SOURCE: musicFirst

July 31, 2008 12:01 ET

24 Billion Reasons to Support Radio Performance Rights

Clear Channel Deal Closes But Not a Penny for Artists and Musicians

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - July 31, 2008) - The musicFIRST Coalition released the following statement today on the Clear Channel private equity deal. The deal is valued at $24 billion, including debt. The statement may be attributed to Doyle Bartlett, executive director, musicFIRST.

"News that Clear Channel, the largest radio ownership group, has gone private for $24 billion casts a spotlight on radio's failure to compensate the artists and musicians who bring music to life and listeners' ears to the radio dial. The contrasts could not be more stark -- $24 billion for corporate radio's ownership, not a penny for America's artists and musicians."

"Without music, this deal would be impossible. Without music, Clear Channel's radio empire would just be castles in the sand. Yet corporate radio refuses to discuss a fair performance right for America's artists and musicians. Recently the head of the National Association of Broadcasters said, 'I would rather cut my throat than negotiate on this.'"

"For corporate radio negotiating $24 billion deals is ok, but talking to America's artists and musicians about a fair performance right on radio is just too scary."

"The Clear Channel deal makes abundantly clear the case for legislation to create a fair performance right on radio."

People who love music understand that creativity, talent and hard work are required to bring it to life. The goal of musicFIRST (Fairness in Radio Starting Today) is to ensure that struggling performers, local musicians and well-known artists are compensated for their music when it is played both today and in the future. Of all the ways we listen to music, corporate radio is the only one that receives special treatment. Big radio has a free pass to play music -- refusing to pay even a fraction of a penny to the performers that brought it to life. musicFIRST (Fairness in Radio Starting Today) is committed to making sure everyone, from up-and-coming artists to our favorites from years-ago, is guaranteed Fair Pay for Air Play. For more information on musicFIRST (Fairness in Radio Starting Today) please visit www.musicFIRSTcoalition.org.

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