Investigators are trying to determine how a pornographic video aired during a 6 p.m. newscast Sunday evening.
KREM 2 viewers called the police after an explicit video appeared on a screen behind a broadcaster delivering the weather forecast.
Police said the video played about 10 seconds before it was removed.
The Spokane Police Department’s special victims unit is investigating how the image appeared and where it came from. Detectives have yet to determine if the incident was criminal, said Julie Humphreys, a spokesperson for the department. Police said KREM personnel are cooperating with the investigation.
Anne Bentley, vice president and chief communications officer at TEGNA, KREM 2’s parent company, said in an email that the station addressed the issue in its 11 p.m. news broadcast .
“We apologized to our viewers last night during our 11 p.m. newscast – Those of us here at KREM 2 want to apologize for something that happened in our 6 p.m. newscast tonight. An inappropriate video aired in the first part of the show. We are diligently working to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again,” Bentley wrote on behalf of KREM 2 in an email.
Bentley declined to answer questions about the incident. KREM has not released a statement about the situation on its website or via Twitter or Facebook.
The station could face significant fines from the Federal Communications Commission. In 2012 a news station in Roanoke, Virginia, had a similar incident when sexually explicit material was broadcast briefly on the evening news.
The FCC ruled the station violated federal law by airing “indecent programming from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. when there is a reasonable risk that children may be in the audience,” according to the Roanoke Times.
The station was fined $325,000 in 2015 for the incident, the highest fine ever at the time for a single indecent broadcast.