WASHINGTON (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The FCC is investigating allegations made in a wrongful termination suit that Latin label Fonovisa may have participated in a pay for play scheme with unspecified radio stations.
According to a letter obtained by Billboard, the FCC, on October 16th, notified an "unspecified number" of Latin music stations that they had 60 days to provide information on "whether personnel at the station accepted cash payments or other valuable consideration…in exchange for airplay of musical artists represented by and/or records produced or distributed by Univision Music Group."
The letter went on to state that the FCC had obtained information that suggested that "one or more employees of Univision Music delivered thousands of dollars in cash to personnel at the station, as part of a widespread payola scheme", Billboard reported.
The payola allegations appear to stem from a 2006 lawsuit brought against Fonovisa by former VP of promotions Daniel Mireles, who contends that he was fired for his unwillingness to continue participating in the scheme.
Mireles, in his 2006 complaint, alleged that he had been compelled by his superiors at Fonovisa to compile a list of bribe targets at radio stations of interest that were unnamed in the suit.
Unsurprisingly, the FCC has been mum on the subject – a spokesman confirmed that the commission had made inquiries related to a "sponsorship identification issue," but did not elaborate.
Mireles attorney's requested that the case be dismissed early this year, a few months before Fonovisa's parent company Univision was acquired by Universal Music. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers