I am a big fan of NPR. I listen to KHSU every morning and evening, and sometimes during the day. Saturday is a big KHSU listening day. And when I can’t catch the my favorite shows during broadcast, then I often listen to them on my IPod. Some of my favorite shows are not offered on KHSU (Open Source, Left, Right and Center) so I have to get them on the IPod anyway.
NPR has become a big player in the radio industry in recent years. Its audience and influence is growing unlike most radio networks. So its nice to see this robust radio organization use some of its power to take on the music industry.
If you weren’t aware of what’s going on Ann Johnson-Stromberg has a good article in the Times-Standardsummarizing the issue. An entity called the Copyright Royalty Board has decided to up the fees for music played over the Internet. Not only that, but the increasse is retroactive back to the January 1, 2006. If this decision holds it could be the death of Internet Radio. So NPR is actually teaming up with Clear Channel, the big gorilla of commercial radio to challenge this decision in court. Strange bedfellows.
In the meantime, KHSU is facing potentially severe cuts in the support it receives from the university due to HSU’s own budget cuts. The station begins its Spring pledge drive tomorrow and I will be on the air during one of my favorite shows, Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! from 10 AM to 11 AM. I’ll be urging folks to pledge their support (contribute $$) to the station. So call in and lend you support to this great community resource. (I”ll be on again Monday from 6 AM to 8 AM…why did I agree to that?)