Infinity Broadcasting is urging general managers and program directors at radio stations to toe the line on indecency.
NASHVILLE-- Infinity Broadcasting is urging general managers and program directors at radio stations to toe the line on indecency.
The company issued a memo Feb. 27 clarifying its stance on indecency on the airwaves. The memo clarifies a previous memo sent to the same GMs and program directors Feb. 18.
The recent memo, written by Infinity attorney Steven Lerman, of Leventhal Senter & Lerman in Washington, D.C., addresses specific questions raised by some Infinity managers. The memo could serve as a model for indecency policies at other broadcast companies.
The memo states that it is the government's job to determine whether particular material is or isn't indecent as a matter of law. The memo notes that expletives, particularly the so-called "seven dirty words," are not the only things considered indecent by the FCC.
"In addition to expletives, indecent material generally includes language or sound effects which describe or simulate sexual acts, sexual organs or excretory functions as well as sexually-oriented double entendre and innuendo where the context of the speech makes the references clear," the memo states.
Lerman also spells out what he refers to as "coarse language," to be avoided on Infinity stations. "Included in this category would be terms such as 'prick,' 'dick,' 'pussy,' 'titty bar,' 'hard-on,' 'asshole,' 'douchebag,' 'scumbag,' 'twat,' 'cock' and similar coarse words and phrases," the memo states.
"General managers and program directors should direct their talent generally to eliminate these references on-air and replace them with more benign terminology."
Addressing questions about who is responsible for editing syndicated personalities, including Infinity's Howard Stern, Tom Leykis and Don & Mike, the memo says "all stations should delete indecent syndicated material even if the program in question has been previously edited at the origination point.
In the case of Infinity-originated programming, however, the primary responsibility for ensuring that the program contains no indecent material falls on the editor and management of the originating station.