Clear Channel Direct Deals By, Bob Lefsetz (

Posted on September 12, 2013 by


Clear Channel Direct Deals have got to stop!

Bob Pittman is everything that’s wrong with the terrestrial radio business, trying to cut an advantage while screwing not only competitors, but all those without clout.

Wanna change the system Bob? Go to Washington, D.C. and agitate for recording use payments for everybody! This would truly be good for music, because not only would a new pool of money be created, it would release all the monies held around the world which are not disbursed because we don’t have this right in the U.S. Yes, without reciprocity, there’s no payment.

And this may be too arcane for those not attorneys, but here’s the story.

In the U.S., the holder of the copyright in the recording does not get paid when a song is played on terrestrial radio, only the owner and writer of the underlying song. This is like you’ve got to pay for a car, but the gas is free. Huh?

So, trying to look like a hero, Bob Pittman says Clear Channel will pay!

But he cherry-picks who he gives money to. And it’s not benevolence. In return, you’ve got to show up at the iHeart Radio Festival. You’ve got to give to get. And if you’re a developing act on an independent label, you get no money.

So what we’ve got is Balkanization. Clear Channel is muddying the waters, not clearing them. But no one in government is clear enough to understand this and stand up to Pittman. They say it’s all “business” and they stay out of it. But the truth is only the government can legislate payment for usage of recordings on terrestrial radio.

As for Internet and satellite, THEY PAY!

Now you may have seen recent lawsuits regarding SiriusXM. Where they don’t pay for the use of pre ’72 recordings. I applaud said lawsuits. Why can’t artists and the companies that record and promote them share in the growth of new technologies? Especially when it’s classic rock that helps fuel that growth!

You can read today’s Ben Sisario’s “New York Times” piece regarding this:

But the point is, no one will stand up to Pittman and Clear Channel because they’re afraid their records won’t get spun.

But I am.


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