FCC Fines 3 TV Stations for Kids’-TV-Rules Violations

KTBY-TV Anchorage, Alaska, took a novel approach to trying to avoid FCC sanctions for commercial overages in kids’ shows, but it was hammered anyway.

Another station was pummeled by Cocoa Pebbles.

The FCC’s Media Bureau Friday proposed fining KTBY-TV and two other stations a total of $40,000 for kids’-TV-rules violations.

KTBY-TV got hit with the biggest fine—$20,000—for exceeding the FCC’s limits on commercials in kids’ shows a total of 38 times, including three overages of 15 seconds and 35 instances of 30 seconds.

The information was contained in the station’s license renewal file. It also pointed out that it had sought to run 30 seconds less of commercial time than allowed in subsequent shows so that, “there will have been no commercial overages when assessing the license term as a whole.”

The station also failed to publicize the existence of its public reports on compliance, except in the one instance involving the renewal, with the commercial limits and other kids’-TV rules.

Getting hit with $10,000 fines apiece were Freedom Broadcasting’s KFDM-TV Beaumont, Texas, for airing a program-length commercial (another case of The CW Cocoa Pebbles ad, with fleeting images that have gotten others in trouble) and for failing to publicize its kids’-TV-programming reports; and Southwest Media’s KCSG-TV Cedar City, Utah, for failure to file or publicize various reports about commercial compliance and other issues.

The FCC cited the extent and number of those omissions, which covered numerous quarters over several years.

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.