The FCC has released a guide to help smaller TV stations and entities comply with its changes to the revisions to its children's television programming rules.
Those include relaxed requirements and streamlined reporting requirements.
While the guide is not a shield, but following the guide can be used by smaller stations as a mitigating factor if the FCC takes any action for violation of the rules.
The FCC's new KidVid rule revamp took effect Sept. 16, except for the reporting requirements that must still get approval from the Office of Management and Budget. The changes 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.
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 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.
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.
Broadcasting & Cable Newsletter
The smarter way to stay on top of broadcasting and cable industry. Sign up below
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.