Tuesday, February 12, 2008

How to avoid a gigantic FCC fine

I rarely share WFMU staff e mail, but this arrived today:
Hey everybody, good news! WFMU now features -Three- Discrete Dumps in its broadcast delay setup!! However, these dumps are shorter in duration - 5 seconds, to be precise. So here's the practical way to look at it:

1. singer suddenly says "I'm a fucking idiot": QUICK! You've got 5 seconds to hit that red dump button and delete that curse.

2. singer says "I feel like shit about what an idiot I was": QUICK! You've got 5 seconds to hit that red dump button.

3. singer says "why don't I just fucking die": QUICK! You've still got 5 seconds left to hit that red dump button.

And now, you're out of time. You'd best be pulling that record from the air. If you hear any further curses at this point, you may not be able to catch them and dump them, unless you're really fast -- but you should try!

Please drop me a line if any of this is unclear, bizarre, or all brandy new to you.
I suppose he means it's now possible to split up the total dump memory into smaller units, so we can now edit close, sequential curses like in the same verse. But if you're a DJ & those three lines in one song caught you by surprise, you didn't audition the whole song, even though the band's name is probably something like Snot Vomit, which makes you an on-the-air danger. It can happen unexpectedly in an unlikely recording. But not often. I know from experience. Never trust hip hop even if it samples The Delfonics & starts out like a love poem. I don't really know how the dump works, I'm just careful about not needing it, since half the time I'm not paying full attention to what's going out over the air.


Any Music Director worth his salt should mark which songs are "NFA" (not for airplay) on the record sleeve. Of course, it may be difficult to listen to every song on every record that arrives at the WFMU studios, so responsible on-air personalities should also warn their colleagues which songs may incur the wrath of the FCC. However, bringing your personal music collection to the studio means that all bets are off.
Music Director always has a stack of CDs for volunteers to audition. My most recent experience with a bad word occurred when a DJ had played a song on the air, initialed it on the new CD card, but failed to note it had bad language.
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