Payola on radio could be more legal soon

May 12, 2015 12:04 am
May 12 is the Federal Communications Commission's deadline for public comments on a few large broadcasters’ proposal to legalize payola, pay-to-play "advertisements" for new music on the radio. Currently payola is legal -- record companies are allowed to pay radio stations to play certain songs as long as the radio station identifies immediately that the song was paid for by the record company. The big broadcasters from iHeartMedia (formely Clear Channel), Entercom, and Cumulus Media want to change the rules so that, eventually, a station would air a single announcement, probably very, very early in the morning, saying that some of the songs were paid for by a few companies. The broadcasters provided this example announcement:
“Some of the music [and/or] sports programming that you hear on this station is sponsored [or paid for] by Interscope, Sony, Universal Records, or the Washington Nationals. For additional information, please visit our website at or contact the station at 12345 Main Street, Washington, DC 20036,, or 202-555-1234.”

Comments can be made at the FCC website under FCC Media Bureau docket #15-52.
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