Nets to Get Indecent Proposals

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Look for the House Telecommunications Subcommittee to send invitations Tuesday or Wednesday to the media executives it wants to show up for its next indecency hearing, slated for one week from Thursday.

ABC, NBC and Fox will get invites, as will radio representative Clear Channel and Pappas Telecasting, which is expected to provide an affiliate perspective on such issues as ability to preempt and the balance of power between networks and affiliates.

One of the amendments to a high-profile bill upping FCC indecency fines would also make the networks pay 90% of the fine. Currently, only a station owner is liable.

Another potential provision would require the FCC to take into account whether a program was local or network when assessing responsibility. Over a dozen amendments have been proposed, but the cleaner the bill is, the more likely it is to make the President’s desk by March.

CBS won’t be among the invitees this time around since Mel Karmazin, president of parent Viacom, was the only network senior executive to make an appearance at last week’s hearing–the others were invited but cited prior commitments.

All of last week’s no-shows are expected to show up this time. That would be the expedient move, since the subcommittee’s senior Democrat John Dingell has suggested he would subpoena them if they didn’t.

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