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.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Thank You Spitzer, May I Have Another?”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Robert says:

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.

Taxed 2. Death says:

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.

Stu says:

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.

Moogle says:

Re: Crook

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.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...