An Indianapolis radio station has been fined $10,000 for broadcasting sexually explicit material in violation of federal indecency rules, the Federal Communications Commission said yesterday.
The action against WFBQ-FM, owned by Great American Television and Radio Co. in Cincinnati, is the latest in a spate of moves in the past year by a newly constituted FCC bent on cracking down on disc jockeys often called "shock jocks."
The FCC, led by its new chairman, Alfred Sikes, has issued a number of warnings and fines against stations, most recently a $20,000 fine last month against a San Jose, Calif., radio station, KSJO-FM.
In all cases, the commission cited "indecent" material, broadcast between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m., involving sexual innuendo or descriptions of sexual organs.
Earlier this month, the commission repeated its intention to try to extend the ban on indecent broadcast material to 24 hours a day. A court ruling on a 24-hour ban is pending.
The FCC warned Great American officials a year ago that material broadcast in 1987 on a show featuring disc jockeys Bob Kevoian and Tom Griswold on WFBQ-FM and its sister station, WNDE-AM, may have violated the FCC's indecency rules.
Those rules prohibit the broadcast during daylight hours of "language or material that ... depicts or describes, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium, sexual or excretory activities or organs."
The commission also reviewed material the station broadcast last year and considered the company's arguments.
In a letter to Great American officials dated Thursday, the FCC agreed with the company's assertion that two skits in question were not indecent.
But the commission said that material in several other programs "fit squarely within our definition of indecency."
Station Manager Chris Wheat said the company had not decided whether to appeal.
The fines stem from a complaint filed by John R. Price, a Carmel, Ind., lawyer and founder of Decency in Broadcasting.