Did Broadcaster’s Push For Payola Waiver Start in Under-Publicized FCC Meeting in 2012?

As we reported over the weekend, big broadcasters are now asking the FCC for a “payola” waiver on terrestrial and digital broadcast.  “Payola Lanes” if you will.

But now we realize that this push likely started in a 2012 with a very under the radar meeting between four clear channel executives and FCC chief.

Matthew Lasar at Radio Survivor reported the meeting  March 12 2012.  He also uncovered a summary of the meeting with a paragraph that made him as he says scratch his head:

“In addition, Mr. Pittman discussed several ways in which the FCC can help radio to improve its competitive position by increasing the flexibility that it has to enter into strategic partnerships that will enhance the listening experience, while ensuring that audiences receive sponsorship information appropriate to today’s digital environment.”

Matthew Lasar went  on to state:

“My rough guess is that it could have something to do with iHeart Radio and the FCC’s sponsorship identification (or payola) rules, which require broadcasters to let the public know when some kind of “valuable consideration” has been given to a station in exchange for air time.”

Now we know Lasar guessed right. We now know that the Broadcaster are looking for an exemption to the rules that require immediate disclosure of “payola.”  Looks like the push started in 2012.  What other documents are out there?

It just keeps getting uglier and uglier.  See FCC document below:

08-90 03-08-2012 Clear Channel Communications, Inc. 7021899350