In 1997, Charlottesville experienced its first wave of radio consolidation. In an article that appeared in the Cavalier Daily, Mike Friend, the owner and general manager of 91.9 WNRN made this prediction about the future of Charlottesville radio: "It's like the cartoon of the big fish eating the little fish, and the bigger fish comes up and eats the formerly big fish." He was, at the time, referring to the pending merger between the Charlottesville Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and Eure Communications. But the fish keep biting.

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With the creation of any new technology and its introduction to society, there follows a legal inertia. The courts for the most part cannot know of any ill effects of such technologies until they are unleashed into the hands of the public and are tested by consumers. As more and more capabilities of a new technology are discovered, it is likely that the innovation is pushing its legal limits more and more. The field of innovation has thus become a battleground between new technologies and intellectual property rights, which in most cases boils down to the public interest versus the private interest, pitting individuals and small businesses against corporate giants such as the Recording Industry Association of America.

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Comic books, those colorful compilations of pictures heralding the adventures of superheroes and the super-villains they combat used to appeal to adolescent males. Now, comic books appeal to those same boys, except those boys have now become men and their children have a greater variety of distractions-computers, television, video games-that attract their attention and capture their imaginations. In an attempt to share the pleasure and adventure that baby boomers found in comic books with their children, they have “updated” the stories and the heroes to the twenty-first century. With those updates, the language that the characters use is more sophisticated, the violence more graphic, the female characters less clothed, and the stereotypes more subtle in a way that makes them more menacing.

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Politics, according to Silverstein, are no longer about issues - like advertising, it's about images. The aura that surrounds the message conveys more meaning than the actual words, the total encapsulating "message" means more than the initial message (notice the absence of the scare quotes on this one). It's not about "just do it" - it's about Michael Jordon saying it (and not some ninety year old woman), it's about him soaring to the goal (and not the woman putting in her dentures), it's about the fast paced editing of the video (not the slow movements of the woman). Sprite claims Image is Nothing. But in fact, it's everything. And now, it's not just confined to selling a can of soda, it's the key to selling candidates for the President of the United States of America.

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