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
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.