Clear Channel agrees to decree with FCC over NJ phone issue


WHTZ(FM) Newark NJ made the mistake of recording a phone call for broadcast without first informing the party being recorded of its intention to put it out over the air. Although Clear Channel admits to this, it also has witnesses who say the party consented to the airing of the call before it was actually put on the air. The company and the FCC have agreed to settle the matter without an official finding of wrong-doing.

According to the FCC document on the proceeding, it received several complaints about the matter during parts of 2006 and 2007 from one of the parties who was recorded. Clear Channel admitted it was true that the party was not forewarned before the recording was made, but the FCC also notes that several of the witnesses in the proceeding said that permission was sought and granted prior to the broadcast.

As usual in these cases, although Clear Channel gets off without a violation and does not admit to committing a violation, and is not hit with a fine of any kind, it promises to submit to a compliance plan and goes under reporting conditions to make sure it never does it again.

Clear Channel will also make a voluntary contribution to the US Treasury to help defray the national debt – in this case, the amount will be $20K.