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Hip-Hop News: Pay-For-Play Scandal Being Investigated Further
NY Police chief has announced subpoena's for some of the largest radio conglomerates in the industry.
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Posted by Dave
Rap News Network
2/9/2006 8:37:58 AM

Tags and topics realted to this article include Various Artists. Hip Hop, Rap, Law and R&B.

New York's chief law officer has said he has subpoenaed many of the largest radio conglomerates in the US in his "payola" investigation of various major artists and songs.

Artists are reported to include Jennifer Lopez, R.E.M. and Glasgow band Franz Ferdinand.

State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer claims some of the songs may have been given air time because of payoffs by recording companies.

Mr Spitzer would not identify the major radio companies that have been subpoenaed or the artists and songs that he claims benefited from the pay-for-play practice for cash, trips and gifts.

"A lot of the major songs have been implicated in this and it showed how pervasive the payola infrastructure had become," Mr Spitzer said.

"Probably many of the songs that were beneficiaries of the payola scheme would have succeeded without it, but certainly payola became part of the promotional structure and was integral to the game to get songs to the top."

He said the victims of payola are listeners who did not hear music based on objective criteria, including popularity, and artists who cannot get their big break because they had no player in the payola scheme. Mr Spitzer is investigating the nine largest radio corporations in a scheme that involved Jennifer Lopez's I'm Real record and John Mayer's song Daughters, according to court documents filed by Spitzer's office.

Songs by other artists are also being examined, including recordings by Jessica Simpson, Celine Dion, Maroon 5, Good Charlotte, Franz Ferdinand, Switchfoot, Michelle Branch and R.E.M.

The radio companies that have received subpoenas control thousands of stations nationwide, including Clear Channel Communications Inc, Infinity which now operates as CBS Radio, Citadel Broadcasting Corp, Cox Radio Inc, Cumulus Broadcasting Inc, Pamal Broadcasting, Emmis Communications Corp, Entercom and ABC.

The practice has evolved but appears to be have been underway in its current form since the mid to late 1990s, said Terryl Brown Clemons, assistant deputy attorney general in charge of the investigation. She said the practice was found across the spectrum of music, from Top 40 to urban to rock.

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