CBS Radio Settles With Spitzer Over Payola Scam

23 October 2006

ALBANY, New York: America's third largest radio company, CBS Radio, has agreed to pay $2 million (€11,59m; £1.06m) to fend-off New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer's regulatory rottweilers.

The attack dogs had been investigating allegations that 'gifts' and cash were accepted by CBS staff from record companies in return for airplay. The gifts were ostensibly 'donated' for use in on-air contests but often used instead by radio station staff.

In a statement Spitzer said: "The sale of the station's valuable air time to the highest bidder violates state and federal laws and robs consumers of their right to know why the songs they hear on the radio are being broadcast."

He identified the offending CBS stations as Rochester, Buffalo and New York City

Stated a CBS spokesperson, Karen Mateo: "CBS Radio is pleased to end this two-year music investigation without litigation. The company, however, wants to make clear that in entering into this settlement, CBS Radio does not admit to any liability or violation of law."

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff