The FCC slapped Infinity Broadcasting with a whopping $ 500,000 fine Thursday for allegedly airing indecent material from the Howard Stern show on four Infinity stations.
The fine brings to $ 1.1 million the amount in penalties levied by the government against Infinity in the last seven months.
The fines apparently have prompted Infinity to rein in Stern’s shock-jock talk. According to one FCC source, Infinity management has agreed to edit Stern’s broadcast on a tape-delayed basis to limit future indecency violations.
An FCC news release said Infinity “has made substantial and largely effective efforts to avoidfurther infractions in this area.” The news release also noted the FCC has received “no actionable complaints” against Stern or Infinity in six months.
Steve Lerman, a D.C. attorney who represents Infinity, declined comment on the new fines and would not discuss whether Infinity has indeed muzzled Stern.
Thursday’s $ 500,000 fine was parceled into fines of $ 125,000 each against four Infinity-owned stations: WXRK-FM, New York; WYSP-FM, Philadelphia; WJFK-AM, Baltimore; and WJFK-FM, Manassas, Va.
Infinity is fighting a $ 600,000 fine levied by the FCC last year related to allegedly indecent remarks made by Stern on WXRK, WYSP and WJFK. The broadcast group has 30 days to respond to the FCC’s new complaint.
The new fines also came a day after the FCC fined suburban Las Vegas station KFBI-FM $ 73,750 for airing allegedly indecent material from Stern’s simulcasted radio program.
KFBI, owned by Los Angeles-based Americom Broadcasting, was fined for carrying alleged indecent material on nine days between last November and early January. The new fines against the four Infinity stations were for the same time frame.
Americom prez Tom Quinn said Thursday his company will “vigorously fight and refute” the indecency charges.