FCC sanction could complicate call-in shows


Conversations between callers and on-air personalities could be at greater
risk of sanction following the Federal Communications Commission's $4,000 fine
of WEZB-FM New Orleans.

WEZB was hit for airing a DJ's conversation with a woman who dialed the
station accidentally. The FCC prohibits airing conversations without the
subject's approval.

The caller said she was calling the home of her son's friend and the
answering party claimed to be that friend's father.

WEZB said the woman was told twice that she had reached a radio station.
Regardless, she was 'understandably confused' and at no time understood that her
conversation would be broadcast, the FCC said.

The case is troubling to lawyers because the FCC typically requires
permission only when stations initiate contact, the presumption being that
callers understand that they could be put on air.

The presumption is meaningless if stations must determine whether callers
understand that they may block the broadcast, lawyers said.