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“After a thorough investigation, evidence of wrongdoing was found in two instances and those individuals have been dismissed from the company."
——Clear Channel Press Release
CLEAR CHANNEL DISMISSES TWO, DISCIPLINES OTHERS IN INTERNAL PAYOLA INVESTIGATION
Fired Employees Not Named in Investigation That Followed Spitzer's Sony BMG Deal

Two employees have been dismissed in Clear Channel Communications' internal investigation over payola accusations. Other employees will receive disciplinary action in the aftermath of the investigation, which was ignited by New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s settlement with Sony BMG. Spitzer's case involved Clear Channel Radio programmers, among others, allegedly engaging in illegal payola activities.

 

The company will not be releasing the names of the dismissed employees and issued the following press release Tuesday afternoon:

“After a thorough investigation, evidence of wrongdoing was found in two instances and those individuals have been dismissed from the company. In other instances, the company found evidence of inappropriate conduct, and those individuals have been the subject of disciplinary action.

"’We take this issue very seriously and our policy is clear: If you engage in pay-for-play, you cannot work for Clear Channel,’" said John Hogan, CEO of Clear Channel Radio. "'We believe the vast majority of our programmers are doing a terrific job, fully within the law.'"

"The company will not be releasing the names of those who were a subject of the investigation, terminated or given disciplinary or other punitive action."

"The company also announced a redoubling of its efforts to ensure such behavior does not occur again. All Clear Channel Radio programmers and general managers will receive additional education on the company’s anti-payola policies. In addition, the payola affidavits that are signed annually by programming personnel are being revised to be more explicit about activities that are not permitted under the policy."

"Clear Channel Radio has taken a number of steps to prevent pay-for-play activities, including severing ties with independent promoters in early 2003."

Clear Channel has already delivered an 11-page “Payolo/Plugola/Sponsorship I.D. Guidelines” manifesto, including examples of contracts, to its employees and has called for a mandatory conference call Wednesday morning (10/12) among all its Radio Operating Management, Radio General Managers, Radio Program RVPPs and Radio Program Directors. Eexecutve Vice President of Content Development Tom Owens will be joined by the legal department's Chris Cain and Mickey Gayler to discuss the guidelines and to answer all questions regarding payola practices.

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