes such commercially successful performers as Toby Mac, Third Day, Steven Curtis Chapman, Jeremy Camp, Matthew West, Kutless and Peter Furler," LMG said in their complaint.

"Each of these artists has been promoted by LMG concerts prior to Salem Communications using its market dominance to undermine LMG's ability to compete."
LMG says it needs access to commercial Christian radio advertising, but that Salem is preventing it from doing so.

"LMG's ability to promote its local concerts on Salem Communications' stations – and the artists' ability to secure airplay of their music on those stations – can and does determine the financial success (or failure) of LMG, the artists and their concerts," LMG continued (parentheses in original). "This is especially true with new artists." – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers