SBS Pays $10K To Make Indecency Complaint Go Away


This issue involves WSKQ in New York and dates back to both 2006 and 2014 license renewal applications for the station. A petition to deny was filed in 2006 and 2014 claiming the station aired indecent programming and violated the broadcast hoax rule.

The petitioners claimed that a March 2005 song airing on WSKQ included indecent language, “describing how a man desired to have perverse sexual relations.” No tape or transcript was provided of the alleged broadcast. In response, WSKQ submitted a declaration from the station’s General Manager, stating: “I do not believe the words [claimed to have been broadcast on March 8, 2005] were used specifically and while there may have been a racy song broadcast, I do not believe that it was in any way indecent.”

The petitioners also claimed WSKQ aired a number of hoax broadcasts, but only provided support for those claims in the form of a New York Times article dated August 13, 2001, which included a brief description of an incident in which the hosts of the station’s morning program claimed the Lincoln Tunnel was flooding.

The end result, The FCC found that the allegedly indecent broadcasts are of a nature that could support a forfeiture proceeding against the station for a violation of the FCC’s indecency prohibitions, but in lieu of paying a fine the licensee agreed to pay a $10,000 civil penalty in order to obtain FCC grants of both of its 2006 and 2014 license renewal applications.

Read the FCC Consent Decree HERE.


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