Salon.com's Eric Boehlert investigates the state of the radio industry and the current practices of many stations around the country. One such practice is the use of "indies" or independent promoters paid by record companies to get their songs and artists on the radio. In turn the indies provide the radio stations with "promotional expenses," which could range from merchandise vouchers, expensive trips, or off the books cash. The practice has become so widespread that local disc jockeys and program directors have little say over playlists, and instead deals are struck between general managers and indies that guarantee at least $75,000 to $100,000 annually. Boehlert also chronicles the rise of Clear Channel, one of the biggest station owners in the country.