Lawsuit Claims Objection To Payola Scheme Led To Firings At SBS/Los Angeles
September 19, 2016 at 4:10 AM (PT)
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER reports that according to a lawsuit, SPANISH BROADCASTING SYSTEM Regional Mexican KLAX (97.9 LA RAZA)/LOS ANGELES, "made musicians pay $5,000 if they wanted their songs played on the station."
Former personality STEPHANIE HIMONIDIS, known as "CHIQUIBABY," claims that she and her husband GERARDO LOPEZ were fired after objecting to an illegal payola scheme.
"According to her complaint," notes THR, "SBS knew HIMONIDIS was in a relationship with LOPEZ, who worked as a programming manager for their radio stations KLAX and KXOL, and began courting her to poach her from UNIVISION. In APRIL 2014, she accepted an offer to work as a morning radio show host for KLAX. She got more than $200,000 in salary plus hundreds of thousands more in bonuses. But after being hired, LOPEZ allegedly discovered the payola scheme."
"Defendant SBS demanded that Mr. LOPEZ engage in an illegal payola scheme by selling 'music spots' to musicians who wanted SBS to play thir music on the air," writes the lawsuit. "SBS executives instructed Mr. LOPEZ that part of his job duties were to sell 'music spots,' whereby musicians would buy an on-air announcement or advertisement promoting one of their songs or albums. No such 'announcement' or 'advertisement' was actually made, however. SBS simply played the song along with its other music programming as if they were one and the same."
ALL ACCESS has reached out to SBS for a comment.