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Howie Klein: The Impact of Corporatization of the Music Business

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What
  • Seminar
When May 14, 2003
from 04:00 PM to 06:00 PM
Where Strathcona Music Building, 555 Sherbrooke St. West, Room C-204
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ABSTRACT:
Mr. Klein will discuss the trend toward the concentration of record and media companies into the hands of a few large corporations, and the impact this has on musicians, listeners, the general public, and freedom of speech. In the last ten years, the global record industry has gone from having more than a dozen major record labels to only four conglomerates, and with parallel mergers and acquisitions in the radio industry, 70% of radio airplay now depends on a shrinking handful of unregulated companies. Musicians and record companies have been finding themselves progressively at the mercy of corporate executives who are capable of doing anything from forcing record companies to radically change business practices to preventing artists from voicing views that counter those of the corporation's management.
He plans to use the biggest of these corporations - Clear Channel - as a case study. This company owns over 1200 radio stations, 19 television stations, 800,000 billboards, and 135 concert venues. Through a subsidiary, Premiere Radio Networks, they send out 100 shows to 7,800 radio stations reaching 180 million listeners/week (including a huge amount of right-wing hate talk by Rush Limbaugh, "Dr." Laura, etc.)

About Howie Klein:
Mr. Klein founded the first US New Wave record label, 415 Records in 1978. After turning it into one of the most successful independent record labels, he was hired as the General Manager of Sire Records (Madonna's label) in 1989, and shortly afterwards he was named President of Reprise/Warner Brothers Records, a position he held until 2001. During that time he oversaw the careers of Depeche Mode, The Talking Heads, Joni Mitchell, The Ramones, The Pretenders, Neil Young, Alanis Morissette, Barenaked Ladies, Eric Clapton, Green Day, Enya, Fleetwood Mac, The Smiths, Ice-T, Lou Reed and dozens of other major artists.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/howie-klein/

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