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Press Release

October 25, 2007

PTC Utah Chapter Members Call on FCC to Review KUTV’s Broadcast License for Violating Community Standards of Decency


SALT LAKE CITY (October 25, 2007) – The Parents Television Council™ grassroots chapters in Utah are urging the FCC to review the license of CBS affiliate, KUTV in Utah, for failing to adhere to its community standards of decency.  This week, CBS offered a written excuse for its failure to implement terms of a Consent Decree it negotiated with the FCC in November of 2004.  Under the terms of the Consent Decree, CBS agreed to pay a fine and take remedial action in the event that it violated the broadcast decency law and received a Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) from the FCC. In effect, the FCC summarily dismissed tens of thousands of broadcast indecency complaints that were filed by the public, many coming from Utah citizens.


However, less than a month after the Consent Decree was signed, CBS re-aired a Without a Trace episode that prompted thousands of indecency complaints due to graphic scenes of a teen orgy party.  The episode aired on December 31, 2004 during the 9:00 pm MT hour on KUTV.  This resulted in a NAL issued 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, the CBS owned-and-operated affiliate in Salt Lake City, Utah, for airing content that violated the broadcast decency law.  To date, CBS has taken no remedial action following the FCC’s issuance of an NAL and the network publicly defended its inaction this week.


Utah chapter member Andrea Gritton, who filed a petition against KUTV, stated,Washington insiders need to listen to us, not the high-powered lobbyists employed by CBS.  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 that these standards were clearly violated during the Super Bowl and continue to be violated on shows like Without a Trace.  The FCC should review KUTV’s broadcast license for violating our community’s decency standards.” 


According to PTC President Tim Winter, “CBS’ response to the FCC’s inquiry is utterly disgraceful. By saying they did nothing wrong by not taking any action after receiving the NAL, they have openly and defiantly breached both the spirit and the letter of the agreement that they freely negotiated with the FCC.  Remember that the CBS Consent Decree summarily dismissed thousands of broadcast indecency complaints related to the original broadcast of the Without a Trace episode at issue; so then how could its re-airing not trigger the remedial action specified in the Consent Decree?  The PTC commends its Utah chapter members for their leadership on this issue and calls on the FCC to review each and every broadcast license held by CBS, beginning with its owned-and-operated television station in Salt Lake City, KUTV.”


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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