DC radio station ordered to register as Russian agent

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that a radio station in Washington, D.C., must register as a Russian foreign agent.

U.S. District Judge Robin Rosenburg ruled in favor of the Justice Department in finding that RM Broadcasting, which airs Sputnik International 24/7 from Moscow, is a foreign principal, WTOP reported.

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RM, a Florida-based company owned by an American named Arnold Ferolito, argued in a lawsuit that it was only buying and reselling airtime to Rossiya Segodnya, a Russian government-owned news agency.

RM in 2017 agreed to broadcast the agency’s communications continuously without edit until 2021, the AP reported.

Rosenburg concluded that the commercial sale of airtime required the broadcasting of radio programs, meaning the station needed to register as a Russian foreign agent. 

The Justice Department argued for the registration under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which was adopted by Congress in 1938 to combat Nazi propaganda.

Sputnik registered as a foreign agent under the act in November 2017.