The program director of gospel radio WGRB-AM was fired Feb. 17 for her alleged involvement in a payola scandal. PD and afternoon host Sandra Robinson was canned after six years at the Clear Channel Br
NEW YORK -- The program director of gospel radio WGRB-AM was fired Feb. 17 for her alleged involvement in a payola scandal. PD and afternoon host Sandra Robinson was canned after six years at the Clear Channel Broadcasting radio station, reports the Chicago Sun-Times' Robert Feder.
"Payola is absolutely prohibited, and we have strict enforcement policies to prevent it," said John Gehron, regional CC VP. "We take these matters very seriously and have terminated the employee in question."
Gehron declined to comment further, but insiders tell the Sun-Times that the matter came to light while Robinson was out on medical disability. A call to the station inquiring about why a particular song hadn't been played prompted an investigation.
Officials reportedly discovered that Robinson's husband, Nelson Robinson, was an independent record promoter associated with Connected Productions, which represents gospel music labels. Payments were allegedly made to guarantee airplay of songs, insiders said.
Robinson was unavailable for comment.
She began her Chicago radio career in the early 1980s and hosted a weekly gospel music show at WVAZ-FM before joining "Gospel Radio 1390" as PD in 1999. She also hosted "Just Talking," an inspirational talk show from 5 to 6 p.m. weekdays on the station. She was also a previous president of the Chicago chapter of the Gospel Announcers Guild.
Mike Robinson (no relation), assistant PD/MD of Gospel Radio, was named acting PD.