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Liberman Broadcasting enters into $110,000 FCC consent decree

The FCC still struggles to decide how to enforce its indecency policy after it was determined by the U.S. Supreme Court to not have been sufficiently articulated so that a broadcaster can know what is prohibited and what it permitted.  

Attorney David Oxenford of TAB Associate member law firm Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP has written several times about a recent FCC request for public comment on how the commission can decide which cases are so egregious that they need to be prosecuted in the future (see articles here and here). 

Oxenford said, however, a Consent Decree with Liberman Broadcasting released last week, demonstrates the FCC is still enforcing that policy despite its uncertainty over the standards to be used, requiring a $110,000 payment and an agreed-upon compliance plan to be instituted in exchange for dismissing pending indecency complaints. 

The complaints were filed against four Liberman stations, including two Texas Estrella network Spanish language outlets, KMPX-TV Dallas and KZJL-TV Houston, alleging a specific program was indecent.

According to the FCC’s Public Notice describing the Consent Decree, the programming “featured pornographic film performers and exotic dancers who engaged in behavior inconsistent with the commission’s indecency standards for broadcast programming.” 

Oxenford said “a fine of that magnitude demonstrates that the FCC still takes indecency serious despite the ongoing proceedings to define just how its standards will be enforced.”

Questions?  Contact TAB's Michael Schneider or call (512) 322-9944.

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