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FCC Already Investigating Entercom for Payola

New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer was critical of the FCC Wednesday for "inaction" on the issue of payola in the radio industry.

That criticism was prompted by Spitzer's filing of a suit against top-five radio company Entercom for accepting payola from record companies for playing certain songs. That followed earlier settlements between New York and record companies over the same issue.

The FCC responded that it was actively investigating the information supplied by Spitzer from New York State's payola settlements with Sony BMG and Warner Music last year.

What the FCC didn't mention was an open Payola investigation of Entercom dating back more than a year.

FCC Chairman Michael Powell last January announced that Entercom's WKSE(FM) Niagara Falls, N.Y., was the target of an investigation into possible violations of disclosure and sponsorship-identification rules.