KIIS, KKRZ hit with lawsuit after taping, airing private talks

Lawyers for radio stations KIIS and KKRZ have agreed to return tapes of conversations between members of the production staff of the Grammy Awards that were surreptitiously recorded during the telecast, thereby avoiding a potential lawsuit.

Attorneys for Jacor Communications Co., the stations’ parent, have agreed to turn over to attorneys for the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences all copies of the tapes made by KKRZ-FM reporter Dan Clark during the Feb. 24 ceremony.

Using a scanning device, Clark allegedly eavesdropped on and recorded conversations between telecast director Walter Miller and crew members. (Daily Variety, March 30). Clark had obtained clearance from NARAS to cover the event for Portland, Ore., station KKRZ.

The tapes, which also contain derogatory remarks made by the crew about presenters or performers, were made available by Clark to the stations.

Parts of the conversations aired on KKRZ and L.A. radio station KIIS-FM the day after the telecast.

Asserting that the airing of the tapes violated the privacy rights of the artists and crew, the academy threatened to sue Jacor and the stations unless the tapes were returned.

As part of the settlement, Jacor execs denied any wrongdoing and agreed to keep confidential the contents of the conversations.

The recently inked settlement also calls for penalties to Jacor if any portion of the tape is henceforth made public: The company will be forced to pay at least $100,000 for each instance.

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