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Hey Pandora: good luck with Rapid City “Hits 102.7” FM

Afternoons with Christy DJ page
Why, you may be wondering, did Pandora buy “Hits 102.7 FM” in Rapid City, South Dakota? Just out of curiosity, I checked the station’s website. Here’s the bio for Hits 102.7 deejay Christy Russell:

“Hey it’s Mike talking about Christy

Afternoons on HITS 102.7! I have waited for about a year for Christy to put in her bio for the DJ page. Somehow she kept ignoring my requests. There have been times I believe she said, ‘I don’t care, why don’t you just put something in there’ Big mistake so here we go.

There are no current pictures of Christy. I had to get an old publicity photo of her I had to buy on e-bay. Christy and I worked together when we both lived in Kansas City. Because of that, she only agreed to work at Hits if she was in the afternoon and I was in the mornings and there’s some sort of clause that says I can’t be in the studio while she’s in the building blah blah blah. . . . “

Obviously Pandora didn’t purchase the signal for its corporate family spirit.  Royalty concerns prompted the sale. Pandora is in a big fight with ASCAP; in an op-ed published in The Hill, Pandora general counsel Christopher Harrison charges that the rightsholder is:

“(a) discriminating in license fees and terms between Pandora and other similarly situated licensees such as Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio; (b) failing to provide required transparency in identifying songs ASCAP claims it can license to Pandora; and (c) creating a scheme by which member-publishers can withdraw their catalogs from ASCAP’s license for Pandora but allow them to remain for everyone else, including competitors like iHeartRadio.”

Some kind of new legal action is on the way. In the meantime Pandora thinks that if it owns a terrestrial signal, it can qualify for some rates made available to broadcasters under the terms of a deal between the Radio Licensing Marketing Committee (RMLC) and ASCAP and BMI.

In the more immediate meantime, Pandora will actually have to manage Hits 102.7 FM. “We will apply Pandora’s insights about listening habits to program music that accurately reflects local listeners’ evolving tastes,” Harrison’s post concludes.

Lots of luck with that. Christy’s bio continues:

“Since she didn’t give me anything to put down for her bio I can only imagine what she might said. Like, ‘Mike Swafford is an amazing individual. I feel very fortunate to have known him during my lifetime. He has contributed to the success of my life in every way imaginable. He is responsible for the great job I have done raising my sons with his excellent parenting advice. He has given me words of wisdom that have gotten me through troubled times. And he changed the spark plugs in my car once.’ I’m sure she would have gone on and on but this is a little embarrassing for me.”


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6 Responses to Hey Pandora: good luck with Rapid City “Hits 102.7” FM

  1. Joe Young June 18, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

    You know, if you cut out the ad homonym, unnecessary attacks against Christy Russell, this post almost counts as real, informative news! It’s nice to know intelligent, impartial writers like you are out there, Matthew. I quite nearly learned something from your article. You’re so brilliant. I’m sure if you try hard enough in writing opinion articles in the future you will make legitimate, intelligent, and logical arguments. Lots of luck with that.

  2. Matthew Lasar June 18, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

    You’re welcome, Joe. And congratulations on integrating sarcasm into your rhetorical arsenal.


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