State Of Black Radio

Congressman John Conyers (D, MI), is seeking to pass an amendment to the Performance Rights Act. The legislation currently in  place calls for radio to pay royalties for music they playj conyers. While the amendment to the Performance Rights Act will LOWER the annual royalty fee and it includes a sliding scale that will lower the fee for smaller businesses and push the payment deadlines back by 1-2 years – many minority and small broadcasting groups feel the act will still  force them out of business and end black radio as we know it.

Why would minority  broadcasters object to such an amendment that would lower fees — because it does them more harm then good…check this out….

Radio One CEO Alfred Liggins III explains the potential threat to black radio stations in an interview with where he states,

               “All the minority owned stations are in major metropolitan areas. Seventy-five percent of all African Americans live in top 50 markets, so those stations do bill over $1.25 million annually. There will be only a very few stations that meet those exemptions.” Liggins says that of the 53 stations in the Radio One portfolio, “only about three will be exempt. That threshold is going to capture 90% of all the revenue in the industry.”

Now we have reached the meat and potatoes of this issue. We all know that black sells and that for years big politics in Washington and even bigger corporations have been fattening their wallets through our urban entities and now their looking to invade radio. While Conyers coats this issue with big cuts in favor of smaller stations, the cutbacks stop just short of minority radio.

Just as Liggins stated, minority stations do pretty well, but with the high fees they will have to pay after the amendment passes they will most likely go under. Once that happens I predict we will see scenarios like Chrysler being bought by Fiat- a total loss of historical value. Urban radio will cease to exist. We already complain about our artist going “commercial” what can we expect out of music when radio stations are taken over by big corporations, or even worse labels themselves? Minority Radio Leaders are calling for consumer help to stop the amendment and would like Conyers to allow research to be carried out so that legislation can include the protection of minority and women broadcaters.

 Let me know what ya think. Are we just complaining or does Black Radio need a bailout?

Side note —-> If  record labels buy radio stations what do you think could happen to music… My thoughts later.

 P.S.  If you would like to help the stop of the amendment that will kill minority radio call and e-mail John Conyers with your concerns at 202-225-5126/313-961-5670 and

BTW…More than 50% of the revenues from the Performance Rights Act will go to profit foreign record industries i.e. not the U.S. Can we really support this type of legislation in an recession?


~ by The_Political_Cypher on July 24, 2011.

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