Lawyers tell radio stations all the time: Air talent must notify callers that their call may be used for air before the conversation actually does make it there.
Crossing the line can be costly. Clear Channel’s WFLZ(FM) Tampa is finding this out the hard way after the FCC issued a $10,000 fine and found the station apparently liable for recording and airing a telephone call without proper notice.
Back in 2004, MJ Kelli called “Desperate Housewives” actress Nicolette Sheridan about the controversy surrounding Sheridan’s appearance in a promo preceding an NFL game. (Remember: In the locker room scene with Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens, Sheridan drops her towel. After a complaint was filed at the commission, the FCC reviewed the case for a potential indecency violation, but later decided that incident was not indecent.)
Someone filed a complaint about the WFLZ call.
Clear Channel said Kelli told Sheridan she was calling from a radio station and that Sheridan should have realized the call might be broadcast. The FCC said that wasn’t actual notification. Because the call also aired on two other stations and the agency said Clear Channel has a “history” of such violations, it raised the $4,000 base fine to $10,000. The company can appeal or pay the penalty.