The fine - which FCC Commissioner James Quello said yesterday could be announced as early as Friday - would be the largest imposed on a broadcaster by the FCC for a violation of its indecency rules. The Infinity fine is three times larger than one handed out to Los Angeles station KLSX-FM last month for a series of [Howard Stern] programs that aired last year. The Infinity fine covers the same programs, but it is trebled because Infinity simulcast the programs on three of its stations, WXRK-FM in New York, WYSP-FM in Philadelphia and WJFK.
Stern hasn't won many friends at the commission in recent weeks. Following the FCC's fine of KLSX in October, Stern said on his program that he hoped FCC Chairman Alfred C. Sikes would suffer a relapse of prostate cancer. Sikes recently had a small tumor removed.
Attorneys for Infinity and Cook Inlet had no comment yesterday, and Stern was not available. But one source close to the companies described the FCC moves as "regulatory blackmail" designed to muzzle Stern. He also said the FCC had no authority to simultaneously impose a fine, hold up Infinity's license transfers and put the matter before an administrative judge.
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