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Press Release

June 28, 2007

PTC Applauds FCC Decision to Hold CBS Accountable for Consent Decree Violation

CBS-Owned KUTV-TV Could Face a License Hearing for Re-Airing Teen Orgy Episode


LOS ANGELES (June 28, 2007) – As a result of local grassroots activism by Parents Television Council™ members in Utah, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) yesterday gave CBS ten days to explain the circumstances of its decision to air a sexually-charged episode of Without a Trace which the FCC ruled to be indecent.  The airing of the episode followed closely after CBS entered into a Consent Decree with the FCC, admitting that it had aired legally indecent material and promising to take immediate remedial efforts to prevent the airing of any other indecent content.


CBS re-aired a Without a Trace episode on December 31, 2004 that included graphic scenes of a teen orgy party during the 9:00 pm MT hour in Salt Lake City on KUTV-TV.  This resulted in a Notice of Apparent Liability by the FCC on March 15, 2006.  Members of the PTC Salt Lake/Provo Chapter and the Cache Valley Chapter filed petitions in August 2006 with the FCC to revoke the broadcast license of KUTV-TV, the CBS owned-and-operated affiliate in Salt Lake City, Utah, for airing content that violated the broadcast decency law.


“We applaud the FCC for calling CBS to account for this apparent disregard of the law and – in particular – its open disregard of the Consent Decree that it voluntarily entered into with the FCC.  Broadcasters must abide by contemporary community standards in order to use the public airwaves.  Unfortunately CBS seems not to take this obligation seriously, as demonstrated by the Without a Trace broadcast and, more recently, by the fact that the network is suing in Federal Court insisting that the Janet Jackson breast-baring incident was not indecent.  Citizens of Utah have voiced their opinion that they do not want graphic sexual scenes broadcast into their living rooms when children are in the audience, and they believe that KUTV-TV’s broadcast license should be revoked as a consequence for violating the law.  We commend those local citizens for raising their voices and taking the initiative to help keep their community’s airwaves free from indecent television content,” said PTC President Tim Winter.


When she filed the petition, Utah chapter member Andrea Gritton described her reasoning.  “Everyone in my community knows that KUTV-TV does some good in Utah and airs many quality shows, but they also identify CBS with the Janet Jackson Super Bowl incident.  Utah has well-known community standards of decency.  In fact, 26 local governments from all over Utah have passed resolutions calling on their citizens and businesses, and all public and private institutions, to adopt family-friendly and child-appropriate standards.  I believe in this local movement and believe that these standards were clearly violated during the Super Bowl and continue to be violated on shows like Without a Trace,” she said.


To schedule an interview with a PTC representative, please contact Kelly Oliver (ext. 140) or Megan Franko (ext. 148) at (703) 683-5004.

The Parents Television Council™ (www.parentstv.org®) is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media. This national grassroots organization has more than 1.3 million members across the United States, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children. The PTC also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.




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