FCC Reprimands More Stations Over Kids Rules

The FCC admonished two more TV stations for violating kids TV reporting rules, but approved their license renewals anyway.

WWAZFond Du Lac, Wis., was cited for running a commercial in kids show The Nana Puddin' Show, for Puddin' branded products. Running ads for productions in shows associated with that merchandise turns the show into an illegal program-length commercial. The station said the violation was inadvertent and that the ad was included in the show by distributor FamilyNet.

The FCC doesn't not accept inadvertence as a defense, and so admonished the station--an official reprimand in its record--but concluded that the station has served the public interest and that the violation, though "serious," was isolated and thus did not reflect a pattern of abuse.

Pax's WTPX Antigo, Wis., was reprimanded for failing to provide electronic program guide publishers the correct target age of its FCC-friendly educational programming, as FCC rules require.

The commission said it did not rule out more severe penalties, inlcuding fines, for similar omissions by other stations. But it concluded that, absent evidence of other abuses, the station on balance had served the public interest, though it said the station could lose its license for future violations.

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.