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Payola Allegations Settled for KROX

Emmis, FCC reach détente

The FCC and Emmis Communications have reached an agreement on a payola allegation levied against a jock from KROX(FM), Buda, Texas. The agreement ends an investigation that began in 2007.

In exchange, Emmis does not admit wrongdoing and makes a “voluntary contribution” to the U.S. Treasury of $12,000. KROX agreed to give its staff special training and file quarterly reports with the FCC over the next three years certifying it’s in compliance with sponsor identification rules and avoid “the appearance of impropriety in the area of music selection,” according to the Consent Decree released July 22.

Specifically, the complaint alleged a KROX DJ received valuable consideration from: a heavy metal music store; a music venue, a booking agent and a band manager. The complainant also alleged that independent artists couldn’t secure airplay on the station unless they sponsored events organized by KROX but directed or hosted by the DJ.

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau and Emmis felt that continuing the probe would be time-consuming and require substantial expenditure of public and private resources.