Greg Smith, of hdradiofarce.com, turned us on to one of the seasoned veterans of the radio wars, Jerry Del Colliano, in his comment here. Jerry writes a blog called Inside Music Media, but may be best known for his work on his blog Inside Radio, where he outed Clear Channel and the modern-day payola scam. He made such a fuss, feeding information to Congress, that Clear Channel tried to muscle him, suing Jerry for $100 million. Who then counter-sued, and the big CC ultimately settled.
This quote from Jerry’s blog (provided by Greg) bears repeating, because of its eerie similarity to machinations in public radio nowadays:
The bait-and-switch that Clear Channel is trying to sell to the public is basically this: we cut back local programming and at the same time announce an empty shell that it touts as increasing local public service programming and outreach.
If you’re looking for more smoke where the sun don’t shine, consider this news account:
The multi-point programming initiative gives PDs a newly-created analysis tool to assess which air talents are delivering the biggest audiences. PDs also get new content options to plug into their line-up. Clear Channel also announces it will expand public service efforts, including establishing community advisory boards.
In the four years after his settlement with CC, when he observed a non-compete clause, Jerry taught at USC. There’s a fascinating interview with him here, well worth the read. Much of what went down in commercial radio resonates strongly with today’s upheavals in public radio.