Radio Station Fined for Turkey Call

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Just in time for Thanksgiving, the FCC has cited a station for a phone call related to a "save the turkey" stunt.

The FCC has fined Montana radio station, KZMN(FM) Kalispell, $4,000 for broadcasting and replaying a phone call without the callers knowledge or consent.

In the "no good but edgy deed goes unpunished" department, the station was trying to raise money in November 2003 for a local food bank by hanging a turkey out its window and getting listeners to donate to the bank in order to "save the turkey."

One woman unhappy with the stunt got a co-worker to call the station receptionist, who put the co-worker through to the DJ, who then asked to speak to the woman. She was put on the air and her indignation recorded for later play.

FCC rules prevent doing so without the caller's understanding that they will be on-air. The station argued that it could not control the DJ, though pointed out it had fired him over the incident and adopted a written policy spelling out the FCC telephone rules.

The FCC said it holds licensees responsible for its employees, but, citing a lack of any prior complaints against the station, cut the proposed fine (issued on St. Patrick's Day, perhaps to maintain the holiday spirit) from $6,000 to $4,000.

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