News Briefs

Jan 26, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., introduced legislation last week to jack up the maximum fine for an indecent broadcast from $27,500 to $275,000. The maximum fine for a “continuing violation” would be raised from $300,000 to $3 million. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell recently complained that the existing cap on indecency fines is too low to discourage off-color broadcasts. “When broadcasters start to feel the pinch where it hurts, in their wallets, they will start to think twice about indecency on the airwaves,” said Rep. Upton, who has scheduled Jan. 28 hearings to review the FCC’s indecency enforcement policies. Said Ken Johnson, a spokesman for Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-La., “We intend to move that legislation quickly in hopes of sending a signal to broadcasters that enough is enough.”