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FCC Ready to Levy Fines

WASHINGTON– CBS, Fox and NBC are about to get some bad news from the Federal Communications Commission, Daily Variety reported Thursday.

The FCC is preparing to release its first batch of indecency rulings under chairman Kevin J. Martin — and CBS and Fox are expected to bear the brunt, Variety said. The rulings could come in a matter of weeks or days, sources said.

Fox will reportedly be fined for two obscenities uttered by Nicole Richie during the 2003 Billboard Awards broadcast, and will also lose its appeal of a $1.2 million fine for an episode of “Married by America.”

CBS will also lose its appeal of the $550,000 fine levied for Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show.

Citing FCC sources, Variety reported NBC lost its appeal of a ruling that an expletive used by U2 frontman Bono during the 2003 Golden Globes was a statutory violation. NBC was not fined for that incident.

The batch of indecency rulings — believed to be 40 in all — would be the first to be released by the FCC in years, Variety said.



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