FCC to fine CBS for Jackson stunt

September 05, 2004|By LOS ANGELES TIMES

WASHINGTON - Over the objection of at least one regulator who sought harsher punishment, the Federal Communications Commission is set to impose a record $550,000 fine against CBS-owned stations for showing singer Janet Jackson's breast at the end of her halftime performance during the Super Bowl on Feb. 1. The fine is expected to be announced within two weeks, two FCC sources said yesterday.

It signals a more pointed government effort to crack down on broadcasters amid mounting public criticism that television and radio stations have become too coarse and explicit.

The FCC sources said the agency had informally approved the fine but had delayed its announcement to allow commissioners time to iron out their differences and fine-tune their public statements.

Agreement on the fine came over the objection of FCC Commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein, a Democrat. He is outraged that the FCC plans to fine the 20 TV stations owned by CBS and not include the approximately 200 affiliates that also aired the incident. The CBS-owned stations would each pay $27,500.

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