Free Press Calls For Get-Tough Payola Policy

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Anti media consolidation activist group Free Press wants the FCC to take a stronger stance against Payola.

That follows the news from New York State Attorney General Elliot Spitzer that he had subpoenaed nine radio groups in his ongoing investigation of payola in the music industry.

The FCC is currently undergoing its own investigation in the wake of Spitzer settlements with Warner Music and Sony's BMG over the issue.

Spitzer would not indentify the groups subpoenaed, but ABC reported Tuesday that they were its own radio group, as well as Clear Channel, Infinity (now CBS Radio), Citadel (which has just bought ABC's radio stations), Entercom, Emmis, Cumulus, Cox, and Pamal.

"The FCC needs to take a stronger stance against payola abuses. It has been 40 years since enactment of the payola statutes," said the group in a statement. "It’s time the FCC and Congress determined whether the existing rules adequately stop payola in the age of big radio."

Democratic FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein told B&C that the FCC is still going over information from the BMG and Warner Music settlements supplied to it by Spitzer, and that he has "every confidence that we are going to do our job and enforce the law."

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