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Clear Channel faces $246,500 forfeiture for apparent indecency violations

The Federal Communications Commission has issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture against three subsidiaries of Clear Channel Communications for apparently airing indecent material proposing statutory maximum forfeiture of $27,500 for each of nine apparent indecency violations.

The material at issue was aired in connection with the “Elliot in the Morning” program on WWDC (FM), Washington, D.C., WRXL (FM), Richmond, Va., and WOSC (FM), Bethany Beach, Del.

The Commission found nine apparent indecency violations that involved graphic and explicit sexual material. The Commission proposed the statutory maximum forfeiture amount because of Clear Channel’s history of violations relating to the broadcast of indecent material.

In published comments on the Commission Web site, Commissioner Michael Copps argued that “a mere $27,500 fine for each incident” will not stop broadcast indecency because it’s seen as an acceptable cost of doing business.

“For repeat offenders as in this case, I believe the Commission should have designated these cases for license revocation hearings,” he said in his statement. “I recognize that Clear Channel has taken some steps in recent days to address indecency on its stations. A hearing would have provided the Commission with the ability to consider what actions the stations took in response to these broadcasts and to decide on the appropriate penalty.”

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