Under 30

I can't complain but sometimes I still do

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Wait a second: You mean the radio might have played "My Humps" for reasons other than undeniable artistic quality?

The FCC has launched a payola investigation into four major radio companies, including Clear Channel.

Two FCC officials with direct knowledge of the matter confirmed that the agency had requested documents from Clear Channel Communications Inc., CBS Radio Inc., Entercom Communications Corp. and Citadel Broadcasting Corp. over allegations that radio programmers had received cash, checks, clothing and other gifts in exchange for playing certain songs without revealing the deals to listeners, a violation of federal rules.

The FCC requests, known formally as "letters of inquiry," are the first step in investigations that could result in sanctions ranging from financial penalties to the revocation of stations' licenses.

In the past, radio executives at firms including Clear Channel, the nation's largest station owner, have said that company policies prohibit accepting gifts for airplay and that internal probes have not revealed widespread wrongdoing.

The four broadcasters have been negotiating with the FCC for weeks to forestall a federal inquiry by offering to discontinue certain practices and pay limited fines. But those talks stalled last month over the issue of how much the broadcasters should pay.

Clear Channel proposed a fine of about $1 million, according to people with knowledge of the negotiations. Some commissioners were pushing for as much as $10 million, those sources said.

I'm interested to see how far this goes. Radio is the sleaziest arm of the media monster. Those people have the ethics of loan sharks.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

FCC is a waste of money.

1:20 PM  
Blogger Steve Hyden said...

This last post made no sense.


1:49 PM  

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