A conservative broadcasting company in Kansas City has signed a deal with a Russian state-owned media outlet to broadcast six hours of programming every day, the Kansas City Star reported Friday.
Florida-based company RM Broadcasting LLC has reached agreements to air Radio Sputnik on the Alpine Broadcasting Corp., which broadcasts on three frequencies in the Kansas City area, according to the report. The agreement allows the Russian-backed programming to be broadcast from 6-9 a.m. and 6-9 p.m. seven days a week.
The Kansas City Star noted that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) found in 2017 that Sputnik and another Russia state-backed media outlet were involved in Moscow’s efforts to influence the 2016 election.
The outlets “contributed to the influence campaign by serving as a platform for Kremlin messaging to Russian and international audiences,” the DNI assessment added.
RM Broadcasting was ordered in 2019 to register as a foreign agent under the U.S. Foreign Agents Registration Act, which mandates that individuals or entities in the U.S. acting on a foreign government’s behalf make public their relationships, finances and activities.
Following the order, the station revealed that it received $1.43 million in payments from a Russian government-owned news agency to purchase airtime for Radio Sputnik from 2017 to 2019.
“They don’t pay me for anything other than the air time,” said Arnold Ferolito, who runs RM Broadcasting. “It’s costing me more money than I’m making, that’s the sad part about it.”