FCC Record, Volume 9, No. 8, Pages 1710 to 1820, April 4 - April 15, 1994 Page: 1,746
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Federal Communications Commission Record
9 FCC Red No. 8
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
January 31, 1994
Released: February 1, 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 above-named
licensees (collectively referred to as "Infinity") in the aggregate
amount of Four Hundred Thousand Dollars
($400,000), pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Communications
Act of 1934, as amended.
1 Americom Las Vegas, Ltd. Partnership, FCC 94-25 (adopted
January 31, 1994).
2 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
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 6:0()0 a.m.
to approximately 10:00 a.m." Id.).
The Commission today issued a Notice of Apparent Liability
(NAL) to Americom Las Vegas Ltd. Partnership,
licensee of Radio Station KFBI(FM), Pahrump, Nevada, for
violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 1464 by its broadcast on
September 30, October 6 and October 12, 1993 of certain
apparently indecent material contained in the "Howard
Stern Show".1 Based on our experience and your acknowledgements
in prior similar circumstances, we presume that
the material aired by KFBI(FM) was also aired by the four
above-captioned stations on the same dates as noted above
and at a time of day between 6:00 a.m. and 10 a.m.2 The
Commission has also received information indicating that
Station WXRK(FM), New York, New York. may have further
violated 18 U.S.C. Section 1464 by its broadcast of
certain apparently indecent material during the "Howard
Stern Show" on August 4, 1993.3 Transcripts of the allegedly
indecent broadcasts, taken from transcripts and tapes
submitted by the complainants, 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." Infinity Broadcasting
Corporation of Pennsylvania, 2 FCC Rcd 2705, 2705 (1987)
(citing Pacifica Foundation, 56 FCC 2d 94. 98 (1975), aff'd
sub nom. FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U.S. 726 (1978)).
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 of day
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 and excretory activities
and organs in patently offensive terms. Moreover, because
the material aired at times when there was a
reasonable risk that children may have been in the audience
(between approximately 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.).
it is legally actionable. Thus, it appears that on August 4,
September 30, October 6 and October 12. 1993. Infinity
violated 18 U.S.C. Section 1464 by airing indecent programming
on each of the four above-referenced stations.
We have determined that the appropriate remedy for the
apparent violations noted here is a monetary forfeiture.4
Accordingly, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Communications
Act of 1934, as amended, Sagittarius Broadcasting
3 Because our experience in prior enforcement proceedings
involving Infinity indicates that material aired during the
"Howard Stern Show" as broadcast by WXRK(FM) is also aired
by the other above-captioned Infinity stations, we presume for
purposes of our action here that WYSP(FM), Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania; WJFK(FM), Manassas, Virginia; and WJFK(AM),
Baltimore, Maryland, also carried the August 4, 1993 broadcast
between approximately 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.
4 See By Direction Letter to Steven A. Lerman (Assignment of
License of KRTH(FM), Los Angeles, CA), FCC 94-24 (adopted
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United States. Federal Communications Commission. FCC Record, Volume 9, No. 8, Pages 1710 to 1820, April 4 - April 15, 1994, book, April 1994; Washington D.C.. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1902/m1/52/: accessed March 22, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.