Four of the largest radio broadcast chains in the U.S.—Clear Channel Communications, Citadel Broadcasting, Entercom Communications and CBS Radio—agreed tentatively to settle an ongoing FCC investigation into payola practices with a combined payment of $12.5 million. Together, the four broadcasters own more than 1,500 stations nationwide. The settlement would cap a probe begun in 2004 by former New York Attorney General and current New York Governor Eliot Spitzer that spurred the FCC to action. Payola—the practice by which broadcasters accept money or gifts for providing recording artists with airtime—is illegal unless such compensation is disclosed to radio listeners. Under the proposed consent decree with the FCC, the four broadcasters admitted to no wrongdoing but agreed to adhere to various corrective measures, such as better recordkeeping and the hiring of compliance officers, to prevent future violations. Through a separate agreement with the American Association of Independent Music, the companies also pledged to set aside 8,400 half-hour blocks of airtime for independent artists who are not affiliated with the major record companies. Praising the settlement as one that “wipes payola off the radio dial,” FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein described the agreement as “a new opportunity for fresher, newer artists to be heard on the radio.”