Banned playlist only a rumor

Reports on Tuesday that Clear Channel Communications, the nation’s biggest radio station chain, released a list to its partner radio stations of songs they might want to avoid playing on the air is simply a rumor.

“The songs that made the list were supposedly handpicked by program directors on the West Coast,” Pam Taylor, a spokesperson for the Texas-based company told on Wednesday. “It is a rumor. We never banned any songs from airing on our radio stations.”

Clear Channel Communications issued a statement today, as a result of numerous media reports, concerning an alleged list of banned songs on U.S. radio stations following last week’s tragedy in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

“Clear Channel believes that radio is a local medium. It is up to every radio station program director and general manager to understand their market, listen to their listeners and guide their station’s music selections according to local sensitivities,” the statement read. “Each program director and general manager must take the pulse of his or her market to determine if play lists should be altered, and if so, for how long.”

“In the wake of this terrible tragedy, the nation’s business community is responding with a degree of hypersensitivity,” explained Mark P. Mays, President and Chief Operating Officer of Clear Channel said.

James Cameron, acting general manager of Clear Channel Communications in its Aberdeen, Texas, affiliate, confirmed to that he had next seen a list of this kind. “Our station has no intent in releasing such a letter or banning any songs from being played,” he said.

Various Web sites posted copies of the list on Tuesday, showing that the songs had more than likely been picked because of their titles, Reuters reported.

Among the songs included were hard-rock group AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell,” the Gap Band’s “You Dropped a Bomb on Me,” Soundgarden’s “Blow Up the Outside World,” and even the Led Zeppelin classic “Stairway to Heaven.” Surprisingly, Neil Diamond’s “America” also made the list.

Even mellower tunes–such as “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas, “Imagine” by John Lennon, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel, “Peace Train” by Cat Stevens, “Leaving on a Jet Plane” by Peter, Paul & Marry, “Crash Into Me” by the Dave Matthews Band, and “Ticket to Ride” by the Beatles–made the list.

Taylor added that the rumor was actually cleared on Tuesday night, saying that Clear Channel Communications would never avoid playing the songs on the air. Furthermore, she said that a program director at one of their radio stations, which she did not name, will play all the songs on the list in a special show this weekend.

Clear Channel represents about 1,200 stations and broadcasts in 47 U.S. markets, reported. One out of every 10 radio stations across the country broadcast under Clear Channel’s banner.