Small webcasters meeting today with lawmakers on Internet Radio Fairness Act

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - 12:25pm

A group representing small business webcasters is in Washington, DC today to visit the offices of 21 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, to advocate support of legislation they say is necessary for their businesses to survive. 

Representatives of independent webcast operations like Prog Palace Radio, WSUI Online, Girls Rock Radio, Pearadio, and Musera travelled to Washington, DC from across the country to request lawmakers' support for the Internet Radio Fairness Act (background in RAIN here).

The IRFA was introduced into both chambers in the last Congress, and expected to be re-introduced this session. It would change the legal standard judges use to determine industry royalties to criteria known as "801(b)," the standard used for other forms of digital radio.

The group also includes Zackary Lewis, CEO of industry streaming and software provider Liquid Compass; Educational Media Foundation (EMF) in-house counsel Brian Gantman, and several independent musicians supporting the efforts of small webcasters.

RAIN publisher and AccuRadio founder Kurt Hanson, also part of today's "hill walk," said, "All we're here asking for is to use the 801(b) standard -- same as cable & satellite (radio) -- and to balance the needs of copyright owners, users, and the public."

We'll cover today's hill walk more extensively tomorrow in RAIN.

Looking to steal some of WTOP's online "magic," CBS in D.C. hires away digital news director

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 12:00pm

CBS Radio this month brought on Mike Gartell to manage the web properties for its five Washington, D.C. stations, including the six-month old all-news WNEW-FM.

That's significant because Gartell was hired away from Hubbard's WTOP/Washington, D.C., known not only as the nation's top-billing station, but for its exemplary online presence (among other accolades, it garnered this publication's RAIN Award for the Best Overall Digital Strategy last fall).

While WNEW-FM's on-air ratings aren't competitive with WTOP's, Washington City Paper columnist Will Sommer suggests CBS may be attacking via a different route: online. "It looks like WNEW and CBS know that there are more than one way to skin the nation's top-billing cat," he wrote. "Is WNEW trying to snag some of that WTOP Web magic?"

He hopes Gartell spends some time in his new job on WNEW's website, and says, "With too many promotional links in the top and not enough actual news, (WNEW-FM's site) lacks the melange of wire-service copy and original reporting that powered his last site."

Read more here. Also, we're one week away from the entry deadline for this year's RAIN Internet Radio Awards. Register here.

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