FCC Opens Comment on Cussing


The FCC has given the public, including the affected stations, until Sept. 21 to weigh in on the four profanity decisions it is reconsidering.

It had announced a two-week filing period submitting comments.

A federal appeals court Thursday granted the FCC's request to review the findings--against cussing in NYPD Blue, the Billboard awards show on Fox, and CBS This Morning. The review delays the court's hearing of a broadcaster challenge to the findings.

The FCC did not give stations a chance to respond because they levied no fines and put no black marks on the station's record, saying the infractions had occurred before it changed its policy toward fleeting profanity.  Findings, however, would give broadcasters a better idea of how that policy would be enforced. Broadcasters have been asking for more clarification on indecency and profanity enforcement.

The FCC has promised to issue a "final or appealable order" involving the four decisions, which would seem to make Nov. 6 D-day for the decision.

After that, the court will accept briefs until Dec. 11, with the trial on the merits of broadcasters challenge expected to take until at least February.