Tuesday, February 24, 2009

DJs can be felons

It's a fact, our hiring standards can be lax. Radio work does not require a masters degree, a college diploma -not even a GED. We don't do a lot of background checks. Hell, I think most of us have met one or two that were borderline illiterate. So in that mix we do turn up the occasional felon. So today I'd like to revisit a few highlights.
Thomas Finneran has been doing "Finneran's Forum" for years. The former House speaker quit to become a high-paid lobbyist. In 2007 the well connected Finneran took over the morning drive spot on WRKO. More here. Despite crappy ratings, Entercom extended his contract into 2009. He was charged with perjury and obstruction of justice. He pled out, they dropped perjury he was disbarred, lost his pension, paid a fine and got 18 months probation. More here.

93.3 KMXV
Gregory D. Sage, was busted in 2007 on 5 counts of child pornography. Oooh that hurts the brand. More here. He did afternoons DJ'ing at KMXV starting in 2002 and was promoted to promotions manager in 2006. Sage also worked at KCKC doing a little traffic and promotions.

Roger Hedgecock had to resign as mayor of San Diego in 1985 over 13 convictions for perjury relating to his failure to failure to report over $360,000 in campaign contributions. He paid a fine and it was reduced to a misdemeanor. He spent a year in custody and was disbarred. He went on to host the Roger Hedgecock Show on KOGO and KSDO-AM in California. He's been on air for 20 years and is nationally syndicated. More here, and here.

Rush Limbaugh, the right-wing pundit has been repeatedly caught with illegal prescription drugs. In 2003 he used his maid toscore 4,350 Oxycontin in one 47-day period. (Normally that many would get you a charge of intent to sell) In 2006 it was Viagra without a prescription in his bag at Palm Beach Airport. Then he was accused of doctor shopping to stock up on Oxycontin, Lorcet, Xanax, and Clonodine. Under Florida State law that's also a felony. For the Oxy he was booked and and had to make a $30,000 payment to the State of Florida. All other charges evaporated. More here.

This is a little more academic... should a felony conviction count against an amateur license? Robert Landis of Atascadero, California, was convicted in 1991 on two felony counts of lewd behavior with a minor. As a result,15 years later while he is still in prison... in August of 2006 the FCC initiated a hearing, in November he got revoked. More here.

97.1 KLSP
You can't beat KLSP, the radio station is in Angola prison, every one of it's air staff are felons. many are multiple felons. Operating since 1986 it operates at 100 watts and reaches about 6,000 people. I don't think any of them are former members of congress. More here.

----------UPDATE 02/25/09-----------
...To drive the point home, there was another conviction just yesterday.
98.1 WTKE & 1400 WTKE-AM
In 2005 "the Ticket" added Charles "Scott" McKinney to their morning show The Morning Wrap. McKinney was sentenced to five years in prison on a conviction for 11 counts of fraud and grand theft. He had been soliciting investments in a front company claiming to be syndicating his program. More here.