What is the Eddie Van Halen-like interruption during songs?
August 11, 2009 09:47AM
I listen online in Tennessee and every now and then, there is like a 2 second interruption during songs. It's some guitar metal-like twanging and some weird verbiage. Is it a "mute" for bad language or something? I've been trying to figure it out for months and its driving me crazy.
Re: What is the Eddie Van Halen-like interruption during songs?
August 11, 2009 07:19PM
Yes, that annoying sample is used to cover cursing, etc. It is derived from an old Conan O'Brien sketch...

The following is snipped from Wikipedia:

Satellite TV - Conan shares the extra channels that the large satellite dish on the roof of 30 Rockefeller Center fictionally picks up. Some channels have absurd titles like "Clive Clemmons' Inappropriate Response Channel" (this particular channel displayed clips of people making inappropriate and/or completely off-topic statements in everyday conversation, after which fictional British heavy metal guitarist Clive Clemmons plays a riff and exclaims "Inappropriate!" One example had a woman mention the quality of the office coffee, to which her co-worker responded "Thank God for Saddam Hussein!" ).
Re: What is the Eddie Van Halen-like interruption during songs?
August 12, 2009 01:30PM
that's great info, Carsick James, thanks. I've never wondered about it but always enjoyed it. Now I know!
Re: What is the Eddie Van Halen-like interruption during songs?
August 12, 2009 04:18PM
I've had a few friends complain that it's old and should be changed. They suggest just a beep. I have to agree. The metal thing does not fit everyones format. Maybe some sound that's more universal. I hope it is possible to change it out. I think it's been 10 years.
Re: What is the Eddie Van Halen-like interruption during songs?
August 12, 2009 11:37PM
I'm for keeping the "Inappropriate" delay dump. It is much better than a seven second tone. In the far off future, when we need a new delay system, it might be good to get one that can allow for multiple dump cuts to be played. For the record, when we first turned on the delay system there was seven seconds of silence every time we dumped something. That space was later filled with our Chief Engineer saying "You're listening to WCSB Cleveland, 89.3FM (followed by two more seconds of silence). We went to the "Inappropriate" cut a couple months later. The "Inappropriate" voice was Carl "Oldy" Olson (actually actor William Preston), a recurring character on the early days of "Late Night". His "White Stockings" baseball clips were hilarious. Sadly, I can't seem to find any online.

Here's the original Clive Clemmons skit. Go view it now before NBC finds it and has it removed.

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Re: What is the Eddie Van Halen-like interruption during songs?
August 13, 2009 12:22PM
great info! i had no idea...
Re: What is the Eddie Van Halen-like interruption during songs?
August 18, 2009 12:48PM
yeah, I wouldn't want it to go away since I hate change and everything. but I wonder why it has to be so long. you miss way more than the dirty little wordy, you miss good parts of the song without dirty little wordies.
Re: What is the Eddie Van Halen-like interruption during songs?
August 18, 2009 04:22PM
Yeah man, but if we here a swear, we got 7 seconds to rush in and hit the big red button. we're not always standing right by the board. i've made some heroic sprints from record room to main air to swat down a swear. and who be talking bout changing the "innapropriate" effect? shit like that and the "911" psa are what makes wcsb so fun and weirdly appealing. i mean, that and jukebox willie.
Re: What is the Eddie Van Halen-like interruption during songs?
September 08, 2009 12:08PM
yeah, but i hear a shit ton of "fucks" and such on the station. its pretty funny how they just slip by.
Re: What is the Eddie Van Halen-like interruption during songs?
September 08, 2009 11:03PM
We can let a ton of fucks slip (and we do) depending on the time of day and the context of the word. Safe harbor broadcasting is allowed from 10PM to 6AM by FCC guidelines. WCSB observes Safe Harbor hours from 11PM-6AM. Safe Harbor basically allows us to play objectionable (indecent) material during hours that children will most likely be asleep. In the end it's a judgement call by staff members as to the context of the words that are said. We run those disclaimers every half hour for a reason. If we didn't push the envelope at all, we wouldn't have to.

Here's the actual FCC guidelines straight from www.fcc.gov:


What makes material “obscene?” Obscene speech is not protected by the First Amendment and broadcasters are prohibited, by statute and regulation, from airing obscene programming at any time. According to the U.S. Supreme Court, to be obscene, material must meet a three-prong test: (1) an average person, applying contemporary community standards, must find that the material, as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest (i.e., material having a tendency to excite lustful thoughts); (2) the material must depict or describe, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by applicable law; and (3) the material, taken as a whole, must lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value. The Supreme Court has indicated that this test is designed to cover hard-core pornography.

What makes material “indecent?” Indecent material contains sexual or excretory material that does not rise to the level of obscenity. For this reason, the courts have held that indecent material is protected by the First Amendment and cannot be banned entirely. It may, however, be restricted to avoid its broadcast during times of the day when there is a reasonable risk that children may be in the audience. The FCC has determined, with the approval of the courts, that there is a reasonable risk that children will be in the audience from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., local time. Therefore, the FCC prohibits station licensees from broadcasting indecent material during that period.

Material is indecent if, in context, it depicts or describes sexual or excretory organs or activities in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium. In each case, the FCC must determine whether the material describes or depicts sexual or excretory organs or activities and, if so, whether the material is “patently offensive.”

In our assessment of whether material is “patently offensive,” context is critical. The FCC looks at three primary factors when analyzing broadcast material: (1) whether the description or depiction is explicit or graphic; (2) whether the material dwells on or repeats at length descriptions or depictions of sexual or excretory organs; and (3) whether the material appears to pander or is used to titillate or shock. No single factor is determinative. The FCC weighs and balances these factors because each case presents its own mix of these, and possibly other, factors.

What makes material “profane?” “Profane language” includes those words that are so highly offensive that their mere utterance in the context presented may, in legal terms, amount to a “nuisance.” In its Golden Globe Awards Order the FCC warned broadcasters that, depending on the context, it would consider the “F-Word” and those words (or variants thereof) that are as highly offensive as the “F-Word” to be “profane language” that cannot be broadcast between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.
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