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Ghanaian DJ in the UK Sacked After Taking £200 Payola to Play An Artiste’s Song

A Ghanaian DJ at popular UK Radio station, Capital Xtra radio has been dropped after he charged payments of £200 to play songs and keep tracks on a playlist for his primetime show.

DJ Tiiny, who hosted the 7pm to 9pm Friday night slot on the station since 2018, was removed from the Capital Xtra schedules and his profile expunged from its website after a producer claimed to have received an email saying he would premier a track on his Friday night show and keep it on his playlist for two weeks for a fee of £200.

The DJ, whose real name is Frank Boakye-Yiadom, released a statement saying he “took advantage of his position” and apologised to all those he had let down. “I take full responsibility for my actions and fully accept the consequences,” he wrote.

Global Radio, the parent company of Capital and Capital Xtra, declined to comment on the situation.

The issue of pay-for-play or “payola” – the practice of making payments in order to have your song played on a station – was a persistent issue in US radio in the 1970s and 1980s, with several high-profile legal actions against those who practised it. Ofcom’s Broadcasting Code includes a specific reference to the practice. “No commercial arrangement that involves payment, or the provision of some other valuable consideration, to the broadcaster may influence the selection or rotation of music for broadcast,” section 10.5 of the code, states.

The consequences of breaking the Broadcasting Code are potentially serious, with the watchdog able to take enforcement action, including revoking a licence, if a broadcaster breaks them.

Practices in the UK industry have been questioned before, with accusations that DJs favoured acts managed by their partners or signed to their own labels, and that stations with artist management arms gave their own acts more airtime.

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