Lindsay Lohan's record label, Universal Music Group, has been fined $12 million for payola today. . . . Sony was already fined $10 million and Warner Music Group was fined $5 million, but the fine was higher for Universal Music Group since they have done the most damage to our ears. All of the aforementioned companies are responsible for forcing garbage like Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Lopez, Good Charlotte and Lindsay Lohan on radio listeners.
The investigation was spearheaded by future New York governor Eliot Spitzer. Fox News has the details:
Lohan is no singer, and no one, not even her movie fans, wanted her albums or to hear her on the radio.
Nevertheless, the record company persisted. A series of e-mails in June 2005 shows what was happening — a manipulation of MTV’s “Total Request Live” show that airs every afternoon and can seriously affect a new record’s fortunes.
UMG, according to Spitzer’s reports, was spending money at radio stations and for “TRL” to “stuff the ballot box” (my words) and turn losers into winners.
The memo series is all about one subject: “We are hiring a request company starting Monday to jack TRL for Lindsay…Guys this is a no win situation how should I respond...there is no airplay we have been pursuing…”
Even more troubling, but not surprising, is a group called Dream originally found by Sean "Diddy" Combs. A July 2003 e-mail tells the story:
“Okay, this is not fun for me. I’ve been consumed all day with calls with etc bitching about our radio picture on Dream. Confidentially pop has spent $196,000 and r/c has spent $72,000 ... This is embarrassing a total lack of accountability. We have gotten ripped off beyond belief, we better turn this thing around or it’s our a**. That’s almost $300,000 and they are looking for some heads…bad bad bad…If I find out that deals were cut with lack of airplay and overnight spins starting with the nationals, as they say heads are gonna roll, including mine.”
Spitzer is going to run for president some day and for all I know his platform will include tripling taxes, outlawing fried food, and imposing sharia.
Still, it'll be awfully tempting to vote for him . . .