The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing today on “trends affecting minority broadcast ownership.”
Minority-owned broadcasters allege paying artists performance royalties will put them out of business. Indeed, Radio One Founder and Chairperson Cathy Hughes issued an urgent call to action to “save BLACK RADIO!!”:
And in the midst of this economic depression, black radio stations simply do not have that financial ability.
- How can you accept a $10 million bonus and continue to shortchange artists and musicians? (Answer: Beats us!)
- How can you accept a 70 percent pay raise and continue to stiff arm the artists and musicians who make your paycheck possible? (Answer: We are still at a loss for words.)
- How many radio stations does Radio One own? (Answer: A lot.)
- Isn’t Radio One the 8th largest radio ownership groups in the country? (Answer: YES, they are big.)
- Is Radio One operating in the RED? (Answer: NO, Radio One had operating income of at least $130 million and operating margins of more than 40 percent over the last three years.)
In a statement, Thomas F. Lee, president of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada, said:
Ms. Hughes and Radio One have been vocal critics of the H.R. 848, running negative ads on many of her 51 radio stations that criticize both the measure and its sponsor, Congressman John Conyers. Radio One has repeatedly asked for an opportunity to raise their concerns, and today Chairman Conyers gave them the opportunity – which they declined.
Radio One and Cathy Hughes can’t have it both ways. They can’t stand outside the tent and criticize the Performance Rights Act, and when invited inside the tent to share their views, refuse to participate.
In an entirely unrelated drama, sometimes a song is about more than the business of music. Sometimes it’s eerily prophetic.