2020 Grammys

CC Reminds Of Zero Tolerance Payola Policy

Employees updated in wake of subpoena.

After acknowledging that it has been subpoenaed by the New York State Attorney General as part of an investigation into allegations of payola in the radio industry, Clear Channel emailed employees Friday morning (Feb. 18) an update on payola investigations underway in the industry and a reminder of the company's zero-tolerance payola policy.

In the internal e-mail obtained by Billboard Radio Monitor, the company says it "has absolutely no tolerance for the participation by any of its employees in arrangements that might constitute payola." The communiqué reminds 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."

The company previously required employees involved in programming to sign a Payola Affidavit & Responsible Broadcast Initiative Certification.

The memo, authored by the company's chief legal officer, also says that CC's goal is "to eliminate the opportunity for the occurrence of even unintentional acts that might be perceived as payola."

The legal definition of "payola" is also included in the email, along with the notice that a finding of payola doesn't require a showing that the material was actually broadcast. Rather a "finding that payment was made to have the material broadcast (without on-air disclosure) is sufficient for a conviction."

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