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Grow! by Paul Martin

Posts Tagged 'Compliance'

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FCC: Not a real football fan (sindication, part two)


Another pair of cases released this week from the FCC Enforcement Bureau show that programming from a third party can certainly get a station in trouble if embedded announcements do not comply with underwriting regulations. The case against WFCO radio shows that the Commission isn't really amused with college football. The Capital Crusaders won 11 games in 2006, but WFCO lost every game it broadcast. The FCC found 20 announcements that were clearly impermissible advertisements. The case stems from the 2006 college football season--and the FCC posted the Notice of Apparent Liability in February, 2009--that's over two years later! The announcements appear to be embedded in the football games that were produced by a third party and broadcast on WFCO--a non-commercial educational radio station. In addition, the station didn't have a regular review process that would catch missteps so the FCC didn't see any reason to mitigate the penalty. The takeaway: Even if the program originates from another source (high ...

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Non-Commercial Radio and Syndicated (or sin-dicated) Programming


Recently, the Federal Communications Commission posted three enforcement actions for non-commercial educational radio stations regarding impermissible underwriting announcements. Two of these cases reinforce the responsibility of the station licensee for everything it broadcasts--even if another organization created the programming. In the Jones College notice of apparent liability, a program called "Swing Time" was provided by an outside programmer. Although the station received no monetary compensation from the programmer or the underwriters, only the program. The FCC deems the programming itself as compensation (think 'barter syndication') and the announcements must then comport to the regulations. Simply put: the FCC holds the station responsible for compliance with every announcement--regardless where the program was produced. The program included eight underwriting announcements that are clearly out-of-bounds. Some of the the announcements were 60 seconds long. The commission noted: "Although the C ...

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