The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today (April 8) issued a fine of $495,000 against Clear Channel Communications for "apparently willfully broadcasting indecent material" in connection with
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today (April 8) issued a fine of $495,000 against Clear Channel Communications for "apparently willfully broadcasting indecent material" in connection with programming by Howard Stern on six U.S. radio stations.
The fine represents the maximum statutory amount of $27,500 for each of 18 indecency violations. The FCC says it proposed the maximum because of Clear Channel's "recent history of airing indecent programming."
The Commission says Stern's show has included "repeated, graphic and explicit sexual descriptions that were pandering, titillating or used to shock the audience."
The stations cited are WBGG-FM Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; WTKS-FM Cocoa Beach, Fla.; WTFX-FM Louisville, Ky.; KIOZ-FM San Diego; WNVE-FM Honeoye Falls, N.Y.; and WXDX-FM Pittsburgh.
Stern's employer is Infinity Broadcasting, which broadcasts his show on some of its stations. However, Clear Channel also carried Stern on many of its outlets until Feb. 25, when the company suspended the program. Clear Channel announced today after the ruling that it would "permanently terminate its relationship with the shock jock."
Infinity, which has been fined for indecent broadcasts in the past, was not involved in today's ruling.
In other news, the FCC today rejected arguments made in March by Emmis Radio License Corp. and affirmed a $14,000 penalty against the company for "willfully broadcasting indecent material" on WKQX-FM Chicago. The Commission agreed with its enforcement bureau that the station had "repeatedly" aired indecent material during its "Mancow's Morning Madness" program.
The Commission rejected Emmis' argument that the complaints did not include enough information to support indecency charges.