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July 25, 2005

What Clear Channel and Veruca Salt Have in Common

A few years ago, Clear Channel leased some land from the Florida Fair Authority here in Hillsborough Country and built a big ol' amphitheatre on the Fair Grounds. And now they don't want to obey sound ordinances or pay their taxes.

This is no surpise coming for Clear Channel as they have a very sad and sordid history of being crappy corporate citzens.

As far as the noise goes, I've always been of the 'if it's too loud, then you're too old' faction. But some of the folks in the neighborhood probably are too old or simply don't want to be subject to the nauseating emanations flowing from a Toby Keith concert.

Clear Channel did not follow the original plans for the design of the roof or the speaker configuration that were approved by the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission.

The roof is about 40 percent higher than the approved design, and the
speaker configuration is different, the Hillsborough County Environmental
Protection Commission says.

Those unapproved changes, the EPC says, are significant reasons why the
Ford Amphitheatre has repeatedly violated noise regulations, prompting
nearly 300 complaints from neighbors.

[...]

Although the commission doesn't typically regulate building construction,
Clear Channel was required by the terms of its June 2003 lease with the
Fair Authority to get EPC approval before going ahead with the
amphitheater.


What do you do if your corporate music industry conglomerate is a brat?

And now that they are being so bratty and pampered and spoiled like a Siamese cat, as to suggest that since they are on Flordia state land and they supposedly "advance the educational, physical, economic and cultural interests of the public," that they deserve "sovereign immunity" and shouldn't have to pay property taxes.

The St. Pete Times reports that today is the big day that the Hillsborough Circuit Court will make a decision on this. Tune in tomorrow for the titillating sequal to What Clear Channel and Veruca Salt Have in Common!

1 Comments:

  • At July 25, 2005, Blogger Alicia said…

    Interestingly enough, Eliot Spitzer just kicked a li'l Music Biz ass...

    New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has announced an agreement to halt pervasive "pay-for-play" in the music industry, with Sony BMG Music Entertainment acknowledging problems in promotion practices and agreeing to sweeping reforms. Under the agreement, Sony BMG has agreed to stop making payments and providing expensive gifts to radio stations and their employees in return for "airplay" of the company's songs.

    "Our investigation shows that, contrary to listener expectations that songs are selected for airplay based on artistic merit and popularity, air time is often determined by undisclosed payoffs to radio stations and their employees," Spitzer said. "This agreement is a model for breaking the pervasive influence of bribes in the industry."

    After receiving tips from industry insiders, Spitzer's office conducted a year-long investigation and determined that Sony BMG and its record labels had offered a series of inducements to radio stations and their employees to obtain airplay for the recordings by the company's artists.

    The inducements for airplay, a.k.a. "payola," took several forms including: Outright bribes to radio programmers, including expensive vacation packages, electronics and other valuable items; contest giveaways for stations' listening audiences; payments to radio stations to cover operational expenses; retention of middlemen, known as independent promoters, as conduits for illegal payments to radio stations; and payments for "spin programs," airplay under the guise of advertising.

    The investigation also revealed that Sony BMG employees took steps to conceal many of the payments to individuals and radio stations, by using fictitious "contest winners" to document the transactions and make it appear as though the payments and gifts were going to radio listeners instead of station employees.

    The Assurance of Discontinuance summarizing the Attorney General's findings alleges that the illegal payoffs for airplay were designed to manipulate record charts, generate consumer interest in records and increase sales.

    Spitzer said: "Aggressive promotion of products is one of the hallmarks of our economy. We expect it and respect it when done creatively and legally. But the efforts outlined in the Assurance clearly crossed the line and must be curtailed."

    Deregulation + consolidation = corruption!

     

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