Thank You Spitzer, May I Have Another?
from the pay-up-for-payola dept
Among the various populist campaigns that New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has taken on over the years, perhaps his longest running one is his effort in cracking down on radio payola scams. Of course, payola has basically been around since the beginning of radio, and despite a crackdown every few years, it doesn’t seem like it’s ever going to go away. The way it’s described may change, but the idea is still the same: music labels and promoters paying radio stations to play their songs. That’s why it’s not at all surprising to see that CBS Radio has agreed to pony up $2 million to settle payola charges against it, though, it seems unlikely to stop anyone from continuing the practice. What is more amusing, though, is the way that CBS described the settlement. They seemed almost happy about it: “CBS Radio is pleased to end this two-year music investigation without litigation.” The station then goes on to talk about how they’re paying $2 million without admitting guilt, and then says it was really all the fault of two employees and how this settlement is such a great thing since it was worked out in “the spirit of mutual cooperation.” It would appear that Eliot Spitzer has accomplished his goal of scaring the litigious spirit out of just about any company who he stops by to visit so much so that they’re positively giddy to just pay a few million dollar fine and move on. You’d have to think that there are plenty of companies who, as much as they might dislike him, will be thrilled when he’s governor instead of attorney general, since he’s likely to be less of a nuisance in that role.
Comments on “Thank You Spitzer, May I Have Another?”
Governor? Not yet.
You speak as if Eliot Spitzer has been elected governor of New York. I hope you do realize that the election is still a few weeks away…
I sure hope he isn't elected.
He’s already driven enough business from NYS. I can’t imagine how bad it will be if he is elected Governor.
Payola Should Be Legal
Never understood why companies can pay for product placement in stores, but can’t pay for product placement on the radio.
Payola shouldn’t be a crime.
Re: Payola Should Be Legal
See, the product placement isn’t the reason that payola is a problem… it’s ratings that are derived directly from “play time” on radio stations. Essentially, these companies are buying their rankings rather than allowing a non-partial audience to pick them.
It’s acutally more like a bribe than product-placement.
It's illegal to lie about pay for play
There is nothing illegal about paying for placement on the radio IF IT IS DISCLOSED. Pretending the station plays a song because ‘they like it’ or think it’s great when the real reason is the label paid them to is the deceit that is illegal. $2 million is peanuts to CBS Radio especially if it makes any negative attention to them go away. Spitzer hasn’t driven companies away anywhere near the level that the current Gang of Three with their mindless taxation and illegal budgets have.
Gee, if they are willing to pay 2 Million, wonder how much they were actually paid, you know they are still going to make a profit from it.
He's already driven enough business from NYS.
Anon-E-MOOSE said, “He’s already driven enough business from NYS. . .”
If a company is afraid to conduct their business in the presence of an Attorney General like Eliot Spitzer, why would you want that company in your state?
I don’t believe he’s been found wrong yet. In fact, having uncovered all sorts of crimes, he strives to change corporate behavior for the better rather than trying to rack up convictions.
For example, several executives at Merrill Lynch could have gone to jail, but didn’t.
Spitzhead has a policy of taking it easy on companies that “contribute” to certain pet organizations of his. That’s sounds alot like extortion to me.
I’m a little dubious that there’s a large enough body of evidence to make the insinuation that Spitzer’s favoring certain companies.
There are a LOT of companies out there, and it seems fairly natural that the subset of companies Spitzer hasn’t gone after and the subset that contribute to random charity would have quite a lot of overlap.