Ron Jeremy Conversation Costs Radio Chain

Rhett Pardon
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Communications Commission ramped up its campaign against indecency by levying a $247,500 fine Friday against several stations owned by Clear Channel Communications Inc. for a conversation on the sexual practices of a caller and those of porn star Ron Jeremy.

The regulator's proposal to fine the largest radio chain in the nation was the result of nine alleged violations involving the Jeremy conversation on a March 2003 “Elliot and the Morning” show, which is based in Washington, D.C., and heard on WWDC in Washington; WRXL in Richmond, Va.; and WOSC in Bethany Beach, Del.

During the program, the radio hosts celebrated the porn star’s 50th birthday by inviting listeners to comment.

A female caller said she masturbated frequently to a Jeremy video, and that she wanted to do a “three way” with him because she likes “the way he licks pussy.”

The proposal to hand out the maximum fine of $27,500 per incident was “because of Clear Channel’s history of violations relating to the broadcast of indecent material,” the agency wrote.

“Clear Channel has been the subject of repeated indecency actions at the FCC, and this show in particular has been the subject of previous complaints,” wrote FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, who said the violations should have triggered license-revocation proceedings. The “cost-of-doing business fine is never going to stop the media’s slide to the bottom.”

Copps acknowledged that Clear Channel has taken recent steps to address indecency, which included pulling shock-jocks Howard Stern and Bubba the Love Sponge from its airwaves and agreeing to pay a $775,000 fine for some of the Bubba broadcasts.