IBJNews

Radio One alleges ex-WTLC DJ violated 'payola' policy

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The owner of Indianapolis R&B station WTLC-FM 106.7 has accused a fired disc jockey of violating its policy on payola and choosing which artists receive airplay.

Maryland-based Radio One Inc. levied the allegation against Krishna Henderson-Hutchinson, who was known on WTLC as “First Lady Khris Raye.”

WTLC fired Henderson-Hutchinson last December. She filed a lawsuit in Marion Superior Court in June, alleging breach of contract and seeking at least two months of back pay.

Radio One had the case transferred to federal court in Indianapolis after it first appeared the former on-air personality was seeking more than $75,000 from the company. 

But the complaint was remanded back to Marion County court recently, where Radio One  last month alleged that Henderson-Hutchinson violated the company’s “Payola, Plugola & Music Selection Compliance Policy,” which requires pre-approval before a song is added to the playlist.

“Henderson-Hutchinson engaged in an intimate personal relationship with a musical artist, whose songs (she) added to Radio One’s playlist and substantially increased on-air play without Radio One’s approval,” the company said in a recent filing.

The artist wasn't identified. The suit did not specifiy whether she received any compensation for arranging airplay for the artist.

The radio industry adopted such policies in the 1950s after Congress conducted a number of hearings into complaints that record promoters were paying DJs to play artists’ songs. Payola accusations aren’t as common today.

An attorney for Henderson-Hutchinson has denied Radio One's allegations.

“My client never engaged in payola and never received any type of compensation,” said her attorney, Andrew Wirick of Hume Smith Geddes Green & Simmons LLP.

Henderson-Hutchinson joined WTLC in 2005. Beside serving as a disc jokey, she’s held other roles such as music director and as assistant program director at WTLC-AM 1310.

Radio One also alleges she added other musical artists to the playlists without authorization and that she accessed her email account following her departure, in violation of her employment agreement.

The broadcaster seeks unspecified damages and attorney fees.

Earlier this month the station fired personality Rusty Redenbacher for playing a song on which he sang vocals, thus violating a policy against self-promotion.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Nothing new.
    Most of the biggest hit songs of the last 50 years got their start when somebody was in one way or another paid to play them. It's the way things work. Congress accepts huge money to do certain things all the time.
  • What They're Really Mad About
    What they're really mad about is that she did so without having the performer's record label sign a "music promotion agreement" with Radio One and pay them a pile of money to broadcast the songs. You see, while it remains illegal for an individual broadcaster to accept money to play certain songs, it is both legal and profitable for record companies to pay broadcasters for "promotion" of their acts on the airwaves in consideration of cash.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
ADVERTISEMENT