Adelstein Calls for Radio, TV to Clean Up Its 'Bottomless Pit of Commercialism'

Adelstein Calls for Radio, TV to Clean Up Its 'Bottomless Pit of Commercialism'
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FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein looked into payola when he joined the agency two years ago; now, he said in a speech to the Media Institute, "I have discovered a bottomless pit of commercialism in today's media into which even icons we hold sacred are sinking and becoming sullied."
He's referring to so-called Video News Releases, in which a spokesperson is paid for an endorsement or the material is provided by the government. TV stations should disclose the source of this material, he said, describing it as payola.
He called for radio to clean up its practice of having DJs endorse products on-air, saying it violates the FCC's sponsor ID rule.
"Listeners are left wondering if the on-air personalities really liked the product, or whether the station was paid to promote it," Adelstein said. "If there was payment of any kind, they better disclose it or they should face the scrutiny of the FCC."

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