Report: WTIC's License Renewal Being Delayed On 'Payola' Charge
October 20, 2014 at 3:10 AM (PT)
Just about one month ago (NET NEWS 9/22), ALL A reported that former CONNECTICUT Governor and CBS RADIO News-Talk WTIC-A/HARTFORD talk show host JOHN ROWLAND had been convicted on all seven counts in his trial on campaign finance conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges.
Now, CTNOW.COM reports the license renewal of the station has been delayed following a "payola" complaint. The website writes, "HARTFORD lawyer and political activist KEN KRAYESKE has made a complaint to the FCC -- his second. Based on testimony and evidence at ROWLAND's trial, KRAYESKE argues that ROWLAND and WTIC broke the law when ROWLAND used the radio show to promote a congressional candidate who was secretly paying him."
Among the allegations, ROWLAND was accused of using his show to help his consulting client, Congressional candidate LISA WILSON-FOLEY, in her campaign and offering to do the same for another candidate, MARK GREENBERG, who testified that he was asked to pay for ROWLAND's services through GREENBERG's animal rescue group. ROWLAND's defense said that he had volunteered to help WILSON-FOLEY's campaign and did consulting work for her husband's nursing home business.
ROWLAND worked for WTIC from 2004, after his prison term for corruption, through APRIL 2014, a week before his indictment for conspiracy and obstruction of justice related to his political consulting activities.
CTNOW notes, "The FCC, if it pushes ahead, will be running a low-stakes inquiry. Penalties, if any, could involve reprimands or fines, said veteran broadcasters and lawyers who practice before the FCC. In contrast, ROWLAND faces a significant prison sentence as a second offender when he returns to U.S. District Court in JANUARY."