Nothing To See Here


That’s pretty much the response FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly received from the RIAA about Payola.

The letter, which O’Rielly posted to Twitter, lists several reasons why the RIAA could not provide O’Rielly with the information he requested about possible Payola violations.

He vowed to dig deeper.

Here’s the letter O’Rielly received from RIAA CEO Mitch Glazier and what the Commissioner tweeted about it.



  1. The only reason payola was illegal back in the day was that the monies payed to jocks was under the table and the IRS couldn’t collect the income tax on it. Payola goes on very much today where as the promotions department may get $2500 or $3500 from the record companies and that is documented in the books. The station is free to use that for a contest winner being flown to an other city with a limo ride to the event. Then there are the record companies that simply reward the PD or MD with a new set of Callaway golf clubs or, well you get the idea.

    • However, even if it is above board, and documented in the books, the law states it must be disclosed on air. Just disclosing it in your taxes isn’t enough.

      BTW payola laws are very specific and only apply to broadcasting. Not satellite or streaming. And the US is the only country in the world that has laws about payola.

  2. Apparently, they’re not as intrusive as he’d like.

    (of course, if they were litigated for doing so, I’m sure Michael would indemnify their actions on his behalf. NOT.)


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