Ticketmaster's Irving Azoff, Live Nation's Michael Rapino, JAM productions' Jerry Mickelson and David A. Balto of the Center of American Progress are expected to testify
at a subcomittee's antitrust hearing today on the merger of Ticketmaster with Live Nation. CSPAN will provide live coverage of the hearings starting at 11:30 PST on its C-SPAN 3 and ill stream it on their Website here.
What to watch for: New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, a member of the subcommittee, who has been publicly critical of a snafu involving Bruce Springsteen tickets. The Boss himself has expressed opposition
to the merger.
As that hearing is going on, the music artists will be pushing for passage of the Performance Rights Act, which would require radio stations to compensate performers when their songs are played on the airwaves. Expected at the 11 a.m. press conference at the Rayburn Senate Office Building are a host of musicians and artists as well as Sen. Patrick Leahy and other lawmakers. Among the names that musicFIRST has planned for the event: Will.i.am, Sheryl Crow, Herbie Hancock, Emmylou Harris, Patti LaBelle, Rob Thomas and Dionne Warwick.
Broadcasters are not happy about the prospect of ponying up more money at a time of declining ad revenue, and are lining up sponsors of a House resolution opposed to such a performance fee. Earlier this month, Reps. Gene Green (D-Texas) and Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) introduced the Local Radio Freedom Act.
Get Out and Do: Less of a flashpoint will be a hearing tomorrow where Usher will testify before the Education and Labor Committee, chaired by Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), on the importance of volunteerism. He'll be joined by Time's Richard Stengel "to examine the importance of national and community service in meeting critical economic needs across the country." Also on the docket: Former Sen. Harris Wofford and environmental activist Van Jones, among others.
Screenings: The Creative Coalition and Washington Life magazine host the world premiere of "An American Affair" tonight at Landmark's E Street Cinema in Washington. The Screen Media Films pic stars Gretchen Mol and set "during the glamour and intrigue of John F. Kennedy's Camelot. …"The Accidental Advocate," a documentary about the politics of stem cell research, screens tonight at the William Holden Theatre on the Sony lot in Culver City. It's hosted by CuresNow board members Lucy Fisher and Doug Wick and Janet and Jerry Zucker.