FCC KidVid Changes Kick-In Sept. 16

The FCC's new Kidvid rule revamp takes effect Sept. 16, the FCC said this week, except for the reporting requirements that must still get approval from the Office of Management and Budget. 

The effective date was 30 days after the rule changes--adopted in July--published in the Federal Register, which they did on Aug. 16. The FCC has now released guidelines on how to comply with the adjusted rules, which adjustments include 

A divided FCC adopted a Report and Order (R&O) July 10 to give broadcasters more flexibility in how they air that E/I (educational/informational) programming. 

The Report & Order (R&O) preserved the three-hour-per-week mandate for E/I programming, but allows a third of that to be aired on a multicast channel, rather than on the primary channel, as the rules had required. 

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Among other things, it also gives broadcasters an extra hour (formerly 7 a.m.-10 p.m., now 6 a.m.-10 p.m.) in which E/I programming satisfies the three-hours-per-week requirement and gives broadcasters the ability to count a "limited" amount of non-regularly scheduled weekly programming toward the requirement, though still requiring the "majority" of that programming to be regularly scheduled weekly, and allow a "limited" amount of short-form programming--PSAs, interstitials--but most still required to be at least a half hour. 

The new reporting obligations in the R&O must be vetted by OMB, per the Paperwork Reduction Act, to make sure they don't create too much of a paperwork burden for regulated industries.

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.