Payola in the News; Feingold Wants Hearing

Payola in the News; Feingold Wants Hearing
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Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., has asked Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, and co-chair Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, to set a hearing on payola.
In a letter, he said New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, the FCC commissioners and music, radio and concert industry representatives should be invited to testify.
Although the topic is likely to be discussed as part of several hearings the committee plans to hold in preparation for the rewrite of the Telecommunications Act, Feingold believes the topic deserves special attention. He authored the “Radio and Concert Disclosure and Competition Act of 2005” last year to “attack this problem,” he wrote.
The issue has also received national attention in an ABC News piece this week. Associated Press reported that Spitzer said he has subpoenaed nine radio companies in his investigation of major artists and songs that he claims got air time because of payoffs by recording companies. The companies that have received subpoenas include Clear Channel, CBS Radio, Citadel, Cox, Cumulus, Pamal Broadcasting, Entercom, Emmis and ABC.


Avoid the Payola Police

During 2005, the issue of payola received more public attention than at any time since the "pay-for-play" record scandals of the late 1950s.