FCC Continues Probe Into Spanish Radio Payola
October 27, 2008 at 2:04 PM (PT)
A legal telecom blog reports that the FCC Enforcement Bureau has recently sent out letters of inquiry to a number of Spanish-language radio stations demanding responses concerning allegations of payola. The claims arise from a lawsuit filed in LOS ANGELES two years ago.
According to COMMLAWBLOG.COM, DANIEL MIRELES filed a lawsuit asserting he was wrongfully discharged as VP/Promotions at UNIVISION MUSIC/FONOVISA when he initially resisted orders by superiors to make "cash payments to the program directors and others at radio stations in order to increase the airplay of FONOVISA’s records." He did admit that, between FEBRUARY-JUNE, 2006, he was given some $720,000 to pay to "individuals at radio stations" to "get FONOVISA’s records played more frequently on the radio."
MIRELES allegedly spoke with people at "approximately 50 or more" stations, DOLING OUT payments of $3,000-$10,000 per month.
While the complaint doesn't name the stations or station personnel who took the payola, the website reports that the specifics have since been revealed to the FCC. "A Enforcement Bureau’s inquiry letter to at least one station states that station "is specifically mentioned in the [MIRELES] lawsuit as having participated in the payola scheme," reports the blog.
So far, however, the lawsuit and the FCC inquiry is essentially is a lot of smoke, but no fire. Accent on "so far."