Stations fined for 'lewd and vulgar' show

December 04, 1990|By New York Times

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Communications Commission moved last week to impose a fine of $2,000 on each of three radio stations -- including one heard in Washington, D.C. -- that broadcast a show two years ago by the New York radio personality Howard Stern.

The FCC charged that Mr. Stern had violated the agency's standard for decency when he described a raucous Christmas party and used sexual references.

The shows were broadcast on WXRK-FM in New York, WYSP in ## Philadelphia and WJFK in Manassas, Va., which is heard in the Washington area.

In a letter Friday that announced the proposed fines, the agencsaid that the Stern broadcast had included frequent references that were "lewd and vulgar" and that the transcript of the show had revealed "adwelling on sexual matters, including sexual intercourse, orgasm, masturbation, lesbianism, homosexuality, breasts, nudity, and male and female genitalia."

The stations, which are owned by the Infinity Broadcasting Corp., were given 30 days to respond.

The company's president, Mel Karmazin, said that the rulinviolated constitutional rights to free speech and that he would go to court if necessary.

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