Charles Duhigg, Times Staff Writer, in last Saturday's editions:
"Many programmers say that fear of regulatory scrutiny has scared them into airing fewer new songs. Instead, many stations are sticking to older, more tried-and-true tunes that seem less likely to prompt speculation that money changed hands.
"Indeed, research shows that listeners are hearing fewer new songs on the radio today than they were a year ago. In the first quarter of 2006, "active rock" stations added 23% fewer new songs to their playlists than during the same period in 2005, according to trade publication Radio & Records. Pop stations added 14% fewer songs, additions on urban/hip-hop stations dropped 16% and the number of new songs played by "adult contemporary" stations fell 17%.
"Those declines occurred even as the number of album releases increased, according to Nielsen SoundScan."
Dugigg quotes a programmer as saying: "I don't want some investigator asking to see my e-mails because I took a chance on a song I liked."