FCC Proposes $16K Fine On WSKQ
February 5, 2010 at 9:55 AM (PT)
The FCC has proposed a $16,000 fine against SPANISH BROADCASTING SYSTEM (WSKQ LICENSING, INC.) Tropical WSKQ (LA MEGA 97.9)/NEW YORK for airing a phone call without prior permission from the other party.
The fine was a result of an on-air phone prank aired on the station's "EL VACILON DE LA MANANA" morning show in which a woman was called and told her husband had been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident and died at the hospital. The station blamed the call on RUBIN ITHIER, who provided the call under contract, and the call recipient's husband, who the station said initiated the prank, but admitted that the recipient had not been notified that the call would be taped and aired until the end of the call.
The Commission also noted that it has long held licensees responsible for acts by independent contractors.
Another Station Fined
In a similar case, REJOYNETWORK LLC has been fined $4,000 by the Commission for airing multiple phone conversations on Gospel WAAW/WILLISTON, SC without giving prior notice of the airing to the callers. The case arose from calls made by host RYAN B. to three airport officials; the licensee asserted that since the host said his name and station at the beginning of the call, the recipients could have simply hung up, but the Commission rejected that argument, saying that merely saying one's name and station affiliation is insufficient notice of being broadcast.