The FCC has proposed a $495,000 indecency fine for Howard Stern but the recipient isn't Stern employer Infinity. Instead, Clear Channel is the target of a Notice of Apparent Liability issued late today for an April 9, 2003 Stern show that aired on six of its stations -- the same six that suspended Stern on February 25.
The Commission said it proposed the maximum amount of $27,500 for each of 18 total violations across the six stations -- KIOZ/San Diego, WXDX/Pittsburgh, WBGG/Miami, WTKS/Orlando, WTFX/Louisville, and WNVE/Rochester -- because of the company's history of indecent broadcasts.
Today's fine is the first where the Commission treated different utterances in the same show as separate violations -- something it's been threatening to do since last year.
The complaint that triggered the fine was filed by a listener to Classic Rock WBGG (Big 106). But the Enforcement Bureau will launch an investigation into Infinity's airing of the same broadcast, which could land the company its own fine.
When Stern returns from vacation, he'll no doubt have his own theories as to why the Commission would target Clear Channel for its second fine against him
in as many months. (On March 18, the Commission slapped Infinity with a $27,500 NAL for a July 26, 2001 Stern show that aired on WKRK/Detroit.)
Visit fmqb.com later today for more on this Breaking News story.