FCC Proposes Fining Clear Channel

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) proposed today (Jan. 27) that Clear Channel Communications, Inc. be fined $755,000 for airing sexually explicit programming on a radio show carried by four o

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) proposed today (Jan. 27) that Clear Channel Communications, Inc. be fined $755,000 for airing sexually explicit programming on a radio show carried by four of its stations in Florida.

The commission wants to fine the company $27,500 for each time various episodes of "Bubba the Love Sponge" were aired, a total of 26 incidents, which amounts to $715,000. Clear Channel will also be fined $40,000 due to record-keeping violations at the stations. It is the second-highest FCC fine ever proposed for indecent programming.

The largest fine was $1.7 million against Infinity Broadcasting back in 1995. Last October, the commission proposed fining Infinity $357,000 for a radio segment on the "Opie and Anthony" show in which a couple was said to be having sex in New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral.

The fine proposals come a day before a planned Congressional hearing on indecent programming on TV and radio. In recent weeks, FCC chairman Michael Powell has joined Democratic commissioners in calling for revised rules to raise indecency fine amounts so they are not "just part of doing business" by companies.

In response, Clear Channel called for the creation of a task force to craft industry indecency standards, similar to the old voluntary National Assn. of Broadcasters Code that was set aside in the 1980s. The company has 30 days to pay the fine or appeal. The FCC also announced it wants to fine TV station KRON in San Fransisco $27,500 for broadcasting indecent material on a morning news program.
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