UK-based Ghanaian disc jockey (DJ) Frank Boakye-Yiadom, also known as DJ Tiiny, has been sacked by Capital Xtra after it emerged he had asked for payments (payola) of £200 to play songs on his weekly radio show.
Probably thinking he’s in Ghana where payola is normalised, DJ Tiiny asked for £200 from a producer to keep playing his song on his show. He was immediately fired after the producer reported him to his bosses.
Such a practice goes against the Ofcom broadcasting code, and is not allowed on UK radio.
The DJ released a statement saying he “carelessly and irresponsibly took advantage” of his position. He also apologised to all “those I have let down”.
“I take full responsibility for my actions and fully accept the consequences,” he wrote.
He had been broadcasting on Capital Xtra since 2018, presenting a Friday night show that presented a mix of hip-hop, R&B and grime.
However, in a story initially reported by The Sun, it emerged that the DJ had written to a producer demanding money in exchange for putting his song on the air.
The story was based on a tweet by producer J Beatz Music, who posted a screenshot of an email purportedly written by the DJ.
“If you wish for the track to be premiered on my Friday night radio show, there would be a charge of £200 for one track.
“This would also include keeping the track within my radio playlist for two weeks,” the email read.
He added: “The track would need to be clean (no swearing, etc) and would need to be reviewed by my team prior to being broadcasted on the radio.”
Following the publication of the story, DJ Tiiny was removed from Capital Xtra’s schedule and his profile was deleted from their website.
Global Radio, the parent company of Capital and Capital Xtra, declined to comment on the situation when contacted by the BBC.
The company may face censure from broadcasting watchdog Ofcom over the incident.
Section 10.5 of the broadcasting code specifically outlaws pay-for-play deals, stating: “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.”
Penalties for breaking the code can include financial penalties and the revocation of a station’s licence to broadcast.