Thursday, July 28, 2005

BUSTED FOR PAYOLA

I try to avoid current events, but this really got me going (since I am an ex-promo man myself). The way the gears have turned in the record industry hasn't changed in half a century. This most recent Sony scandal isnt going to change a thing. There will be a few new sacrifical lambs.Alan Freed was driven out of the buisness. Sony will probably make a charitable contribution. The Radio staitons will probably get a tersely worded warning.

If you hadn't heard... Sony got busted for Payola.
Below are quotes from emails naming radio stations they bribed for airplay.
I quote some great lines below. but the full text from Spitzer is here:
http://www.oag.state.ny.us/press/2005/jul/payola2.pdf

In discussing a bribe given to a radio programmer in Buffalo, one promotion executive at Sony BMG's Epic Records wrote to a colleague at Epic: "Two weeks ago, it cost us over 4000.00 to get Franz [Ferdinand] on WKSE. That is what the four trips to Miami and hotel cost . . . At the end of the day, [David] Universal added GC [Good Charlotte] and Gretchen Wilson and hit Alex up for another grand and they settled for $750.00. So almost $5000.00 in two weeks for overnight airplay. He told me that Tommy really wanted him to do it so he cut the deal."

Another Epic employee who was trying to promote the group Audioslave to a Clear Channel programmer asked in an email: "WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO GET AUDIOSLAVE ON WKSS THIS WEEK?!!? Whatever you can dream up, I can make it happen."

A promotion employee unhappy with the times assigned for spins of the song "I Drove All Night" by Celine Dion wrote this internal email: "OK, HERE IT IS IN BLACK AND WHITE AND IT'S SERIOUS: IF A RADIO STATION GOT A FLYAWAY TO A CELINE [DION] SHOW IN LAS VEGAS FOR THE ADD, AND THEY'RE PLAYING THE SONG ALL IN OVERNIGHTS, THEY ARE NOT GETTING THE FLYAWAY. PLEASE FIX THE OVERNIGHT ROTATIONS IMMEDIATELY."