FCC Plays Columbo

Infinity Broadcasting’s KROQ-FM Los Angeles has until April 29 to supply the Federal Communications Commission with an accounting of the events surrounding the phony murder confession aired by the station last year.

The FCC has asked execs of Los Angeles-based Infinity to provide details of the murder hoax, which aired June 13 as part of a “Confess Your Crime” segment staged by morning deejays Gene (Bean) Baxter and Kevin Ryder.

KROQ aired a telephone conversation in which a male caller “confessed” to murdering his girlfriend. The confession call, it turned out, was actually placed by Doug Roberts, an Arizona d.j. who later was hired by KROQ.

The KROQ broadcast prompted a lengthy investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Dept.

Now, the FCC is seeking information on why the phony confession was aired; which station personnel were involved; whether KROQ attempted to assist police in their investigation; the circumstances under which Roberts was hired by KROQ; whether any other hoaxes have been staged by “Confess Your Crime”; and whether the station has made restitution for police investigation costs.

In the meantime, NBC’s “Unsolved Mysteries” will do a segment on the phony confession May 1. A former KROQ employee who revealed the hoax and a mother who pinned hopes for justice on the fake confession will be interviewed.

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