Radio Pay-For-Play Scandal May Be Biggest Ever

Sources at the Federal Communications Commissions are saying that the current investigation into “payola” – the illegal practice of paying radio stations or DJs in exchange for airplay – may be the largest such operation in American history. “Several of the largest radio conglomerates in America – the corporate owners of FM radio stations across the nation – are within the scope of the FCC probe, which was triggered by the two year long pay-for-play investigation by [New York Attorney General Eliot] Spitzer.” Hundreds of individual stations across the country and the record companies representing some of the world’s biggest pop stars are also being probed.

Australian Theatres Struggling

“The Bell Shakespeare Company, Queensland Theatre Company, Sydney’s Company B and Circus Oz are also forecasting losses this year, with combined deficits of $1.5million. Theatres were employing fewer actors and their work on stage was losing vitality because of growing financial pressures, a report released yesterday found.”

Munitz Out At Getty

Tyler Green reports that Barry Munitz is stepping down as president of the Getty Trust. Munitz has been under fire in the past year. “In a letter to the Board, Dr. Munitz said that with the Getty’s vision and strategic priorities clarified and supported, a new museum director in place, the Getty Villa reopened after an eight-year period, the Trust endowment in solid financial shape and talks underway to resolve issues surrounding the Getty’s antiquities collection, his work at the Getty was complete.”

Baaaah! The Music We Like? Turns Out We’re All Sheep!

“A new study reveals that we make our music purchases based partly on our perceived preferences of others. Researchers found that popular songs were popular and unpopular songs were unpopular, regardless of their quality established by the other group. They also found that as a particular songs’ popularity increased, participants selected it more often. The upshot for markerters: social influence affects decision-making in a market.”

Journalism In the Age Of Petroleum Geoloists

The American Association of Petroleum Geologists has awarded its annual journalism award this year to Michael Crichton, the science fiction writer whose latest book, “State of Fear,” dismisses global warming as a largely imaginary threat embraced by malignant scientists for their own ends. “It is fiction,” conceded Larry Nation, communications director for the association. “But it has the absolute ring of truth.”

Miles, The Way He Never Meant To Be Heard

Miles Davis has always sold well. But there are so many boxed sets that feature outtakes and performances not meant to be heard. What’s the point? “There’s something intimate, even creepy, about listening to the vast quantity of recordings on these boxes; many of the tracks are out-takes – never intended for the market. And they seem to have become more obsessive, more microscopic.”