Friday, August 02, 2002

A RADIO PRIMER: We tend to harp on about Clear Channel on these pages a lot, and some of you might wonder why someone sat comfortably in England, gorging his ears on the BBC, gives a shit about this all - or indeed spends as much time worrying about the RIAA rather than the local BPI. Several reasons, not least of which is I know dozens of Americans who deserve better. Then, of course, there's the way America dominates recorded entertainment so much that the fallout from battles in the US invariably settles on the UK. Finally, if I swivel this seat round, I can see Liverpool Empire, which is owned by Clear Channel and one of the company's toes in the water in the UK (they also own Adshel, the bus shelter people) - and with the shake-up in British media that's going to come with the launch of OfCom, it's likely that they'll own more and more swathes of British media.
See, the new regulatory body for British Media is going to replace all the current bodies like the Broadcasting Standards Commission and the Radio Authority. The appointment of Lord Currie to head up the office shows the way the system is going to work in the future. He's an economist with no background in programme making, so it's unlikely that Ofcom will be as quick to adjudicate on small details of content as they will be on issues of ownership. Now, this means that there's a prospect of a lighter touch over what's said and shown on air - a good thing, from an artistic point of view - but that very leniency may prove to be the thing that ruins radio. Economically, see, allowing Clear Channel to take control of the bigger part of commercial radio in any or many cities makes sense, even if culturally it could be a disaster. And what do you think an economist is going to put first?
Anyway, if you want to fret about a future where you start to wish DLT was still around, there's a couple of excellent primers - first, has collated all its stuff on Clear into a separate section; then, if you're hungry for more, you can mull the implications of the Communications Bill in seven shades of depth at the Guardian site

No comments:

Post a Comment

As a general rule, posts will only be deleted if they reek of spam.