Mayor, Council's Ire Over Arizona Station's Pay-For-Interview Policy Heats Up
August 25, 2014 at 5:16 AM (PT)
The controversy over FELIX CORP. Spanish Hits KOFH (MAXIMA 99.1)/NOGALES, AZ allegedly charging subjects to be interviewed in news reports has heated up with the Mayor of NOGALES, ARTURO GARINO, joined by a majority of the City Council, asking the FCC and ARIZONA Attorney General's office to investigate the practice.
The state, however, told GARINO that it would not investigate because it did not find evidence of criminal action.
GARINO previously charged that the station's coverage of himself and the council, primarily on the three hour news-talk block "NOTICIEROS," went negative after the city stopped paying in 2011 (NET NEWS 7/17). Meanwhile, station GM OSCAR FELIX SR. told the ARIZONA REPUBLIC that it's "appropriate to charge for news interviews" but that failure to pay does not have an influence on news coverage and commentary.
The city paid the station $24,095 over three years for interviews, ads, and the station's participation in a city event before GARINO was elected and the practice was changed (the city has paid the station $795 since GARINO took office, according to the REPUBLIC).