"Talk radio is the American voter." -- Rush Limbaugh
Freedom of speech. It is our most cherished privilege as Americans, guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution since 1791. But at the dawn of a new presidential administration, an epic battle is looming -- a battle for our airwaves that could sharply curtail or silence altogether the freedom of expression that distinguishes America from the average dictatorship. The target of this battle is conservative talk radio.
If key Democrats have their way, the principles of the Federal Communications Commission's Fairness Doctrine will once again be enforced and allow government to control the content heard on free radio, a mandate that will have far-reaching implications for all media.
During the Reagan administration the FCC voted to stop enforcing the Fairness Doctrine, which required all licensed broadcasters to present "balanced" viewpoints on controversial issues.
Conservative talk radio burgeoned, giving rise to the father of conservative talk, Rush Limbaugh, and such hosts as Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Michael Medved, Neal Boortz, Laura Ingraham, and others. The format was a smash hit -- resonating with listeners from coast to coast and giving a powerful voice to the conservative movement. Soon such programming, attracting an estimated 50 million listeners weekly, dominated the airwaves where liberal talk radio failed. Popular, profitable, outspoken, powerful, influential -- it's what the American people wanted, and its success was the Democrats' worst nightmare.
Now, the principles of the Fairness Doctrine threaten to be reinstated -- if not directly, then through back-door tactics involving ownership of stations. Under cover of being "fair," they will prove to be anything but: They will be used as a means of censorship by those with contempt for conservative talk radio. With our current Congress firmly under Democratic control, the future of talk radio -- indeed, freedom of speech for all Americans -- is under direct attack.
Radio is on the verge all right, but on the verge of what? Are we on the cusp of a new renaissance, a time of unprecedented excitement and opportunity? Or are we headed, as some naysayers argue, towards an industry-wide twilight? Making Waves argues that it's the former, not the latter. This book can help any broadcaster navigate a digital wonderland of infinite choice and endless competition. Dive in. The water's fine. Let's make some waves.
Product Description: (source: http://us.macmillan.com/rightofthedial)
In Right of the Dial, Alec Foege explores how the mammoth media conglomerate evolved from a local radio broadcasting operation, founded in 1972, into one of the biggest, most profitable, and most polarizing corporations in the country. During its heyday, critics accused Clear Channel, the fourth-largest media company in the United States and the nationĂs largest owner of radio stations, of ruining American pop culture and cited it as a symbol of the evils of media monopolization, while fans hailed it as a business dynamo, a beacon of unfettered capitalism. WhatĂs undeniable is that as the owner at one point of more than 1,200 radio stations, 130 major concert venues and promoters, 770,000 billboards, 41 television stations, and the largest sports management business in the country, Clear Channel dominated the entertainment world in ways that MTV and Disney could only dream of. But in the fall of 2006, after years of public criticism and flattening stock prices, Goliath finally tumbled¨Clear Channel Inc. sold off one-third of its radio holdings and all of its television concerns while transferring ownership to a consortium of private equity firms. The move signaled the end of an era in media consolidation, and in Right of the Dial, Foege takes an insightful look at the companyĂs successes and abuses, showing the ways in which Clear Channel reshaped AmericaĂs cultural and corporate landscapes along the way.
From its founding in 1972 by Red McCombs and Lowry Mays, Clear Channel has grown to become the largest radio- and outdoor-advertising company in the world: although their growth has been surrounded by a fair amount of controversy over business practices, leadership decisions, acquisition strategies, and buyouts. The Clear Channel story is one about chance and circumstance, opportunity and diligence, and this is the only corporate history of Clear Channel that is authorized by the company and includes exclusive interviews with top-level executives. It's a story of vision and foresight, the willingness to take a calculated risk on the unknown, of fiscal prudence, vibrant leadership, and at times, an almost breathtaking capacity to influence the dynamics of the media marketplace. Most importantly it is the story of the entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen of the people who have helped make Clear Channel the media giant that it is today.
"...the whole story; beginning, middle, and end of Top 40's radio heyday in America's finest city..." --Rich Brother Robbin, 2004
I don't believe the history of San Diego radio has been chronicled before like this...it's absolutely fascinating." --Gene Knight, 2004