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A fine mess.

Arkansas' CBS affiliates might have dodged the, er, fallout from the Janet Jackson Super Bowl halftime burlesque show, but Fox stations here might not be so lucky.

As it now stands, 168 Fox stations throughout the country are on the hook for a $1.18 million Federal Communications Commission fine--the largest ever--for the network's primetime airing of an April 7 "Married by America" episode that featured topless strippers and spankings.

If the ruling stands, each affiliate would owe about $7,000.

Only CBS-owned and -operated affiliates got hit with the FCC'S $550,000 Jackson fine because other affiliates wouldn't have been able to pre-empt the live event. That left Gannett's KTHVTV, Channel 11, in Little Rock and New York Times Co.'s KFSM-TV, Channel 5, in Fort Smith in the clear. But because "Married by America" was a taped program that Fox affiliates could have previewed and not aired, the FCC wants to hold all of them, including KPBI-TV, Channel 46, in Fort Smith and Clear Channel-owned Little Rock affiliate KLRT-TV, Channel 16, liable.

Chuck Spohn, vice president and general manager for Clear Channel TV in kirtle Rock, said he couldn't comment on the fine but added friar he's received no word from the network or the FCC on the matter. Fox has said it will appeal.
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Title Annotation:Outtakes: an inside look into Arkansas media
Author:Turner, Lance
Publication:Arkansas Business
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U7AR
Date:Oct 18, 2004
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Next Article:Political pinch.

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