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FCC Cites Stations for Cereal Violations

It was Buzz Lightyear all right, but not to the rescue.

The FCC admonished (an official reprimand) two stations Wednesday for host selling in their kids shows--the host was Buzz. It also reprimanded another station for failing to keep proper records on file, but took no action against two minor Kids TV ad overages on two other stations.

All five are Florida stations seeking license renewals and all five volunteered the various transgressions as part of their renewal applications.

The FCC has been working through a backlog of renewals (the Florida applications were submitted Feb. 1, 2005), but it took no action on any of the five renewals Wednesday. The admonitions are not expected to hold up the applications any more than they already are.

WTOG Petersburg and WRBW TV Orlando were reprimanded for a Buzz Lightyear commercial that appeared in the Buzz Lightyear kids show back in 2002. Both pled inadvertence, which the FCC does not accept as a defense. What does mitigate the penalty is that it was an isolated incident rather than a pattern of violations.

WTVX Fort Pierce, Fla., was admonished for not having a copy of its TV issues/programs list on public file, per FCC rules.

Receiving no punishment were WTSP St Petersburg and WPLG Miami, for kids TV ad overages of only 30 and 15 seconds respectively. The FCC limits ads in kids TV shows to 10.5 minutes on weekends and 12 on weekdays.