Clear Channel Accepts Mammoth US Indecency Fine

09 March 2004

Clear Channel Communications has opted not to fight a $755,000 (€610,687; £407,556) fine for broadcast indecency.

America's media firms normally spend months appealing such penalties -- but with politicians currently adopting a zero-tolerance approach to bad taste, Clear Channel has decided not to kick up a fuss.

The Federal Communications Commission imposed the fine in January for 26 separate violations of obscenity law by a Florida-based DJ known as Bubba the Love Sponge. Each breach by Bubba incurred the maximum possible penalty of $27,500; Clear Channel was then charged an extra $40,000 for failing to keep proper records of what had been broadcast [WAMN: 29-Jan-04].

With lawmakers pushing for far higher indecency fines, media companies are currently at pains to stress their commitment to broadcast standards. "We fully accept our responsibility for airing inappropriate content, and our company will accept the consequences," said John Hogan, president/ceo of Clear Channel Radio.

The fine is the largest ever imposed by the FCC. However, it is still some way off the $1.7m paid by Viacom's Infinity Broadcasting in 1995 to resolve complaints against high-profile DJ Howard Stern.

Data sourced from: (USA); additional content by WARC staff