Noncommercial Network of Glory says it operates to the benefit of a low-income and rural population which cannot afford to support its five stations via the normal donation process, and has requested waivers to sell advertising under self-suggested special conditions. The FCC said it didn’t have the authority to grant the request, and wouldn’t even if it did.
NoG said it was following goals set by the FCC itself by extending radio service to an underserved rural audience. But the current economy is placing an unusual financial strain on its operations, and it has been unable to secure funding from either private foundations or government agencies.
It therefore asked for a waiver to sell “limited commercial announcements under three conditions: (1) commercial advertisements will be run only at the top of the broadcast hour; (2) commercial advertisements will not interrupt regular station programming; and (3) any commercial announcements and their scheduling will be retained in the Stations’ public inspection files for public review and scrutiny.”
The FCC said that the reason there is a noncommercial service is to provide programming that is unconstrained by the types of considerations commonly put upon operators of a commercial operation. It said authorizing such a deviation would undermine the entire purpose of having a noncommercial service. For that reason it would not grant such a waiver.
But the FCC didn’t even have to decide on this one. It explained that the provisions for noncommercial broadcast are part of the Communications Act, and as such, the FCC has no power to override them.
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