Clear Channel Hit With $12,000 Fine For Fargo Phoner
July 9, 2008 at 6:24 AM (PT)
CLEAR CHANNEL has been hit by the FCC with a $12,000 fine for airing a phone conversation without permission on News/Talk KFGO-A/FARGO. The fine was the result of a complaint in JANUARY, 2007, from SANDY BLUNT, alleging that the station broadcast a telephone call from him without his permission.
The complaint claimed that sometime between JANUARY and MARCH, 2006, BLUNT left a voicemail message on the private cell phone of JOEL HEITKAMP, who hosts "News and Views." BLUNT alleges that on multiple occasions in DECEMBER, 2006, the station broadcast his voicemail message without his permission.
The FCC ruled that a voicemail message left for a station employee is a protected "conversation" that may not be broadcast without prior consent of the caller. Additionally, it ruled that although CLEAR CHANNEL is no longer the licensee of the station, it does not preclude the Commission from imposing a forfeiture while the station was licensed to CLEAR CHANNEL.