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Commissioners Supported Maximum Fine

Commissioners Supported Maximum Fine

The commissioners voted 4-1 for the maximum fines against Clear Channel (see above) because they found the material in question “involved graphic and explicit sexual material, and (was) designed to pander to, titillate and shock listeners,” according to the decision. Now, the maximum fines allowed for broadcast indecency is $27,500. Bills moving through Congress would raise that amount significantly, to at least $500,000 per violation.
The commissioners referred to the company’s “history” of past indecency violations.
Commissioner Michael Copps dissented from the decision, saying the cases should have been slated for license revocation hearings.
“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,” he said.
Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein supported the penalty, and said Clear Channel has recently taken steps to show that it is meeting its public interest obligation, “including the payment of an unprecedented fine without objection for a past indecency violation.”

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