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Relationships Between Labels, Radio Under Microscope

SPIN iconSPIN Staff // April 7, 2005

Back in the early ’60s, popular radio DJ Alan Freed–the man who coined the term “rock and roll”–pleaded guilty to charges that he took bribes from record companies to play their records. Well, get ready to start hearing about “payola” all over again. New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer served Warner Music Group, the world’s third largest record company, with a subpoena last week, the third one they’ve received since the fall. Spitzer is reportedly investigating independent companies who receive money from major labels in exchange for promoting music at radio stations, essentially eliminating direct contact between the labels and radio.