...don't even ignore 'em.
-- Samuel Goldwyn

Friday, July 29, 2005

Payola perspective.

I've been preoccupied with the Eliot Spitzer Sony-BMG investigation this week, mostly blogging on my new radio branch, where I think like a radio guy. It occurs to me that in the grand scheme of things, Mr. Spitzer has dropped down to the small-potatoes division of his crusade. Sure, nothing small about Sony and BMG, but look at it this way: so far, one radio program director in Greenville, NC, has been fired because Spitzergate has revealed he probably received a laptop ($1300; not even top-of-the-line), two plane tickets ($900), and videogame gear, totalling about $2500. Aside from the Sony-BMG $10M fine and corporate mea culpa and the dumping of a few promotion employees, this is the total product of the prosecution so far.

After the far-reaching results in his Wall Street attack, Spitzer's foray into the well-slogged radio-music swamp seems kind of penny-ante. Almost as penny-ante as the spectacle of one of the world's giant entertainment companies--at a time when certain technological changes are, uh, "impacting" the biz--dropping a few tchotchkes to get airplay in Greenville. Yes, this is one small-tuber investigation with guaranteed press attached, and he's gotta have a pretty sizeable appetite to maintain by this time. But gee, Eliot, priorities.

Oh, well, while we're at it, how about a national debate on product placement, media ownership consolidation, the PR biz, Halliburton....

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