Buzz Lightyear Bites Another Station

Buzz Lightyear struck again, costing one station a proposed $15,000, while another station faces a $13,000 fine for 25 separate violations.

Both stations ran afoul of the Federal Communications Commission's children's-TV ad limits.

Drawing the biggest fine was WZTV Nashville, Tenn., which was cited for four airings of a commercial that featured the Buzz Lightyear character in a Buzz Lightyear TV show. The FCC considers such "host selling," however fleeting the association, converting a show into a program-length commercial.

Buzz has been the bane of a number of stations.

Nexstar Broadcasting Group's WTVW (TV) Evansville, Ind., admitted to 25 instances where it exceeded the limits on commercials in children's-TV shows -- 12 minutes on weekdays, 10.5 minutes on weekends. The violations ranged from a few seconds to a couple of minutes.

In other kids’ TV decisions, the FCC admonished but did not fine Paxson's (now Ion Media Networks') WPXE Winosha, Wis., for failing to give electronic-program-guide publishers the age ranges for its kids’ shows, as the agency requires.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.