Friday, October 3, 2008

Radio: More NAB Fumbles follies


NAB President David “Fumbles” Rehr did it again.

He doesn’t just step in it, he rolls in it.

Fumbles, you poor bastard, those $10,000 payoffs just don't go as far as they used to.

All that NAB money you’ve been funneled into his coffers and Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) delivers a bill, the Radio All Digital Channel Receive Act, which would, if passed, essentially work in the reverse of what it was supposed to for the NAB and the radio industry.

Fumbles said, “This legislation will extend and enhance these services as radio stations embrace our digital future."

But the bill, which would amend Section 303 of the Communications Act of 1934, contains a subsection (z), which reads: "Require that apparatus shipped in interstate commerce or manufactured in the United States that is designed to receive signals broadcast in both the satellite digital audio radio service and the terrestrial AM or FM broadcast service be equipped with technology that is capable of receiving and playing digital radio signals as transmitted by terrestrial AM or FM stations."

Translation: Only satellite receivers manufactured that provide reception of analog AM and FM band would be obligated to include digital HD Radio, too.

So what do you do if you’re a manufacturer of a satellite radio receiver that also incorporates the AM and FM band?

You stop making them.

Not only does the consumer not get HD Radio – now they won’t even get analog AM and FM.

You just made Mel Karmazin a very happy man, Fumbles. Non-members always make out the best with the NAB with you at the helm.

Just yesterday I asked someone who sells satellite radio receivers how many customers ask for one that includes AM and FM.

He said none.

How many customers ask about satellite receivers that include a port for their iPod or reasonable facsimile?

He said many.

Bright boy, that Fumbles.

And, no, I don’t think Rep. Markey has any plans of returning that $10,000 donation. Times are tough, you know. You broke it, you bought it.

Fumbles, you’re small potatoes compared to what the rest of that $242,051 the communications-electronics industry stuffed in his coffers this year.

Who knows? Maybe Markey was playing both sides against the middle to get a taste from all sides of the communications biz.

Fumbles’ your biggest snag isn’t that gargantuan loophole you failed to notice. The bill had no teeth to begin with. The FCC and DOJ already approved the Sirius-XM merger. It’s flat lined – no ups, no downs, no nothing – just like you.

I must add that this is the same Fumbles who had his coat holder aka NAB executive VP Dennis Wharton rush out a press release on the Webcaster Settlement Act of 2008, quoting himself saying, “With this legislation now headed to the White House for President Bush's signature, NAB looks forward to sitting down quickly with SoundExchange to craft equitable streaming rates that enhance the online music experience and expose more artists to our listeners.”

Fumbles and Coat Holder Wharton actually believe they’ve got the stuff to go mano a mano with the RIAA’s SoundExchange to negotiate a royalty rate for streaming audio from terrestrial radio stations?

Fumbles, beware. SoundExchange will rip your heart out, shove it in your mouth and make you eat it. And that’s just for starters.

You can’t out-hype them with long-winded open letters and toy ducks.

This is the music industry. They invented hype.

Every scam you think you know, they did it first and did it best.

And Fumbles, this is just Round One from SoundExchange.

When they finish carving you wide and deep over streaming royalty rates, they’re going to lay the terrestrial radio performance tax on you. They've been working Capitol Hill on this one steadily for the past year.

While you were sending Congress ducks, They were was sending Congress bucks.

Fumbles, accept this fact. People are born with assured predispositions that bias them to points of view, which are foreordained and not in any way the product of logic and study that they believe they bring to issues. Some are predestined to be liberals, others conservatives, and many apathetic. They have almost no control over their viewpoint or their philosophical and emotional inclinations.

Put another way, you’re a born loser.

20 comments:

Pocket-Radio said...

Radio is desperate. It’s painfully obvious to anyone why the push is on to get receivers in every mobile device, because they know radio is losing the relevance war.
Radio lost the jukebox and gadget war years ago!

Free music is everyplace, and given the choice of listening to my custom music mix, or radio’s repetitive play list, and all those ads, the choice is easy to make and it’s not radio!

At a recent music test for a station that I worked for, a listener wrote “ listening to radio is like listening to your friends ipod with commercials. The listener was about 30.

And Iboc radio’s future, this generation isn’t buying it. And the next generation unplugged along time ago! One word Jerry, desperate!

Anyone left in radio today can’t think clearly enough to interpret facts.
They’re carrying too much baggage to be able to accurately do that. Many executives have been at their current position too long and are essentially burned-out. This makes their opinions unreliable. That’s what’s wrong with many radio people. They’ve been drinking the Kool-Aid for so long that their brains are dead, drowned on the punch!

The NAB is out of touch and serves their own agenda!

The only hope is stations go dark and real operators come in with fresh new ideas!

Anonymous said...

Fumbles and Wharton will learn the true definition of negotiation when they sit across the table from the RIAA/SX.

They don't stand a chance.

Sony ICF-S10MK2 said...

"Gaping hole in the digital receiver proposal"

"But this bill, should it be passed, may inspire cost-conscious manufacturers to provide an MP3 port or some such thing and simply bypass terrestrial radio altogether."

http://tinyurl.com/3up74k

"Rep. Markey launches bill for HD Radio mandate in all Satellite Radios"

"Here's the key fact: Even the 'satellite ready' car stereos don't actually receive satellite radio. The satellite radio signal is received, decoded, and converted to audio by a separate receiver that's connected to your car's stereo via an aux-in jack (and remotely controlled by your car stereo.) Without this external box, the car stereo is incapable of receiving satellite signals, so this legislation doesn't apply to our car stereos, either!"

http://tinyurl.com/4srtmb

I'de be surprised if this bogus bill gained any traction. Legally, it would seem to violate anti-trust laws and could be set-aside in court, and the DOJ has already ruled against HD Radio. Worse-case, Satrad could always provide an AUX jack for terrestrial radio.

"Everybody wants more royalty money"

"The Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) has just begun a new round of negotiations and we are told that ASCAP is now wanting broadcasters to have a second music license to cover HD2 (HD3, etc.) signals."

http://www.rbr.com/radio/8361.html

I hope that ASCAP gives Struble, Rehr, Ferrera, and Warren HD Radio enimas.

Anonymous said...

"So what do you do if you’re a manufacturer of a satellite radio receiver that also incorporates the AM and FM band?

You stop making them."

Only one problem: There are no satellite receivers that also incorporate AM & FM.

That's the point! Satellite radios are exclusive to XM and Sirius. They don't receive AM & FM. Why would you put competition on a radio you sell?

Go to the XM or Sirius sites and look at the radios they sell. None of them have AM & FM.

Anonymous said...

Markey has it down. When you say playing all sides you have him pegged. He works an eight sided fence. He is on everyone's side and on no one's side. I am not surprised by the NAB's love fest with Markey. Fumbles will shovel money at anyone that will even smile back at him.

What the NAB is really doing is wasting time, wasting money, wasting energy on efforts that will not help the radio industry and it is about time it wakes up and smells the ---- coming from that organization.

Anonymous said...

Love to be a fly on the wall when Fumbles & Wharton negotiate with Soundexchange. The way those two do business radio will get the worst royalty deal of all.

Two years from now...radio will no longer be able to afford to play music.

Anonymous said...

The NAB pulled off one major for the broadcast industry - deregulation. We see how well that one went.

I am not for big government. I have however changed my mind about deregulation since everyone from Wall Street to broadcasting proves that left alone, abuse and corruption take over and take hold.

The NAB has become a comedy of errors, moreso for radio than TV. As you say fish stink from the head. Time to get rid of Fumbles.

Anonymous said...

I really hope the NAB is not first in line to negotiate with SoundScan because they will deliberately screw it up for the rest of us. The way they tried to do Pandora in is proof enough. The NAB would be better off as you say joining forces with internet radio groups but they will not because they consider us the enemy. What fools.

Sony ICF-S10MK2 said...

anonymous said...

"Only one problem: There are no satellite receivers that also incorporate AM & FM. That's the point! Satellite radios are exclusive to XM and Sirius. They don't receive AM & FM. Why would you put competition on a radio you sell? Go to the XM or Sirius sites and look at the radios they sell. None of them have AM & FM."

But, what about these Satellite radios:

"Products and Services"

"SIRIUS has agreements to install AM/FM/SAT radios in Ford, Chrysler, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Volvo, Mazda, Dodge, Jeep®, Volkswagen and Audi vehicles."

http://www.sirius.com/faqs

Seems that these radios would fall under the bill - correct?

Anonymous said...

My guess is that radio will have no choice but to drop all music formats by the time SX finishes negotiating with the NAB.

These guys really don't have a clue who they are going up against.

Furthermore, radio should not expect any sympathy or support from its listeners. They will side with the aritsts.

Anonymous said...

My guess is that radio will have no choice but to drop all music formats by the time SX finishes negotiating with the NAB.

These guys really don't have a clue who they are going up against.

Furthermore, radio should not expect any sympathy or support from its listeners. They will side with the aritsts.

Anonymous said...

Even if a few radio have satellite radio in addition to analog AM/FM, I doubt that Congress would pass legislation that would force buyers of radios that are only interested in satellite service to pony up cash to a PRIVATE COMPANY like iBiquity. Congress also must be sensitive to the fact that it gouges consumers, but even if it got passed it would never stand up in court.

This bill is unfair to consumers and wouldn't stand up to a court challenge because of the forced payoff to a private company.

Anonymous said...

I think the idea of requiring sattelite radios to include an HD chipset is great!

Now the consumer will get even more choices.

Anonymous said...

>> I think the idea of requiring sattelite radios to include an HD chipset is great!

Now the consumer will get even more choices. <<

The problem is that a purchaser is forced to buy something he doesn't really want. It's like your wanting to buy an alarm clock but have to buy a toaster along with it, and you have no choice in the matter.

Anonymous said...

"Seems that these radios would fall under the bill - correct?"

Does the bill say you must replace AM/FM with HD?

If not, then the answer is no, and their agreements require them to continue to supply those radios.

I think you guys have built a strawman here.

Anonymous said...

"The problem is that a purchaser is forced to buy something he doesn't really want."

You mean like buying a computer with pre-loaded software?

Yeah, that's really awful. I hate when they force all that stuff on me.

Or buying a car with options I don't want.

Or going to a restaurant that allows no substitutions.

Yep...that's just terrible.

Anonymous said...

"wouldn't stand up to a court challenge because of the forced payoff to a private company."

That's not against the law.

spadamchrist said...

It’s painfully obvious to anyone why the push is on to get receivers in every mobile device, because they know radio is losing the relevance war. Many executives have been at their current position too long and are essentially burned-out.
---------------
jacksen

Message Marketing

Anonymous said...

>>software?

Yeah, that's really awful. I hate when they force all that stuff on me.

Or buying a car with options I don't want.

Or going to a restaurant that allows no substitutions. >>

At least it's not the government who is forcing it on you, as it would be in this case. It's not a law that certain software is preloaded onto computers. In cases such as you describe, you can always go to a different store or a different restaurant. You have not choice if it's a law, and the money goes to a private company...by law.

Anonymous said...

"You have not choice if it's a law, and the money goes to a private company...by law."

The law does not specify the digital format. So it doesn't necessarily go to a private company, and the digital format is open to the manufacturer.