Monday, March 9, 2009

Fred Jacobs: A Great Idea on Fighting The Fight

32° - overcast at 5:13am

Much has been written about the record industry's efforts to impose a performance fee on radio stations for playing their music. Its a fee that would go to the record companies - and in theory - to artists. Both have benefited from the promotional value of radio airplay for decades.

This legislation is currently being debated and fought in Washington.
Of course while this is going on, the record companies still continue to employ promotion staff to encourage radio airplay, still send promotional copies of music to radio stations and still run trade ads in industry publications.
And over the years record companies have awarded "gold record" plaques to radio stations thanking them for the station's promotional efforts. Got a few of these?

This morning on his blog, Fred Jacobs passed along a great idea. When you get to work today, get the digital camera out and do this. Mission critical. You don't need your station budget cut any more than it has been in order to pay this "tax".

Read below - republished from the Jacoblog:

Going For The Gold


There's something happening here.

Last week, we posted a blog, "All I Wanna Do... Is Stop Playing Your Records!," about the absurdity of musicFIRST and various recording artists in their efforts to extract money from radio in the form of performance fees/taxes.

The blog struck a responsive chord. We heard from a variety of radio people, angry about the obvious contradiction of this ill-conceived campaign. Radio's contributions to the music industry in general, and the careers of hundreds, if not thousands of recording artists, are obvious to anyone who knows anything about the entertainment business.

But the most interesting response was from NRG's Chuck DuCoty. Led by CEO Mary Quass, NRG initiated an all-company campaign (thought of by our friend, Emmis/St. Louis' John Beck). The idea is to have each of their music stations take digital photos of every gold and platinum "thank you" awards and plaques that the record industry has bestowed over the past several decades. The message is simple: How can music executives and recording artists even suggest that radio has ripped them off when they have consistently thanked stations in such a tangible form?

NRG's plan was to deliver these photos to the NAB, but after reading our blog, Chuck asked whether Jacobs Media could spearhead something larger - an all-industry initiative, designed to get hundreds and hundreds of stations involved.

So, this week, that's what we're going to do. And we need your help.

We are asking every music station in the U.S. to set aside 30 minutes and take digital photos of all those gold and platinum records hanging on walls, in offices, and in studios - and send them to us. Email them to:


We will post them at a dedicated page -

David Rehr and the NAB are on board. Once we collect these photos, they will be zipped and sent to Washington, D.C. for delivery to Congress and musicFIRST.

At this difficult time in radio, many people feel powerless to change the course of the economy, their station, or their personal lives and careers. This is a simple, yet effective way to send a message and make a difference.

Please forward this post to your friends and co-workers, and let's create a positive, impactful, and compelling story for radio.

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