ClearChannel may be laying off 12% of its workforce, but that doesn't mean the age of the dinosaurs has ended. A new report from the Future of Music Coalition shows that, more than two years after the anti-payola accords between the major broadcast networks and the FCC, aesthetic diversity on commercial music radio hasn't increased one iota.
I co-authored a conference paper about six years back demonstrating that payola is structurally necessary to the radio broadcast ecology (never managed to get it published), so I can't really say I'm surprised. Still, this provides great fodder against those who argue for deregulation. Internet or no, the airwaves are still one of our most important resources, and we need to make sure they're used to the greatest public benefit, not for playing us 24/7 Miley Cyrus.