Copyright 1997 Bobby Ocean, Inc. All rights reserved
©1997 Bobby Ocean®, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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Opinions expressed by Uncle Ricky are not necessarily the opinions of Bobby Ocean®, Inc.

The multi-talented Bobby Ocean is "in 'toon with the times and on time with the 'toons" AGAIN with this All-Request UncleToon! It sez it for me.

For too long now, I've heard the excuse that deregulation of local ownership of "free market" broadcast licenses was justified. Radio had been "losing shares of advertising revenue for decades" and the business "couldn't compete with TV and Cable".

Who said that Radio was supposed to compete with anything except Radio? Was it the Communications Act of 1934? Did our government say we, the people, were going to regulate our airwaves for "the public interest, convenience, and necessity", or did we say we were going to guarantee profit to the highest bidder?

Who said that Radio was forever blessed to be as profitable as TV, Cable, DSS, or even the home video market? Some group owners did. The NAB did. The Congress and the President listened, and agreed. So far, the Justice Department agrees. Gosh, good government is expensive, huh?

In choice medium and major markets where big bidders have purchased big juicy chunks of prime licenses, the LOCAL audience has been denied the promise of the Communications Act of 1934. They can no longer believe their LOCAL radio signals will not be controlled by a single corporate entity, or that they will be operated "in the public interest".

Why? Instead of radio licenses being worth LESS because of shrinking revenue share, they are now worth MORE - MUCH more, because if you buy enough of them in any one locality, you can "virtualize" the entire operation and make the stockholders happy. Gee Whiz, it's a no-brainer. Buy your competition, move everyone into one building, economize and downsize until you can make the payments. It's all yours. Hey guys, I don't blame you. The law allows it, go for it. Duh.

How long do you think it would take any one company to acquire ALL the major licenses in a market, if allowed? How long will it be before Radio is begging to own MORE — because they "just can't compete?"

Uncle Ricky's Signature What do YOU think? Uncle Ricky SUPPORTS free enterprise and giant radio corporations. Uncle Ricky OPPOSES more than one license for the same service under common ownership in a local signal area. One AM, One FM, One TV. What's wrong with that?

NEWAnother Bobby Ocean Toon!