Thursday, December 28, 2006

spitzer's final surprise

outgoing new york attorney general eliot spitzer (he's been elected governor) scores one final win against the music industry, as entercom communications corp has settled his payola lawsuit for $4.25 million. the indy star has a short blurb (three one-sentence paragraphs in length) about the settlement because entercom owns three indy radio stations: WZPL, 107.9 "the track", and talk station WXNT (home of abdul in the morning and local home to bill o'reilly, sean hannity, and glen beck).

for details about the settlement, we need to turn elsewhere, like mediaweek:

The settlement includes a $3.5 million payment to be distributed through the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors to New York State not-for-profit entities to fund music education and appreciation programs, and $750,000 in costs to the state.

Also included are a number of "reforms," according to Spitzer’s office:
- Halting the practice of accepting payments and other inducements from record labels in exchange for airplay;
- Banning all payments from independent promoters employed as a pass-through for funds from record labels;
- Hiring a compliance officer to monitor promotion practices;
- Implementing an internal system to detect any future abuses;
- Informing radio monitoring services when songs are played through the CD Preview and CD Challenge programs so that those services do not count such "spins" toward record popularity rankings.

entercom does not officially admit any guilt in the settlement agreement.

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