Here’s what we’re seeing when we look around the communications world: Radio One is adding to InteractiveOne; T-Mobile is paying big bucks to settle cramming charges; PodcastOne has a deal with AP; and the two Republican FCC Commissioners have a gripe.
* Radio One has expanded its Interactive One service with the addition of GlobalGrind, a creation of Russell Simmons. It will anchor iOne’s Millennial channel, providing content of interest in the fields of entertainment, celebrity, music, style and fashion, culture, news and politics.
* T-Mobile is paying $90M in a multi-state settlement over cramming chargers. FCC Chair Tom Wheeler stated, “Today’s settlement is a win for consumers who have been victimized by cramming. It means compensation for T-Mobile customers who were fraudulently billed for third-party services that they did not want or authorize.”
* An on-demand news service is being offered in a partnership between the Associated Press and radio vet Norm Pattiz’s PodcastOne. The service will offer on-demand 60-second news reports that will be up-to-date “at the exact time the podcast is downloaded.”
* FCC Commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly are dismayed that important decisions are being decided at the Bureau level, depriving them of a voice. Pai was particularly concerned about two wireless decisions. The complaints echo those made in the part by Michael Copps concerning merger approvals.