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Wired News Pounding Clear Channel's Radio Programming Practices

Over the past week, Wired News has run a series of articles about Clear Channel Communications and their attempt to monopolize FM radio broadcasting in many cities throughout the United States. In the article Clear Cutting the Radio Forest, reporter Randy Dotinga says, "After a blizzard of purchases, sales and mergers, Clear Channel owns or operates 1,165 radio stations in the United States. It controls about 80 more through other means that occasionally raise eyebrows."

Wired News followed up today with Good Mornin' (Your Town Here), an article about the "epidemic of digital fakery {that} has struck the radio industry". The article goes on to say "Only the listeners are live and local at many radio stations, and Clear Channel is gambling that nobody will notice. Or care."

The story also relates the fact that Clear Channel stations in Harrisonburg, VA did not switch to news for four hours after the terrorist attack on September 11. This was due to the fact that the employees who were present at the station did not know how to stop the automated programming.

This continuing series of articles is great because it exposes the biggest reasons that people are tuning away from FM and tuning in talk radio. Say what you want about programs like Rush Limbaugh and The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly, but these programs are produced with creativity, and they don't try to fool their audiences into thinking they are local productions.

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