Is American Radio Network Running a Scam Out of Hollywood?

The LA Weekly has an interesting story this week about an apparent scam being run out of the Hollywood offices of American Radio Network. The network has been running want ads on Craigslist for radio talent, telling the world they are an “affiliate” of the syndicated live music radio show King Biscuit Flower Hour and that they’re looking to pay hosts $15-$2o an hour. The reference, and the hint of paid radio work, has lured quite a few job seekers. Unfortunately, according to the Weekly, neither the “affiliation” with King Biscuit Flower Hour nor are the promises of paid radio work true.

Former participants tell the Weekly that during the audition and orientation, [vice president and executive producer of ARN] Tony Lewis explains that a radio syndication network is available to ARN, and that participants will have an opportunity to host their own broadcast show.

Once the initial audition and orientation are completed, the new “hosts” are required to pay a fee for continued involvement.

The initial administrative fee is $40. Participants say ARN also suggests new hosts purchase a press pass from them for $95.

According to the FCC, among ARN’s list of affiliate stations, only one is actually real–KTST-FM. Not surprisingly, no one the Weekly spoke with landed a paid gig as a result of their involvement with ARN. They did, however, get hit with bills for studio time to cut demo tapes.