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Daily Democracy

Ryan Blethen discusses the press, media and democracy. Daily Democracy is part of the Democracy Papers, a series of articles, essays and editorial opinion examining threats to our freedoms of speech and the press.

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March 24, 2008 4:05 PM

A good and bad day for radio

Posted by Ryan Blethen

Listens of traditional and Internet radio woke up to a new KEXP. The much beloved independent Seattle station started airing its morning show hosted by DJ John Richards in New York. The Seattle Times story can be found here.

The morning show is joined on the city owned WNYE-FM by other KEXP produced shows. Kevin Cole will do a drive time show called "Wake Up." KEXP DJs will host the weekly show, "Music That Matters," and MoGlo will showcase New York and Seattle turntablists.

The partnership is good for independent music. KEXP, which already has a global audience through Internet radio, will reach millions more listeners. It also gives KEXP a foot in New York's important music scene.

While KEXP was filling the void left by corporate radio in New York this morning, the U.S. Department of Justice did its best to make satellite radio into a corporate monopoly. Justice approved the $5 billion buyout of XM Satellite Radio by Sirius Satellite Radio. The purchase leaves consumers with only one choice on satellite.

The deal still needs to be approved by the Federal Communications Commission. According to an Associated Press story, which can be found here, FCC chairman Kevin Martin has previously said the purchase faced a "high hurdle."

The FCC prohibited a merger when it granted satellite radio licenses in 1997. The commission should live up to the rules it created. The duopoly was not perfect, but is much better than a monopoly.

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