Sexually Explicit Conversations Inappropriate for Morning Radio, Says Canadian Broadcast Standards Council

Ottawa, July 16, 2002 – The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) today released its decision concerning The Show with Dean Blundell broadcast weekday mornings from 5:30-10:00 am on CFNY-FM (Edge 102, Toronto). The show features usual morning fare, including songs, contests, news, traffic and weather reports, and, most relevant to the complaint, banter amongst the show's hosts. This banter includes discussions about pop culture, current events and unusual news stories, but often veers off into conversations and jokes containing sexual innuendo or double entendres as well as occasionally more explicit sexual details. Some of the morning show contests also had sexual themes.

The CBSC Ontario Regional Panel decided that certain conversations on the three episodes of the show reviewed were too sexually explicit for times of the day when children could be listening to the radio and were thus in violation of Clause 6, paragraph 3, of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' (CAB) Code of Ethics. Citing previous CBSC decisions that dealt with similar issues, the Panel found that those conversations explicitly describing the sex lives of the hosts and various celebrities were inappropriate for the time period “due to [their] unsuitability for times of the day when children could be expected to be listening.” On the other hand, comments which were not explicit and merely included sexual innuendo were not found to be problematic.

With respect to the issue of gender stereotyping, the Panel did not find a breach of any broadcaster Code.:

In this respect, the Panel found no basis to conclude that women were degraded or demeaned or otherwise portrayed more negatively than men. In the Panel's view, neither gender fares well on The Show with Dean Blundell.

In keeping with the CBSC's previous decisions which have concluded that matters which are merely a question of taste are best regulated by the individual listener via the dial or on/off switch, the Panel found that the remarks relating to men and women, as well as those consisting of sexual innuendo, fell into this category and were not in violation of any Code provision.

Canada's private broadcasters have themselves created industry standards in the form of Codes on ethics, gender portrayal and television violence by which they expect the members of their profession will abide. In 1990, they also created the CBSC, which is the self-regulatory body with the responsibility of administering those professional broadcast Codes, as well as the Code dealing with journalistic practices first created by the Radio Television News Directors Association of Canada (RTNDA) in 1970. More than 500 radio and television stations and specialty services from across Canada are members of the Council.

– 30 –

All CBSC decisions, Codes, links to members' and other web sites, and related information are available on the CBSC's website at www.cbsc.ca. For more information, please contact the CBSC National Chair, Mme Andrée Noël CBSC Executive Director, John MacNab