August 09, 2005

NYC radio station stops "Smackfest" after fine

New York radio station Hot 97 (WQHT) has been fined $240,000 by New York's Attorney General for an ongoing contest stunt caled "Smackfest."

The stunt involved women pitted against each other to see who could slap the other the hardest for a prizes including movie tickets and a cash prize of $5,000.

WQHT Hot 97's parent company (Emmis Communications) also agreed in a settlement to pay $240,000, which equaled the maximum fine it faced, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said.

Spitzer and the state Athletic Commission said the hip-hop and rhythm and blues station held 24 "Smackfest" contests from April 2004 to January 2005. Young women took turns "violently" slapping each other for concert tickets and as much as $5,000 in cash, Spitzer said. Images of the slapping then ran on the station's Web site.

Spitzer investigated the case as a potential violation of state law on promotion of a combative sport.

WQHT agreed to pay $60,000 of the settlement to a nonprofit group that promotes awareness of domestic violence.

In April, WQHT caught flack for airing what they called the "Tsunami Song," which mocked victims of last December's Asian Tsunami disaster. Several Hot 97 staffers were fired over that incident.

No word has come down regarding any employee disciplinary actions over "Smackfest."

(More coverage from The Radio Equalizer, Nykola & others)

Posted by mhking at August 9, 2005 09:47 PM | TrackBack
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