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WXPN to Lose License; FCC Charges Obscenity

By Peter R. Melnick

A Federal Communications Commission (FCC) judge last week revoked the operating license of the University of Pennsylvania's FM radio station because of obscenity violations.

The students operating the station broadcasted "licentious slime and nauseating verbiage, "FCC Judge Walter C. Miller said last Monday.

The station, WXPN, is licensed to the university's board of trustees but student-operated.

Lack of Supervision

Miller said he blamed a lack of supervision on the part of university officials for the students' misconduct.

However, even after officials had warned the student operators about their broadcasting misconduct, the students continued their violations, openly challenging the university to take action, he said.

Miller's order will go into effect May 24 unless the university's board of trustees files an appeal by May 4, or the FCC decides to review the ruling.

The board plans to submit an appeal, Morton H. Wilner, a Penn trustee and chairman of the trustees' subcommittee on electronic communications, said yesterday.

The board of trustees did not abdicate any responsibility, Wilner said yesterday.

"Running a radio station is a student activity, and it should not be relegated to professionals," he added.

Diane Kaplan, program director for WPXN, said yesterday that the FCC allegations were entirely incorrect.

Kaplan said that because most of the students involved left the station three years ago, she could not comment on their conduct. The charges cover the period from November 1972 to March 1975.

Susan J. Krock '78, president of Harvard's FM station, said yesterday the WHRB staff takes the FCC regulations more seriously than does the WXPN staff.

"The first thing we warn new station members against is the use of obscenity," Krock said yesterday.

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