The good news is that the latest crop of Class A stations to fall prey to the FCC’s rules governing children’s programming on broadcast TV are not being reduced to LPTV status. The bad news is they are getting hit with hefty fines.
Nonetheless, this is definitely a situation where getting a fine is the positive result. For reasons we’ve discussed many times, retention of Class A status ahead on the incentive auction program is a very important factor in a station’s future.
During 2012, many stations were brought up on charges of failure to follow the children’s rules, which regulate hours of educational children’s programming per week, amount of allowable advertising, public file postings, FCC reports and public notification of the existence of information of a station’s children’s programming record.
The stations which lost Class A status invariably ignored at least two FCC requests to address the matter.
When a station has responded to FCC requests and corrected its deficiencies, it has gotten by with a fine.
Here are two more Class As that will have a slightly lighter wallet but will be free to do their Class A thing in the future.
* W34DV Booneville MS, licensed to Unity Broadcasting Inc., NAL for $15K
* WBFT-CA Sanford NC, licensed to San-Lee Community Broadcasting Inc., NAL for $9K
Meanwhile, a full power station has been hit with a similar NAL. Raycom’s Lake Charles LA NBC outlet KPLC is facing a $20K NAL for failing to file children’s programming reports with the FCC in a timely manner.