One day after saying it fired popular Florida radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge, Clear Channel Communications said today (Feb. 25) it adopted new "decency" standards to make sure that material i
One day after saying it fired popular Florida radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge, Clear Channel Communications said today (Feb. 25) it adopted new "decency" standards to make sure that material its radio stations air conforms to local community standards.
The policy change is the latest in a wave of actions taken by broadcasters to address decency concerns following the Feb. 1 Super Bowl halftime show, when pop diva Janet Jackson's right breast was exposed on live television.
Chief Operating Officer Mark Mays said San Antonio-based Clear Channel, the largest U.S. radio station operator with more than 1,200 outlets, will adopt a "zero tolerance" policy for indecent content.
The company said it will conduct in-house training for and mete out automatic suspensions to anyone alleged by the Federal Communications Commission to violate indecency rules.
It also said it would amend its existing contracts with all on-air personalities, to hold disc jockeys financially responsible for uttering indecent material on the air.
"If a DJ is found to be in violation of FCC rules, there will be no appeals and no intermediate steps," John Hogan, chief executive of Clear Channel Radio, said in a statement. "If they break the law by broadcasting indecent material, they will not work for Clear Channel."
Hogan and other broadcast executives are expected to testify tomorrow before Congress about TV and radio programming standards.
Yesterday, Clear Channel fired controversial radio morning host Todd "Bubba the Love Sponge" Clem, who was based at active rock station WXTB (98 Rock) Tampa, Fla., and was heard on two of the company's other stations in Florida.
In January, the FCC levied a fine of $715,000 against Clear Channel for allegedly indecent material that aired on Clem's show in 2001. The show was No. 1 for the 18-34 demographic in Tampa, according to the fall Arbitron book.