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FCC fines radio station for playing "radio edit" version of song

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  1. Content Restrictions

    NMU         WASHINGTON, D.C.         Broadcasting         Jun 8, 2001    

FCC fines radio station for playing “radio edit” version of song

  • A Colorado radio station has not paid the $7,000 fine it received after broadcasting Eminem’s “The Real Slim Shady.”

The Federal Communication Commission has slapped a Colorado radio station with a $7,000 indecency fine for airing an edited version of Eminem’s “The Real Slim Shady.”

Kathleen Kirby, an attorney for the station, warned that the decision could set a dangerous precedent for other stations that have played the song. The edited version of the song was provided by the record label. Most radio stations assume using the label-edited version of the song provides immunity from federal obscenity and indecency rules.

“The danger involved is that folks at the station level can’t take comfort in the fact that something labeled ‘radio edit version’ is in compliance with the FCC’s rules,” Kirby told Daily Variety.

The FCC ruled on June 1 that KKMG-FM in Colorado Springs, Colo., violated indecency rules by airing the song, which contains “sexual references in conjunction with sexual expletives that appear intended to pander and shock.”

Two months ago, the FCC issued new guidelines for obscene and indecent material. The rules include innuendo as a factor, even if expletives are not in the material. The FCC’s ban on patently offensive broadcasts runs from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., the hours when children are most likely to tune in.

Bobby Irwin, KKMG operations manager, said the edited version of the song was not indecent because the expletives were deleted. Although the station stopped airing the song on June 1 after receiving the FCC’s notice, it has not paid the fine and is still deciding what to do, Irwin told the Associated Press.

A Madison, Wis., radio station paid a $7,000 fine earlier this year after it played the unedited version of the song.


© 2001 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

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