Erika Engle, business reporter for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, goes there in Thursday’s “TheBuzz” column, pointing out that the staid, obscenity averse FCC recently greenlit a low-power Maui digital TV station with the callsign KUNT.
Feigning naivety for a moment, allow me to explain that the presumed phonetic pronunciation of the station’s name could be considered offensive… and therefore, perplexingly, banned from being broadcast. Can’t wait to see how they handle the station identification requirement.
Skeptical? You should be. The callsign has turned up in urban legends (usually surrounding KNTU at the the University of North Texas) and off-color jokes for years. But see for yourself. According to the FCC’s own callsign history records, the Wailuku broadcaster changed from K34JG-D to KUNT-LD on April 10, 2007. (Nine days too late for the perfect headline.) Licencee KM Communications, Inc. must be so proud!
Seriously, though. Callsign letter assignment is reportedly an automated process these days. (Though the fact that other iffy combos have never been used suggests some kind of screening.) And KM Communications is understandably red-faced over missing this little detail. Kevin Bae, KM’s veep, thanked Engle for bringing it to the company’s attention, and said it will request new call letters immediately.
C’mon. You know you want to go look for more naughty words at the FCC site. The possibilities are limited only by your immaturity!