FCC Record, Volume 9, No. 23, Pages 6370 to 6691, October 31 - Nobember 10, 1994 Page: 6,442
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Federal Communications Commission Record
9 FCC Red No. 23
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
May 20, 1994
Released: May 20, 1994
CERTIFIED MAIL, RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED
Mr. Mel Karmazin, President
Infinity Broadcasting Corporation
Licensee of Radio Station WJFK(AM)
Controlling parent of:
Sagittarius Broadcasting Corporation
Licensee of Radio Station WXRK(FM)
New York. New York
Infinity Broadcasting Corporation of Pennsylvania
Licensee of Radio Station WYSP(FM)
Infinity Broadcasting Corporation of
Licensee of Radio Station WJFK(FM)
600 Madison Avenue, Fourth Floor
New York, New York 10022
Dear Mr. Karmazin:
This letter constitutes a NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY
FOR A FORFEITURE to the four abovenamed
licensees (collectively referred to as "Infinity") in
the aggregate amount of Two Hundred Thousand Dollars
($200,000), pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Communications
Act of 1934, as amended.
The Commission has received a complaint alleging that
indecent material was aired during the "Howard Stern
Show," as broadcast by WWKB(AM), Buffalo, New York,
on December 6, 1993 and January 19, 1994. Based on our
experience and your acknowledgements in prior similar
circumstances, we presume that the material aired by
WWKB(AM) was also aired by the four above-named
See, e.g., Infinity Broadcasting Corporation, 8 FCC Rcd 6740
(1993) (in responding to a letter of inquiry from the Commission
as to whether Infinity's stations had aired the same Howard
Stern Show material that had been aired by KFBI(FM), Infinity
stated "it can be assumed that the substance of these shows was
stations on the same dates as noted above and at a time of
day between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.' Transcripts of
portions of the allegedly indecent broadcasts, taken from
tapes submitted by the complainant in the WWKB(AM)
case, are attached.
Pursuant to 47 U.S.C. Sections 312(a)(6) and
503(b)(1)(D), the Commission has statutory authority to
take appropriate administrative action when licensees
broadcast material in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 1464,
which provides criminal penalties for anyone who "utters
any obscene, indecent or profane language by means of
The Commission has defined indecency as language or
material that, in context, depicts or describes in terms
patently offensive as measured by contemporary community
standards for the broadcast medium, sexual or excretory
activities or organs. See Infinity Broadcasting
Corporation of Pennsylvania, 2 FCC Rcd 2705 (1987). The
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
Circuit has upheld the Commission's authority to
restrict the broadcast of indecent material at times when
there is a reasonable risk that children may be in the
audience. Action for Children's Television v. FCC, 852
F.2d 1332 (D.C. Cir. 1988).
The excerpts from the "Howard Stern Show" reflected
in the attached transcripts appear to be indecent in that
they contain language that describes sexual activities and
organs in patently offensive terms. Because the material
aired at times when there was a reasonable risk that
children may have been in the audience, it is legally
actionable. Thus, it appears that on December 6. 1993 and
January 19. 1994, Infinity violated 18 U.S.C. Section 1464
by airing indecent programming on each of the four
Accordingly, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Communications
Act, Sagittarius Broadcasting Corporation, Infinity
Broadcasting Corporation of Pennsylvania, Infinity
Broadcasting Corporation of Washington, D.C., and Infinity
Broadcasting Corporation, licensees of Stations
WXRK(FM), New York, New York; WYSP(FM), Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania: WJFK(FM), Manassas, Virginia; and
WJFK(AM), Baltimore, MD, respectively, are hereby each
notified of their separate apparent liability for a forfeiture
of Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000) for their apparent
willful and repeated violations of 18 U.S.C. Section 1464
on the dates set forth above.
In determining the amount of these forfeitures, we find
that the same exacerbating considerations concerning Infinity's
history of apparent misconduct reviewed in assessing
prior forfeitures against Infinity are applicable here.
See Infinity Broadcasting Corporation, 8 FCC Rcd 2688,
2689-90 and n.3. (1992); Infinity Broadcasting Corporation,
8 FCC Rcd 6740, 6741 (1993); Infinity Broadcasting Corporation,
FCC 94-26, adopted January 31. 1994. As in the
earlier actions. we have continued to take account here of
the various relevant factors set forth in Section 503(b) of
the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and reflected
in our Policy Statement on Standards for Assessing
also broadcast by WXRK(FM), WYSP(FM) and WJFK(AM and
FM) on those dates ... [and] would have been aired by the
aforementioned Infinity stations from approximately 6:00 a.m.
to approximately 10:00 a.m." Id.).
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United States. Federal Communications Commission. FCC Record, Volume 9, No. 23, Pages 6370 to 6691, October 31 - Nobember 10, 1994, book, November 1994; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1887/m1/88/: accessed January 21, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.