Largest Payola Investigation Since 1960

The L.A. Times is reporting that the FCC is launching yet another probe into pay-for-play violations at radio stations around the U.S. There is part of me that is over joyed at the fact that something is finally being done, but I also have to hold my breath because there has been talk like this without any action before. Most of that has come from politicians and not the FCC, so I’m used to the hot air.

The FCC’s action comes amid New York Atty. Gen. Eliot Spitzer’s pay-for-play probe, launched in 2004, which has alleged wrongdoing by both music and radio companies. In February, Spitzer sued Entercom, alleging that high-ranking executives had implemented scams to trade cash for airplay of songs by such artists as Avril Lavigne, Liz Phair and Jessica Simpson.

Payola, plugola, or whatever you want to call it, these things happen every single day. Ever hear of record promoters? These are the players in the middle that skirt around those payola laws that resulted after Allen Freed went down for taking money to play music on his massively popular radio show in 1960. Continue reading “Largest Payola Investigation Since 1960”

All You Need is a F2

I’m still getting reports trickling in from the homefront.

I’m going to give all the credit for these photos to the Iowa City Press Citizen. In fact, I still have some pals back there that took some of these shots. This is amazing stuff. I used to live right near some of these places.


The Dairy Queen! It’s completely gone! It was probably one of the most ghetto, little ice cream stands in Iowa City, but when you wanted to get a frosty blizzard on the way back to the radio station, you didn’t care. The bugs would chew at your skin while you waited in line, but you waited until those folks inside peered at you through the window screen to ask you what you wanted. Continue reading “All You Need is a F2”

Life Back In the Rolling Prairie

Got an IM from my brother tonight while watching the game.

Major storm damage in the Iowa City area. Anamosa got hit bad, as well, where they have called out the Red Cross… someone must have lost their home.

Iowa City Menards had a roof collapse. University Heights homes damaged. I’m sure more stories will come out by tomorrow morning.

Probably about four confirmed tornados since about 7:30ish.

It’s spring time in the midwest. A far cry from the constant rain that we’ve had in Vancouver all day long.

To tell you the truth, it’s kind of a rush. Big, rolling storms in the Iowa countryside. I kinda miss it.

Update: The Iowa City Press Citizen has a story about the big storm. Also check out their site for photos. You can also check out the Cedar Rapids Gazette Online for their coverage.

Pirate Radio in the Air Space

It’s one thing to have the FCC on your case because you are operating a pirate radio station.  It’s a whole different story when the FAA’s involved as well.  “Da Streetz” in Miami has that coming down on them right now.  The story is that they have been operating their broadcast on various frequencies, some of which have been interfering with airplane to control tower communication.

Sounds like the orgin of the broadcasts has been discovered and equipment has been confiscated.  No one has been charged with any violations.

I’m all for pirate radio and those fun things, but you take your chances when you do it.  Whoever is responsible for this is playing with a lot of fire.  Being that this music was  broadcast over multiple freqs, I’m betting that this setup didn’t consider the engineering aspect of watching your transmission so it doesn’t bleed and leap all over the place.  All intent was just to play some music.  If they get caught, this one will hurt.

“For the Love of Pete, Call Me David”

David SkortonDavid Skorton was probably one of the coolest people to head a huge organization that I have ever met. By coolest, I mean that in a very dude-like matter of way as well as just being so laid back. And by organization, I mean the University of Iowa. I can’t say that I’ve met a whole lot of people who were presidents of large universities, but Skorton was just a nice guy.

He’s smart, calm, and always relaxed, no matter what major issue is facing him. If you ask him a question that he doesn’t have all the answers for, he’ll admit it and promise to get back to you on it. I have yet to hear anyone say that he’s never followed up on his word either. Sure, it helps when you have a group of people helping you out and planning your day, but the guy wasn’t paid $300,000+ to sit on his rear all day long. He always had something going on and somewhere to go.

Sadly, he’s leaving the UI. I know my ties have been cut for a while now, but it makes me concerned to see him leave. These are massive shoes to fill, not to mention his devotion to the arts and education. One thing I always admired about him was his focus on equating spending on athletics with the rest of the university. Those roots run deep in terms of where the funding goes, but the arts really had chances to shine under his administration.

Skorton at KSUISkorton was named President in the last months before my time at KRUI was over. The first time I met him as president of the UI, he demanded that he have a tour of the new station facilities with me since he was told that I was the most knowledgeable about the new digs. It still bums me out that we never had that opportunity. I had many chances to talk with him before his promotion from a vice president position, having him on a few radio shows I either hosted or engineered. He always prefered that I call him by his first name and noted that every time he met me, I looked different either by weight or length of hair.

During my days at WSUI/KSUI, I had interaction with his latin jazz program that he loved more than anything to do. The show was a release for his always busy schedule. He always had something cool and new to play that he shared something about to you as he squeezed in a conversation with you between air breaks or while walking down the hall. I have yet to find anyone who is a better master of having a conversation while walking away from you without making you feel shunned.

Cornell University is where David Skorton will be heading to next. There is a reason that such a prestigious school wants this guy. He’s that good. Best of luck to him.