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Infinity Fined $27,500 For Indecency

Infinity Fined $27,500 For Indecency

The FCC imposed the maximum penalty, $27,500, on Infinity Broadcasting, for airing indecent material during afternoon drive on the “Deminski and Doyle Show” WKRK(FM) Detroit. The case stems from Jan. 9, 2002.
The commission originally proposed the penalty in April of this year after an investigation triggered by a complaint concerning a broadcast in which station personnel invited listeners to call WKRK to discuss sexual practices (including anal and oral sex). The broadcast included graphic sexual and excretory references, and the agency said the material appeared to have been used been used to pander, titillate and shock. That’s why the FCC said the material was indecent and warranted a significant sanction.
Infinity was warned that similar actions in the future could warrant license revocation.
Infinity did not dispute that the material was indecent, but rather argued that the commission’s definition of indecency is unconstitutional. The agency disagreed and told Infinity it has 30 days to pay.
FCC Chairman Michael Powell called the material “filth” of “an extreme nature” and said it had no place on the nation’s airwaves. He cautioned broadcasters to take the action as a signal that the commission will continue to “rigorously enforce” it’s indecency regulations.
Fellow commissioners Kevin Martin, and Michael Copps said the fine should have been much higher, such as $247,500, because the indecent material involved 9 callers.
Copps called the FCC response “tepid” and said it would not dissuade these broadcasts in the future, specifically citing Infinity for the still-pending sex in the church stunt.