American Radio Network Job 'Offers' Draw Scrutiny
June 21, 2011 at 11:20 AM (PT)
AMERICAN RADIO NETWORK, which claims to offer openings for syndicated on-air positions, is coming under intense scrutiny for charging prospective talent a variety of fees for producing their own shows, without ever offering a position, the LA WEEKLY reports. What's more, the one production they advertised as needed program hosts, The KING BISCUIT FLOWER HOUR, reportedly is owned and operated by another company that has no relations to ARN.
The company had been running an ad in CRAIGLIST that states: "KING BISCUIT FLOWER HOUR affiliate seeks Program Hosts. (LOS ANGELES CA/ ORANGE CA.) ... We carry the KING BISCUIT FLOWER HOUR program among other nationally syndicated radio programs and are currently seeking program hosts. No prior experience is required."
Interested parties have to sign up for the radio network's orientation sessions and auditions, where ARN Exec. Producer and VP TONY LEWIS claims that a radio syndication network is available, and that participants will have an opportunity to host their own broadcast show. However, once they pass the audition and go through orientation, they are required to pay a variety of fees.
The initial administrative fee is $40. They charge for production time in their studios. ARN also suggests new hosts purchase a press pass from them for $95.
A disgruntled former participant asserted that ARN claimed "to own or be affiliated with six radio stations. [but] the call letters don't match; there's no broadcast at the reported frequencies and the FCC has never heard of them."
However, of the stations listed on ARN websites, only CLEAR CHANNEL Country KTST/OKLAHOMA CITY is a real station. When contacted by the WEEKLY, CLEAR CHANNEL disavowed any association with ARN, nor has "it given permission for its name to be used in conjunction with any marketing efforts by AMERICAN RADIO NETWORK. We are currently reviewing the situation and will take action if/where appropriate."
What's more, WOLFGANG'S VAULT, the firm that own the KING BISCUIT FLOWER HOUR, released a prepared statement: "Please know that WOLFGANG'S VAULT has absolutely no affiliation with AMERICAN RADIO NETWORK. WOLFGANG'S VAULT acquired all rights to the KING BISCUIT FLOWER HOUR name in 2006 and we will take all appropriate actions to prevent the unauthorized use of our proprietary names and marks."
LEWIS confirmed to the LA WEEKLY that he has received a "cease and desist" letter from WOLFGANG'S VAULT, demanding that ARN stop using the KING BISCUIT name, adding that, "I'm not happy about it."