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July 6, 2007
Dennis Wharton
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NAB Response to Bogus Airplay Study

WASHINGTON, DC – NAB today responded to a recently resurfaced "study" by Stan Liebowitz, a professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, who claims that radio airplay can hurt album sales.

In response, NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton said, "Everything's bigger in Texas, including the imagination of professors who claim that radio airplay of music does NOT boost record sales. There are certain alleged 'studies' that can be rejected out of hand as nonsense, and this one belongs at the top of the charts."

Also running counter to Professor Liebowitz's assertion are scores of statements made by both record label executives and artists recognizing the promotional value of radio airplay. In responding to Liebowitz's study, NAB also released several examples of such statements.

"I have yet to see the big reaction you want to see to a hit until it goes on the radio. I'm a big, big fan of radio."
--Richard Palmese, Executive Vice President of Promotion, RCA, 2007

"Radio has proven itself time and time again to be the biggest vehicle to expose new music."
-- Ken Lane, Senior Vice President for Promotion, Island Def Jam Music Group, 2005

"It is clearly the number one way that we're getting our music exposed. Nothing else affects retail sales the way terrestrial radio does."
--Tom Biery, Senior Vice President for Promotion, Warner Bros. Records, 2005

"That's the most important thing for a label, getting your records played."
-- Eddie Daye, recording artist, 2003

"Radio helped me a lot. That's the audience. I can't see them, but I know they're there. I can't reach out and touch them with my hand, but I know they're there."
-- B.B. King, recording artist, 2002

"If a song's not on the radio, it'll never sell."
-- Mark Wright, Senior Vice President, MCA Records, 2001

"Air play is king. They play the record, it sells. If they don't, it's dead in the water."
-- Jim Mazza, President, Dreamcatcher Entertainment, 1999

"I am so grateful to radio. Their support has truly changed my life, and I hope they know how appreciative I am for that."
-- Jo Dee Messina, recording artist, 1999

About NAB
The National Association of Broadcasters is a trade association that advocates on behalf of more than 8,300 free, local radio and television stations and also broadcast networks before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and the Courts. Information about NAB can be found at


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