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FCC Levies $28,000 Fine for Aired Phone Call

FCC Levies $28,000 Fine for Aired Phone Call

The FCC found Univision Radio License Corp. and Tichenor License Corp. liable for a total of $28,000 for apparently airing a call without first telling the caller it would do so. The case involves several FMs: KVVF, Santa Clara; KZOL, North Fork, Calif.; KHOT, Paradise Valley, Ariz.; KHOV, Wickenburg, Ariz.; KLNT, Houston; KGBT, McAllen, Texas and KROM, San Antonio.
In the complaint, the individual alleges that several stations aired a telephone conversion between Raul Brindis, host of “Raul Brindis and Pepito Show,” and the complainant, who worked as a sales executive at Hispanic Broadcasting Corp., the parent company of Univision and Tichenor, at the time. According to a transcript that was part of the complaint, Brindis called the individual and pretended to be a man who had met the individual at a club. Brindis revealed the joke to the individual on-air.
When contacted by the FCC, Univision acknowledged the incident but said that because the individual worked at HBC, there was no need to inform him the call would be broadcast. Univision also argued it should not be held accountable for the actions of the licensees since it was not the parent company at the time. As a result of this incident, Univision asserted, it put a compliance plan into place at its stations.
The commission was not persuaded by the arguments. Since it found 7 stations aired the call, it levied a fine of $4,000 per station for a total of $28,000.