In several decisions released on Friday (here, here and here), the FCC fined Class A TV stations for not meeting their obligations under the Children’s Television Rules to notify their viewers about the location of their public file containing information about the educational and informational programming they broadcast directed to children, and for failure to inform local program guides of the target ages for this educational and informational programming. Class A TV stations are essentially LPTV stations that, early in the decade, were certified for Class A status, meaning that they cannot be displaced by subsequent authorizations for new full power stations or changes in the facilities of full power TV stations. These stations had to certify that they broadcast at least three hours of local programming per week, and also had to meet all the other obligations that are applicable to full power stations (but not necessarily to other Low Power Television Stations), e.g. local main studio, local public file, children’s television obligations. A fine of $4000 was imposed on the stations for these failures.
The cases remind Class A stations of their public interest obligations. It also reminds all stations of their obligations to publicize the existence of its children’s television compliance records, and to insure that program guides not only know about their educational and informational programming but also about the ages to which this programming is targeted. Little details, but details that cost many licensees money for their forgetfulness during the last license renewal cycle.