WTTA Agrees to Remedial Steps to Close FCC Investigation

Posted at 5:35 p.m. ET

Bay Television, licensee of WTTA-TV St. Petersburg, FL, has agreed to pay $8,000 and take a number of remedial steps to close an investigation into its failure to meet FCC guidelines on children's TV advertising.

The FCC regularly imposes fines or admonishes stations that exceed its limits on commercial time in kid's shows-10.5 minutes on weekends, 12 minutes on weekdays-but that usually comes during the license renewal process.

In this case the station volunteered after it had already received its renewal that it had exceeded the limits 24 time, saying they were due to inadvertent errors in moving shows from weekdays to weekends.

The FCC does not accept inadvertence as a defense.

To settle the investigation triggered by its admission, the station agreed to a voluntary payment of $8,000 and to institute a training program, stricter review of kid's ads, and periodic spot checks for the next two years. It will also have to file three compliance reports to the FCC over those two 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.