Warner Settles With Spitzer in Payola Probe

Warner Settles With Spitzer in Payola Probe
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First Sony, now Warner.
New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer announced a second settlement with a record label associated with a payola investigation by his office; Spitzer said Warner Music Group agreed to stop providing radio stations with financial incentives and promotional items in exchange for airplay and pay $5 million to Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, a music appreciation charity created in part by the initial Sony settlement earlier this summer.
Payments, the attorney general's office said, included direct bribes paid to radio programmers, as well as payments to the radio stations to buy airtime or to cover the stations' operating expenses. The allegations are similar to the ones leveled against Sony BMG Music Entertainment.
Warner issued this statement: "We consider this to have been a valuable process. From our perspective, radio cannot be too consumer-driven. The music that people hear on the radio always should represent the highest quality the industry has to offer."


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.