$357K Fine Proposed for Opie & Anthony


Infinity Broadcasting Corp. faces a $357,000 Federal Communications Commission indecency fine for the St. Patrick's Cathedral sex stunt orchestrated by shock jocks Opie & Anthony
two summers ago that aired on New York’s WNEW-FM and 12 other company stations, the agency announced Thursday.

The incident created a furor among Catholics and forced executives from parent company Viacom Inc. to apologize to the church and to fire on-air personalities Greg Hughes and Anthony Cumia.

Each of the stations was fined the maximum $27,500 for a single indecency violation.

Despite an agency threat to subject Infinity to license-revocation hearings if serious violations continue, the proposed penalty was derided by commissioner Michael Copps as a "timid" wrist slap against Infinity and Viacom, the country's second-largest media conglomerate.

"Viacom could pay this entire fine by tacking just one more commercial onto one of its prime-time TV shows and probably pocket a profit to boot," Copps said in his written dissent. "Some punishment!"

Viacom officials said they won't comment until they file a formal response with the FCC. "We've been afforded an opportunity to respond, and we intend to do so," a corporate spokesman said.

Separately, the FCC fined Clear Channel Communications Inc.'s WWDC-FM Washington, D.C., $55,000 for two May 2002 broadcasts of Elliot in the Morning
in which jocks asked high-school girls about their sexual activities and made repeated references to oral sex.