Concert Promoter Alleges Christian Radio 'Monopoly' in Portland

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LMG alleges that Salem's practice of "threatening to deny, and in fact denying critical airplay, advertising, and other on-air promotional support, for LMG concerts and to LMG's artists, has caused LMG to lose many business relationships and prospective business relationships."

The concert promoter claims in the suit that "Salem Communications repeatedly has used its size and clout to coerce artists – including artists who had pre-existing business relationships with LMG and/or its principals – to use Salem Communications to promote their concerts or else risk losing airplay and other on-air promotional support" on Salem's radio stations.

LMG also claims Salem Communications "uses its monopoly control over locally programmed Christian commercial radio airtime as the primary selling point to lure clients away from LMG and other promoters, placing LMG and other promoters at an even greater competitive advantage."

Other "anticompetitive" practices by Salem Communications, LMG alleges, allegedly include: refusing to accept paid advertising to promote "or even acknowledge" concerts promoted by LMG, offering discounted or free advertising to artists in exchange for using "Fish Concerts," and bidding up fees paid to artists so that LMG and others "cannot profitably compete."

"Salem Communications will be able to recoup, through higher ticket prices and lower payments to artists, its losses from such tactics when LMG and other promoters are driven from the market," the suit states.

Among other effects of the "anticompetitive" practices, "fans of music artists promoted by LMG have been, or will be, denied the benefits of competition in a free and open market and have been, or will be, forced to pay artificially high ticket prices," the suit states.

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