Broadcast Law Blog

Broadcast Law Blog

Tag Archives: underwriting announcement

FCC Reaches Consent Decree with Noncommercial Broadcaster Imposing Largest Fine Ever Issued for Underwriting Violations – $115,000

Posted in Advertising Issues, FCC Fines, Noncommercial Broadcasting
Noncommercial broadcast stations are licensed to be just that – noncommercial. These stations can run “underwriting announcements” acknowledging commercial businesses that provide financial support to the stations, but such announcements must meet strict guidelines – including restrictions on “calls to action,” prohibitions on statements about prices or discounts, and requirements that no qualitative claim about… Continue Reading

FCC Declines to Allow Experimentation with Noncommercial Underwriting Rules

Posted in Advertising Issues, Noncommercial Broadcasting
The FCC yesterday issued an order declining to allow experimentation with the noncommercial underwriting rules that was requested by the licensee of noncommercial radio stations in the Phoenix area.  The licensee had asked the FCC for permission to conduct a three year experiment by relaxing the underwriting rules in certain ways to determine the effect… Continue Reading

As FM Translator Settlement Window Continues, the FCC Announces LPFM Window in October – Factors for an LPFM Applicant to Consider

Posted in FM Translators and LPFM
Low Power FM potential applicants, start your engines. The FCC has announced the long-awaited window for the filing of applications for new LPFM stations. The window will last from October 15-October 29. During this period, nonprofit organizations and governmental organizations will have the opportunity to file for new stations on any FM channel anywhere in the country –… Continue Reading

$3000 Fine Against Noncommercial Station for Underwriting Violations – With Discussion of PSAs as Public Interest Programming and Cigarette Ads in Classic Radio Program

Posted in Noncommercial Broadcasting, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
In a decision granting the license renewal of a noncommercial radio station, the FCC’s Media Bureau addressed a number of interesting issues – including the requirements for noncommercial underwriting announcements, whether PSAs meet a station’s public service obligations, and the ability of stations to run cigarette ads in historical radio programs from early radio days. These issues all came up… Continue Reading

Financial Challenges to Noncommercial Broadcast Funding – What Is the FCC Doing?

Posted in Noncommercial Broadcasting
As Federal funding to public broadcasters faces serious challenge in a Washington looking to cut the budget for all but the most essential government services, and where voluntary contributions to all noncommercial broadcasters have been constrained by the economic issues faced by the entire nation, more and more noncommercial broadcasters are facing tough questions about… Continue Reading

When Can Underwriting Announcements Be Run on Noncommercial Radio and TV Stations?

Posted in Noncommercial Broadcasting
The question has recently arisen as to when underwriting announcements can be aired on noncommercial radio and TV stations.  The New York Times recently quoted me on the subject in an article discussing the plans of PBS to experiment with putting underwriting announcements in programming, rather than merely in the breaks between the end of… Continue Reading

FCC to Study Economic Effect of LPFM on Full-Power FM – But Not the Economic Impact of Any Interference that May Be Caused

Posted in FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM
As part of the Local Community Radio Act which, among other things, repealed restrictions against protecting full-power FM stations from third-adjacent channel interference from LPFM stations, Congress required that the FCC conduct a study of the economic impact that such stations will have on full-power FM stations.  The FCC began the process of conducting that study, asking… Continue Reading

FCC Underwriting Rules for Noncommercial Radio and TV – A Seminar on the Issues

Posted in Appearances, FCC Fines, Noncommercial Broadcasting
Fines for noncommercial broadcasters who air acknowledgments of their donors and contributors that sound too much like commercials have been a problem area for many noncommercial educational radio and television stations, and have resulted in significant fines from the FCC.  The FCC allows "enhanced underwriting announcements" that identify a sponsor, what their business is, and where… Continue Reading

Noncommercial FM Station Fined $12,500 for Sponsorship Acknowledgments That Were Too Commercial

Posted in FCC Fines, Noncommercial Broadcasting
Stations that are licensed as "noncommercial educational" stations are prohibited by the FCC from running commercials – seemingly a pretty straightforward prohibition.  Yet drawing the line between a prohibited commercial and a permissible sponsorship acknowledgment is sometimes difficult in these days of "enhanced underwriting."   In a recent case, the FCC fined a noncommercial radio station $12,500… Continue Reading

David Oxenford Discusses Legal Issues at the Christian Music Broadcasters Momentum ’09 Conference

Posted in Appearances
On September 10, 2009, David Oxenford addressed the Christian Music Broadcasters’ Momentum ’09 Conference in Orlando, Florida.  Dave’ s presentation was titled 18 Issues in 18 Minutes: What a Broadcaster Should Worry About From Washington DC.  In 18 minutes, Dave discussed topics including the FCC’s proposed localism rules, sponsorship identification and noncommercial underwriting issues, contest fines, FCC technical operating and… Continue Reading

FCC Fines Noncommercial Station for Enhanced Underwriting Announcments that Were too Commercial

Posted in Noncommercial Broadcasting
In a decision released late on Friday, the FCC upheld a $9,000 fine on a noncommercial television operator who broadcast underwriting announcements which, in the opinion of the Commission, were too much like commercials and thus were impermissible on a noncommercial station.  Under the Commission’s policies governing the noncommercial nature of noncommercial stations, it is… Continue Reading