A CBS affiliate has been hit with a fine by the Federal Communications Commission for an alleged violation of the agency’s indecency rules.
TVNewsCheck reports that the agency slapped a fine of $325,000 on Roanoke-Lynchburg, Va., station WDBJ-TV, owned by Schurz Communications. The article reports that the agency indicated the fine is “for apparently broadcasting extremely graphic and explicit sexual content, specifically a video image of a hand stroking an erect penis” during a newscast.
The incident dates back to July 2012, and Schurz has the right to appeal, the report notes.
“In responding to the FCC inquiries about the broadcast, Schurz concedes that the CBS affiliate aired the offending images, but says it did so inadvertently,” the article reports. “The images popped up in a story about an ‘ex-porn star’ who had joined a local rescue squad.”
As part of its introduction of the woman, the report included a page from an adult website, according to the report.
“On the right side of the page were a series of boxes, one of which showed the ‘indecent’ images,” TVNewsCheck reports.
Schurz reportedly has said the image appeared for under three seconds. The FCC noted that Schurz also has indicated that the offending image was not visible in the station’s editing bay, preventing station personnel from seeing it ahead of the broadcast.