Class A TV, children and the FCC


Kids watching TVLast year a number of Class A television stations that had failed to toe the line on children’s television requirements also failed to respond to FCC queries on the matter and found themselves busted down to LPTV status. This crop of Class As did respond, were hit with a fine but saved their Class A status.

Full power stations are required to follow rules that stipulate a certain amount of educational children’s programming, limits on advertising on children’s programming, reports of same in the public file and notification to the public as to the existence of the reports and to file them with the FCC itself.

Low power television stations do not have to meet these requirements, but Class A stations do, and based on frequent FCC inquiries into the matter with members of the Class A service, it is clear that many licensees were unaware of the requirement.

The FCC has issued fines to wayward stations that did respond to its inquiries, rather than depriving them of their Class A status.

As readers of this space may be aware, RBR-TVBR has been amazed at how many of the stations simply ignored the FCC inquiries, a foolish thing to do regardless of the nature of the matter at hand.

Here are the latest actions:

* WJKF-CA Jacksonville FL, licensed to Abacus Television, FCC determined that 14 of 17 reports were late-filed. NAL for $9K.

* WRCF-LP Orlando FL, licensed to Specialty Broadcasting Corporation, late filed 10 reports. NAL for $9K.

* WQHA Aguada PR, licensed to Concilio Mision Cristiana Fuente de Agua Viva, Inc., admitted that 14 reports were filed late. NAL for $6K.

* WNVN-LP Roanoke Rapids NC, licensed to First Media Radio LLC, failed to timely file programming reports and advertising compliance certification three times each. NAL for $6K.

* WIMN-CA Arecibo PR, licensed to Carmen Cabrera, 11 late-filed reports. NAL for $3K.

RBR-TVBR observation: A fine is definitely better than loss of protected Class A status in advance of the incentive auctions. Class As are allowed to participate; LPTV are not and cannot even be assured of their continued existence.