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WSJ: FCC won't fine NBC in Bono case

U2 frontman used profanity during Golden Globes
/ Source: Reuters

Federal regulators will not impose what could have been multi-million dollar fines against the NBC television network or its affiliates in connection with an expected reversal of an earlier indecency decision, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

In the same report, citing unnamed Federal Communications Commission officials, the paper also said regulators are finalizing a dozen indecency cases against major radio stations for airing so-called “shock jocks” and are weighing fines against disc jockey Howard Stern’s employer, Infinity Broadcasting, owned by Viacom Inc..

(MSNBC is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC.)

In the NBC case, sources have previously told Reuters that the agency plans to reverse an earlier finding that singer Bono’s use of a vulgarity during the NBC broadcast of the 2003 Golden Globe awards was not indecent.

The Journal said that decision could come as early as next week, but the commission will not fine NBC, a unit of General Electric Co., or its affiliates.

A spokesman for NBC or the FCC was not immediately available to comment on the report.

In the shock-jock matter, the FCC also is considering fines for companies such as Clear Channel Communications and Emmis Communications, the story said.

Clear Channel said on Thursday it would pay a $755,000 fine for airing indecent material by one of its former personalities Bubba the Love Sponge. It was not clear if the story was referring to additional penalties against Clear Channel.

Federal rules limit the broadcast of indecent material to late-night hours when children are less likely to be listening or watching.

Spokesmen for Clear Channel, Emmis and Viacom were not immediately available to comment.