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Is Infinity/CBS/Viacom Out For Regime Change?

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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 08:32 AM
Original message
Is Infinity/CBS/Viacom Out For Regime Change?
While many are well aware of Clear Channel and the 1200 stations they own as well as their very close connections to the GOOP and the Bush cabal, however, there's a second large broadcast corporation that appears to be moving in a different direction.

Infinity Broadcasting is the second largest broadcast chain and has many of the best properties in the largest markets. It's the merger of the former CBS, Group W, Infinity and several other medium sized groups. In addition it's a division of Viacom, who owns CBS-TV, Blockbuster Video, MTV, VH-1, Showtime, Sony Music and publishing houses galore. It's a very profitable and independent company. Both Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone and Infinity President, Mel Karmazin are Democratic donors and it appears they may be using their media empire to help bring down the current regime.

This isn't an altruistic enterprise, it has a lot to do with Infinity's battle with Clear Channel and whose going to dictate the future of radio broadcasting. There's a lot at stake right now and who dontrols the Executive...appointing the FCC Commissioners...will face some big decissions in the next four years. Both companies know it and are putting their lobbying power in that direction. At stake is control of the new digital broadcast mediums and in whose favor future legislation works for.Infinity has also been hurt the past 3 years due to the poor economy that shrunk up broadcast advertising revenues that have been slow to recover. These have not been the best days at the old Black Rock.

The first salvos appear to be on the publishing front where many of the best selling "Liberal" books have come from Viacom-owned publishing houses...including the very impoortant Richard Clarke book. To promote it, Clarke appeared on CBS's 60 Minutes...but is that any different than an author of a book published by one of Rupert Murdoch's operations (like a Newt Gingrich) and then appearing on an interview show on Faux News? Or even worse, being billed as a "Faux Consultant". Let's put things in a better perspective when this type of cross promotion comes up.

This also came on the heels of the FCC "getting tough" on broadcasting based on the CBS/MTV/Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction"...where the commission came alive after years of dormancy to become the moral gatekeepers of the airwaves. CBS appeared to be target #1...and Clear Channel took advantage, both by booting Stern from it's stations and then lining up with the Repugnicans...who they've been with all along. It was not only a bone to make the FCC look like they were being "effective", but also a shot from Clear Channel at Infinity to watch their step.

Instead of rolling over, two of Infinity Radio's biggest guns appear to be ready to fight back. First and foremost is Stern. He's alluded to the behind the scene politics involved here that he fears could pull him off the air, and if you look at it from this perspective, you can understand why. Stern's audience...25-54 males (the "NASCAR Dads") are coveted by the GOOP to counteract any large turnout by women and "minorities"...these people are best left to listen to Rush or Hannity than some loose cannon like Stern.

Fortunately instead of putting a leash on Stern (as if anyone really can), it appears Karmazin and Infinity are fully behind his fight back against those attacking him and it appears to be paying off for both. Stern's ratings have been going up in many of Infinity's markets...mostly at the expense of Clear Channel stations. The GOOP picked on the wrong guy when it got on Stern's bad side. He's one of the few who reach the same audience Rush & Hannity do...and pissing him off made Clear Channel look good in front of that House panel, but could backfire in the long-run.

Now it appears another Infinity power could be coming forward...Don Imus. Yes, Imus has endorsed Kerry (mostly based on Kerry being a regular "contributor" on his show and their long friendship) but he maintained a pro-GOOP stance on most issues. Kerry was treated as "special" for a long time and Clinton-hate remained a regular diet of the program. That's changed of late...Imus, whose no friend of Stern, appears to be bothered by what's going on as well and has been speaking out frequently against the * regime...subtly moving away from the right that appears to be a threat to his program as well. In many markets Imus is in Clear Channel and now Salem, another Right Wing broadcast group, are putting up big names (Bill Bennett, Laura Ingraham) to go for Imus' audience.

With the insertion of tiny Air America, talk radio is going to be a battleground this year and its intermingled with corporate greed and politics as well. Infinity has an FM talk network (Stern, Phil Hendry, Don & Mike, Tom Lykais), but it's not organized like Clear Channel's Premier network. But it could be quickly. It'll be interesting to see how the other broadcast groups...most notably Disney (that owns ABC and its radio networks) reacts as well.

Stay tuned and thanks for letting me vent.

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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 08:04 PM
Response to Original message
1. Absolutely fascinating...
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cprise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 09:38 PM
Response to Original message
2. Oh good...
Democrats are going to try and play Monopolist themselves.


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PROGRESSIVE1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-21-04 08:05 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. I wouldn't mind having our own NewsCorp. A NewsCorp for the Left...
would be a breath of fresh air.
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sugarman Donating Member (96 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-19-04 04:58 PM
Response to Original message
3. great post...
It's nice to see some nuance on these forums. Hey, I have an idea...

Why don't we organize a one day protest of CNN to protest media bias. I'm sure we all (ie the internet community) make up a sizeable percentage of viewers of CNN. Let's get all of the prominent bloggers to join us. We need to flex our muscle, stop complaining, and do something...
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PROGRESSIVE1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-04 07:53 PM
Response to Original message
4. I believe while Corporatists, VIACOM has a left leaning-Pro Dem tilt:
CEO Summner Redstone is a BIGTIME Democratic party donor and supporter (except for that $2,000 to Orrin "Hack" Hatch).

President of Infinity Broadcasting (Viacom Subsidiary) Mel Karmazin is a Democrat too. Viacom, who owns CBS may very well be out for Regime Change. I pray to God that they are truely on our side, the side of Good.
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SideshowScott Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-21-04 09:21 PM
Response to Original message
6. AWP is for the war...Anyone Who Profits
All the voices you hear for the war are from people who have financial gian from it. And those who have been fed the lies..
AWP baby..Anyone Who profits
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tomreedtoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-22-04 03:19 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Is the enemy of our enemy automatically our friend?
I hate what the Bushes have done to people like Howard Stern. I hate Ashcroft's squeamishness about women's breasts. But I also hate the media concentration that has allowed Clear Channel to dominate broadcasting.

In other words, I'm bothered that Viacom/Infinity/CBS monopolizing all media would be just as bad as Clear Channel/Fox/Disney dominating it. I'd like to see a diverse media environment run by a bunch of small companies - the way it was about ten years ago - rather than have one or two behemoths fighting this whole mess.

And it isn't simply a philosophic matter of monopoly, or a practical matter of political power, that bothers me. I've seen the movies, TV shows and other entertainment forms that are bred in this monopolistic environment. They're lousy. They don't have the energy or creativity of things made even a decade ago, because dissenting views have fewer places to go.

So, while this business is perhaps more positive - building competition is always good - I can't entirely cheer about it, either.
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 08:04 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Has Viacom Been A Profiteer???
I agree...we hang all those who use death and misery to profit, but is Viacom in that group? I don't think so.

Clear Channel got in on a no-bid contract to "rebuild Iraq broadcasting" absolute joke and waste of money. They tried to bring our style of radio to that country right after it'd been steamrolled by our army. It was doomed to failure and it did, but thoes involved walked away with some nice folding green for their "troubles". Those people should be hung.

Now a serious a network covering a war, profiting from it? There are some variables here, but let's assume a network must cover a war and cover the expenses in doing so. Now is that profiteering? Or even if "sponsorship" of their coverage? Does that cross the line?

Now as far as the lies, we could go into the Faux/Murdoch involvement in this fiasco...William Randolph Hearst would be proud. Profits and Lies, baby.

But how do you beat these monsters down when so few realize that the gas they're throwing in their SUV or the purchase they make at Wal-Mart or Home Depot goes to fueling a machine and regime that works against all our interest. Oh well, too early in the day to get into that one...

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