FCC Proposes Fine On WTWR
February 18, 2009 at 11:39 AM (PT)
CUMULUS gets served with a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture of $6,000 by the FCC for airing a phone conversation on Top 40 WTWR (TOWER 98.3)/LUNA PIER, MI-TOLEDO without prior permission. The fine was imposed over a call made by the station's morning host JOHN "JOHNY D" DIMODICA on JUNE 13th, 2006 to a restaurant about its "Big BEN" burger and PITTSBURGH STEELERS quarterback BEN ROETHLISBERGER's motorcycle crash and injuries.
The station submitted a sworn declaration from DIMODICA and a tape showing that the restaurant employee was told "you're on the air at TOWER 98.3. Is that OK?" and that even though the consent came after the beginning of the call, the station is on a delay and therefore there was opportunity to dump the call had the employee declined. The Commission rejected the argument and reiterated that any words at all before notice that the call is being aired or recorded violate the prior notification rule.
RCK 1 GROUP, LLC has been fined $3,200 for the same infraction over a call aired on Talk WKKX-A/WHEELING. The station's morning "Wake Your Carcass Up" random call trivia game put a call on the air without permission being granted, and the complainant hung up on the host as soon as he said that the call was "live on the radio with the BLOOMDADDY Experience."
And TAMA BROADCASTING and D.B. ZWIRN AND CO. have entered a Consent Decree with the FCC settling charges that ZWIRN's takeover of control of TAMA's stations constituted an impermissible transfer of control without Commission approval. The parties are making an $18,000 "voluntary contribution" to the U.S. Treasury and instituting a "compliance plan" to settle the matter. ZWIRN, the main investor backing TAMA, filed for a court to appoint a receiver for the stations in SEPTEMBER 2008.