Reiterates strict policies against payola.

Apart from Clear Channel, the response from most radio groups that had been subpoenaed in the payola investigation by the New York State Attorney General was a resounding "no comment."

"We are cooperating fully with Mr. Spitzer's office," a Clear Channel spokesperson said in a statement. "Clear Channel has extremely strict internal policies against payola; so strict that we severed ties with independent promoters in early 2003 to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.

"We investigate any allegation of this nature," the statement continued. "The allegations made today will be fully investigated and any wrongdoing will be met by swift and appropriate disciplinary action."

Clear Channel, Cox Radio, Infinity, Emmis and Entercom had each been subpoenaed as part of an investigation into allegations of payola in the radio industry. No other action has been taken by the New York State Attorney General's office against any of these groups.

Spokespersons at most of the radio groups contacted by Billboard Radio Monitor responded with either an official "no comment" or a respectful "we decline to comment."

In February, after acknowledging that it had been subpoenaed, Clear Channel e-mailed employees an update on payola investigations under way in the industry and a reminder of the company's zero-tolerance payola policy.

That internal e-mail, obtained by Billboard Radio Monitor, said that Clear Channel "has absolutely no tolerance for the participation by any of its employees in arrangements that might constitute payola." The communiqué reminded employees that everyone involved in programming its stations is required, "to swear in writing that he or she has not engaged in payola, and understands that Clear Channel prohibits any such conduct."


> For full coverage on the Sony BMG / Spitzer settlement visit Billboard.Biz/spitzer.