WASHINGTON, D.C. — Clear Channel has announced the results of an internal investigation into allegations raised by a legal settlement between New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and Sony BMG Music Entertainment. The settlement alleged that some Clear Channel programmers engaged in illegal pay-for-play activities.
The company says that after a thorough investigation, evidence of wrongdoing was found in two instances, and those individuals have been dismissed. In other instances, the company found evidence of inappropriate conduct, and those individuals have been the subject of disciplinary action. CC will not release the names of those who were a subject of the investigation, terminated or given disciplinary or other punitive action.
“We take this issue very seriously and our policy is clear: If you engage in pay-for-play, you cannot work for Clear Channel,” John Hogan, CEO of Clear Channel Radio said in a statement. “We believe the vast majority of our programmers are doing a terrific job, fully within the law.”
The company also announced a redoubling of its efforts to ensure such behavior does not occur again. All of its programmers and GMs will receive additional education on the company’s anti-payola policies. In addition, the payola affidavits that are signed annually by programming personnel are being revised to be more explicit about activities that are not permitted under the policy.
Clear Channel severed ties with independent promoters in early 2003.
In July, Archway Broadcasting fired Blake Larson, APD/MD of its top 40 simulcast WRHT/WRHD (Hot 96 & 103.7) Greenville, N.C. Larson was cited by Spitzer for accepting a $1,365 laptop computer, $900 in airfare for two and PlayStation 2 equipment from a label in exchange for airplay of the label’s artists.