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FCCThe U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines to repeal landmark 2015 rules aimed at ensuring a free and open internet, setting up a court fight over a move that could recast the digital landscape.

The approval of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal marks a victory for internet service providers like AT&T Inc, Comcast Corp and Verizon Communications Inc and hands them power over what content consumers can access.

Democrats, Hollywood and companies like Google parent Alphabet Inc and Facebook Inc had urged Pai, a Republican appointed by U.S. President Donald Trump, to keep the Obama-era rules barring service providers from blocking, slowing access to or charging more for certain content.

Consumer advocates and trade groups representing content providers have planned a legal challenge aimed at preserving those rules.

The meeting was evacuated before the vote for about 10 minutes due to an unspecified security threat, and resumed after sniffer dogs checked the room.

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, a Democrat, said in the run-up to the vote that Republicans were “handing the keys to the Internet” to a “handful of multi-billion dollar corporations.”

Pai has argued that the 2015 rules were heavy handed and stifled competition and innovation among service providers.

“The internet wasn’t broken in 2015. We weren’t living in a digital dystopia. To the contrary, the internet is perhaps the one thing in American society we can all agree has been a stunning success,” he said on Thursday.

The FCC voted 3-2 to repeal the rules.

Consumers are unlikely to see immediate changes resulting from the rule change, but smaller startups worry the lack of restrictions could drive up costs or lead to their content being blocked.

Internet service providers say they will not block or throttle legal content but that they may engage in paid prioritization. They say consumers will see no change and argue that the largely unregulated internet functioned well in the two decades before the 2015 order.

 

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Writing by Chris Sanders; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Meredith Mazzilli)

Trump’s FCC is about to fuck up the internet!

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Cumulus Media just announced that veteran Urban programming exec Ken Johnsonwill return to New York and reclaim the programming reins at Urban AC WNBM (Radio 103.9). You may recall that Johnson successfully launched WNBM in July 2014, and left in April 2015 to become Operations Manager for Urban AC sister WUHT (Hot 107.7)/Birmingham, AL. Johnson will retain his corporate role as Vice President of Urban Formats, for Cumulus Media.
In making the announcement, Chad Lopez, President/Market Manager, Cumulus Media New York, said, “Everyone at WNBM 103.9 and Cumulus are excited to have Ken Johnson back in New York. Ken’s expertise and experience in this format will only continue to build a very strong loyal listener base and grow audience.”
Johnson said, “I love the energy of Cumulus New York. The people and resources are the best in the business. I look forward to being back there and with Chad Lopez and Mike McVay supporting me, it makes being ‘Focused, Responsible, Collaborative and Empowered’ easy.”
Congratulations Ken!

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Lip Sync Battle” will pay tribute to Michael Jackson with a one hour live special Jan. 18. The special, featuring performances of Jackson’s songs, will be the kickoff programming event for the Paramount Network.

“The King of Pop is the most groundbreaking, theatrical superstar of all time and we are thrilled to be performing and celebrating the electrifying music of Michael Jackson on our big night,” said Casey Patterson, executive producer. “We are taking Lip Sync Battleto new heights, LIVE at The Dolby Theater for the launch of The Paramount Network.”

“Lip Sync Battle Live: A Michael Jackson Celebration,” produced by Casey Patterson Entertainment and Matador Content in conjunction with the estate of Michael Jackson, will be filmed live at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

In addition to launching Paramount Network — the new iteration of the Viacom-owned cable channel currently known as Spike TV — the Michael Jackson special will help kick off season four of “Lip Sync Battle,” which will air on Thursdays at 9:30pm ET/PT beginning Jan. 25. Nominated for two Emmys, “Lip Sync Battle” has been a cross-platform hit with more than 1 billion multi-platform views since launch, more than 2 million Facebook followers and more than 2 million YouTube Subscribers. The special is executive produced by Casey Patterson, Jay Peterson, James Sunderland, LL Cool J, John Krasinski, Stephen Merchant, and 8 Million Plus Productions. Glenn Weiss will direct. LL Cool J and Chrissy Tiegen will serve as hosts.

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Three women told the New York Times that they were raped by hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons in incidents dating back to 1988.

Tina Baker, a singer, alleged that Simmons raped her in the early 1990s, when he was her manager. Drew Dixon claimed that Simmons sexually harassed and then raped her when she was an employee of Def Jam Recordings in 1995. Toni Sallie, a music journalist, said that Simmons raped her in 1988.

Simmons denied the allegations in a statement provided to Variety.

“I vehemently deny all these allegations,” he said. “These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all of my relations have been consensual.”

Simmons had already stepped down from his companies, including Rush Communications, following allegations from writer Jenny Lumet, who alleged that he sexually assaulted her in 1991. Variety had earlier reported that Simmons and Brett Ratner were both investigated by the Beverly Hills Police Department for an alleged sexual battery in 2001. The L.A. Times also reported allegations that Ratner and Simmons engaged in sexual misconduct in the early 1990s. Simmons has denied each allegation of non-consensual sex.

The latest allegations mostly date from Simmons’ early career as a powerful music producer in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Sallie said she met Simmons in 1987 and the two briefly dated. The following year, she said Simmons invited her to a party at his apartment. But when she got there, the place was empty. Simmons led her to the bedroom.

“He pushed me on the bed and jumped on top of me, and physically attacked me,” she told the Times. “We were fighting. I said no.”

She said he raped her. She also alleged that she met Simmons again about a year later at a hotel in Florida, and that he grabbed her hair and chased her into the bathroom. She told the Times she ultimately barricaded herself inside her hotel room.

Baker, the artist Tina B, had toured with Madonna and Bruce Springsteen as a backup singer in the 1980s. She, too, was invited to Simmons apartment in the early 1990s. “It all got really ugly, pretty fast,” Baker told the Times. She described being “pinned” to the bed. “I did nothing, I shut my eyes and waited for it to end.”

She also recounted an incident some time later when Simmons allegedly exposed his penis to her. Baker contends that her career was brought to an end in short order, and that her relationships with men suffered for years after the incident.

Dixon also described experiences in which Simmons exposed himself. Working as an associate at Def Jam, she recalled relentless sexual advances by Simmons. “Fending him off ‘was a full-time job,’” she told the paper. One night she also found herself at Simmons’ apartment and recalled “many ways to say no.” The alleged assault caused Dixon to “black out,” she said, and eventually disassociate from the experience as a mental defense.

All three women had friends, associated and therapists who could corroborate their accounts.

Read Simmons’ statement in its entirety below:

I vehemently deny all these allegations. These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all of my relations have been consensual.

I am blessed to have shared extraordinary relationships, whether through work or love, with many great women; and I have enormous respect for the women’s movement worldwide and their struggle for respect, dignity, equality and power. I am devastated by any reason I may have given to anyone to say or think of me in the ways that are currently being described. In recent weeks, some former business, creative and romantic partners have aired grievances as claims I categorically reject. In some of these instances, financial motives and direct contradictory witness testimony has been supplied to the media, which has been completely left out of stories. In the last few days, one woman attempted to extort me for $500,000 only to recant her ridiculous claim. The current allegations sent to me by the New York Times range from the patently untrue to the frivolous and hurtful. The presumption of innocent until proven guilty must not be replaced by “Guilty by Accusation”

I have already apologized for the instances of thoughtlessness in my consensual relations. I have separated myself from my businesses and charities in order to not become a distraction. I have re-dedicated myself to spiritual learning, healing and working on behalf of the communities to which I have devoted my life. I have accepted that I can and should get dirt on my sleeves if it means witnessing the birth of a new consciousness about women. What I will not accept is responsibility for what I have not done. I have conducted my life with a message of peace and love. Although I have been candid about how I have lived in books and interviews detailing my flaws, I will relentlessly fight against any untruthful character assassination that paints me as a man of violence.

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rock & roll hall of fameBon Jovi, The Cars, Dire Straits, The Moody Blues, and Nina Simone are the 2018 inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the organization announced Wednesday.

Gospel pioneer Sister Rosetta Tharpe was chosen to receive the Award for Early Influence.

For The Moody Blues, the honor comes after years of fans harping that the group deserved recognition. The band became eligible for the honor in 1989, and “in 2013, a Rolling Stone reader poll listed the Moody Blues as one of the top 10 bands that need to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” according to the organization.

To be eligible for nomination, an individual artist or band must have released its first commercial recording at least 25 years prior to its induction year. That means the 2018 nominees must have released their first official recording no later than 1992.

To choose the 2018 inductees, an international voting body of more than 900 artists, historians and members of the music industry received ballots, and the top five artists selected comprised a “fans’ ballot” that was tallied along with the other ballots.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2018 Inductions ceremony will be held on April 14, in Cleveland.

SiriusXM will carry a radio broadcast of the ceremony, as well as special broadcasts throughout the year devoted to inductees past and present. HBO will broadcast the ceremony, with details to be announced later.

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It’s that time of year. Time for radio to show it’s cold heart hand out lumps of coal to seasoned pros— just in time for Christmas. Last week Cumulus Media released WNBM-New York MD Raphael George… then iHeartRadio Philly let Mina from the WUSL Power 99 morning show go and most recently… Radio One parted company with WRNB-Philly’s Lady B. Damn!

Can your station use a pro to help you win?

Raphael

Rapheal George

Mina

Mina

Lady B

Lady B

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