BusRadio launched three years ago with a business plan to deliver advertising-supported music program to school buses all over the country, with the founders figuring that parents and school administrators would welcome a service that guaranteed only child-appropriate lyrics. They figured wrong.
The plan ignited a hailstorm of protests from parent groups, led by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), who rallied to stop numerous school systems from signing on to the service. They also complained to the FCC, which concluded that it had no authority over the programming and that any decision on whether to allow the service on school buses should be left up to local authorities.
BusRadio did have some success in getting into buses and commissioned a special survey by Arbitron to demonstrate that its programming was being heard.
But on top of the parent opposition, BusRadio was also hit by the same advertising recession plaguing virtually all media outlets. BusRadio has ceased operations and even its website no longer exists.
“This is a tremendous victory for families and the growing movement to protect children form exploitative marketing. No child should be forced to listen to advertising on their way to and from school,” said CCFC’s Director Dr. Susan Linn, a psychologist at the Judge Baker’s Children Center.
RBR-TVBR observation: Apparently the folks at CCFC are convinced that the radios on all of those school buses are now tuned to the local non-commercial NPR station for the drive to and from classes. Yeah, right!