Thursday, February 16, 2006
FCC URGED TO INVESTIGATE PAYOLA ACTIVITIES OF BROADCAST CARTEL.
Recent investigations by the New York State Attorney General's office have revealed widespread violations of laws against radio payola. Nearly 200 stations were implicated. Many are owned by the handful of radio conglomerates that have risen to prominence since the industry was deregulated in 1996.
The investigation alleges that the stations in question accepted cash and prizes to play artists that were hand-picked by major recording labels. The radio stations aired these without disclosing to listeners the shadowy record deals that pushed the performers to the top of playlists. This practice is not only dishonest, it's against the law.
The airwaves belong to the public, and since 1927, the federal government has required broadcasters who use them to serve the public interest. You owe it to the American public to put a stop to this deception. Please launch a full and thorough investigation into all allegations of payola in the commercial radio industry and hold bad actors accountable.
Also, HD Radio AM and FM digital jamming of the public airwaves by the broadcast cartel should stop. Popular community and suburban stations, that provide valuable unduplicated local public service, are being jammed, and independent voices muffled. This seems contrary to the primary mission of the FCC and intent of congress.
Where to send your outrage if you are honest, or collect your cash, if you are not.
Link to PAYOLA stations map: http://www.freepress.net/payola/map.php