Noncommercial religious broadcaster Daystar has signed on to a consent decree with the FCC over underwriting announcements which were alleged to have crossed the line into full-blown commercial messages. As is the case in most consent decrees, Daystar will admit no guilt, will make a voluntary contribution to the US Treasury, in this case amounting to relatively mild $17.5K, and will take remedial steps to correct the transgressions it did not admit to committing.
The FCC explained the area in which Daystar was alleged to have problems, writing, “Although contributors of funds to such stations may receive on-air acknowledgements, the Commission has held that such acknowledgements may be made for identification purposes only, and should not promote the contributors’ products, services, or businesses.”
The stations involved included KLTJ-TV) Houston TX (Galveston TX); KKAP-TV Little Rock AR; WYDN-TV Boston MA (Worcester MA); KDTP-TV Phoenix AZ (Holbrook AZ); KWBN-TV, Honolulu HI; KWDK-TV), Ta Seattle WA (Tacoma WA).
RBR/TVBR observation: This comes up every now and then. At a noncom it’s OK to say, “This program was made possible by Acme Widgets.” You can’t say, “This program was made possible by Acme, maker of the finest widgets in the tri-county area.”