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#1085632 - 06/15/15 09:58 PM Legal ? on commercial radio "open mic"  
Joined: Aug 2002
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summeoyo Offline
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summeoyo  Offline
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Harrisburg, PA, USA
We have a local radio station that offers an "open mic" broadcast at a time when there's really not a lot of commercial value to air time as compared to other time slots - definitely not in "rotation". The DJ host has had "featured guests" that have included "roller derby" girls, and an independent film producer. One of the roller derby girls had an original song that was played. The DJ is also in a band and regularly plays several of the songs he has written or co-written on his show. He also plays an invitation to others to send in material. During the roller derby girl shows (yes more than once during the summer of 2013)it became apparent that the DJ is hired by the roller derby league as an announcer. The film producer has had the DJ write songs for his films. Over time the DJ has revealed that many of the songs he continues to play are by bands with whom his band has shared gigs. He also plays songs by artists who have charted or have had songs covered by an artist with a major label. I like some of the selections played however there are plenty that just aren't that good by his network of people who provide extra income opportunities for him. And of course, I never have heard any of the songs I have sent in. It is possible that I may have missed plays. However, when I posed the question via email if he's played any(in 2 -3 years, I may have sent (4)), he avoided responding. Before this radio station, I have never been snubbed by an open mic radio show. I don't think I'm really losing anything by not being played on this show - it's just the principle.
And although what he does doesn't rise to the level of payola - he sure isn't that far off. Are any FCC regulations being violated here?

#1085648 - 06/16/15 09:54 AM Re: Legal ? on commercial radio "open mic" [Re: summeoyo]  
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Everett Adams Online content
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Everett Adams  Online Content
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I don't think the FCC or the CRTC in Canada are too concerned about catching radio and labels in their payola activities any more. There is so much corruption in all industries these days that it is hitting the news almost daily. Our Senators in Ottawa are now being exposed for what they are doing to the taxpayers, sport organization are making the news about their corruptions and scandals, nothing surprises me any more. Universities and churches are having their share of scandals too.

#1085666 - 06/16/15 01:19 PM Re: Legal ? on commercial radio "open mic" [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Colin Ward Online content
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i think getting airplay, even on a local station, requires the same connections as getting gigs or placing songs. It's pretty much dependent on who you know. As far as payola is concerned, it is well documented that hit records have marketing budgets between 500k and a million dollars. I am sure that getting airplay is a major component of marketing, but it is not for me to suggest that there is any payola! Maybe just a conference in the Virgin Islands with the radio gurus in attendance??

If the station is local to you, you might want to just knock on their door some day and see if you can meet the disc jockey in person.

Last edited by Colin Ward; 06/16/15 01:59 PM.

Colin

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#1085683 - 06/16/15 03:14 PM Re: Legal ? on commercial radio "open mic" [Re: Colin Ward]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Many stations around the country will have a "home grown" or local segment of programming. It is all supporting the home town hero. what it sounds like is that you have a homegrown DJ with his hands in a lot of pies and just furthering his own interests. If he were to get a lot of complaints it might cause a stir, but probably not.

Just a local guy doing his own thing. If the radio station had a problem with it, they would say something and stop it. Radio gets a lot of complaints and often make programming changes if it messes with advertisers. They might actually like his involvement and feel like HE IS the new hometown hero. Maybe they are trying to help him launch his own career.

You do see it in more small stations or college stations. Once they get larger, they have to deal more with Nationwide programming. Might not be the most ethical aspect of a station, but I don't know that they are violating any laws. It used to be that DJs controlled a lot of programming, which is why there is payola. Now with so many different types of radio stations, Sirrus, pod casting, etc. I am sure there are a lot of grey areas.

MAB

#1085761 - 06/17/15 11:45 AM Re: Legal ? on commercial radio "open mic" [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Everett Adams Online content
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Everett Adams  Online Content
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The local station here is part of a chain and what they play here is played on every station in that chain, programed from head office. The local DJ has no say in what is played. I feel sorry for the DJ a bit. His/her musical taste has nothing to do with what they play, they don't even spin the "record" any more, just make sure the "feed" is coming through and make sure local adverts get played every ten or so minutes. Most rarely speak between songs any more, maybe every three songs or so. Must get boring.

#1085787 - 06/17/15 07:22 PM Re: Legal ? on commercial radio "open mic" [Re: Everett Adams]  
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John Voorpostel Offline
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Radio is a business like all others Summeoyo. One revenue model sees the show "producer" buy air time, fill it with content, and sell advertising to fund their activities.

This is very well what could be going on here. As you say, not a lot else happening around that time.

So you could actually do this yourself...find a revenue model (advertising, participation (showcase) fees, buy air time, host a music show, feature yourself and your friends...


If writing ever becomes work I think I'm going to have to stop

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#1085795 - 06/17/15 09:22 PM Re: Legal ? on commercial radio "open mic" [Re: John Voorpostel]  
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summeoyo Offline
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summeoyo  Offline
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Harrisburg, PA, USA
Did I mention the radio station call letters - WII-FM(What's In It For Me)?
Unfortunately I think it goes deeper than radio. He used to host an open mic at a local venue once a month. I performed a couple of times there before one of his visits and mine coincided. I always had a good response from the audience at that venue.(I gave out several business cards per requests) But it is over a half hour away from where I live. When he was there, I got to chat with one of his band mates - but I saw him conspicuously go out the door when I performed. I really hadn't much contact with him before that. One or two emails inquiring about venues that he may know that had open mics. I stopped performing at that venue and a couple of months later, the open mics ceased.

#1085872 - 06/18/15 03:15 PM Re: Legal ? on commercial radio "open mic" [Re: summeoyo]  
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niteshift Offline
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Sydney, Australia
Hey Summeoyo,

I think it's just one of those "does it work for me" things, and as the DJ, he can play what he chooses.

I wouldn't stress it. What you produce, and what he likes to broadcast are two different things.

I wouldn't be bothered, and just simply move on.

cheers, niteshift


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