FCC Fines

In case you believe the Congressional push for increased indecency fines is all about Howard Stern, there’s this from FMQB:

In what appears to be the first in a new wave of indecency fines, the FCC today slapped Clear Channel with a $247,500 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture for its Elliot in the Morning show. The Commission said it proposed the statutory maximum of $27,500 for each of nine apparent violations because of the company’s past indecency record. The material aired March 13, 2003 on WWDC/Washington (Elliot Segal’s flagship), WRXL/Richmond, and WOSC/Bethany Beach, DE.

The complaint stems from a morning show promo containing dialogue about Ron Jeremy’s 50th birthday, that aired at 5:51 pm on March 13, 2003. When asked what the interviewee liked about the porn star, an unidentified female voice responded: “The way he licks pussy.”

Each of the three stations ran the promo twice later in the day. Factor in the original morning show airing and you get nine violations at $27,500 apiece. Under new proposed legislation that cleared the House yesterday, the company would have faced a much stiffer fine: $4.5 million.

When Clear Channel announced its Responsible Broadcasting Initiative on February 25, President/COO Mark Mays outlined how the company would handle indecency cases going forward. “If the FCC accuses us of wrongdoing by issuing a proposed fine, we will take immediate action,” Mays said. “We will suspend the DJ in question, and perform a swift investigation. If we or the government ultimately determine the offending broadcast is indecent, the DJ will be terminated without delay.”

However, CC EVP Law & Government Affairs Andy Levin told the Washington Times that the company will not hold stations responsible for things they aired before the new policy was in place. “We’re looking forward, not backward,” Levin said.I’m sure that will be news to Bubba The Love Sponge who was sacked over fines on a broadcast from 3 years ago. He of course had the misfourtune to be fined prior to Clear Channel CEO John Hogan’s testimony to Congress.

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One Response

  1. Jay Tea March 15, 2004