A small market FM out of Gordon NE has successfully overcome a challenge to its license and earned a renewal from the FCC. The complainant objected to the station’s funeral announcement policy. The station, KSDZ-FM, is owned by DJ Broadcasting Inc.
Rev. Vonne Blessman Anderson brought the informal objection. According to the FCC, Anderson claimed that the station “…charges families to air funeral announcements and requires that the announcements be bought in groups of three so that sometimes an announcement is aired after the funeral service is over. Rev. Anderson goes on to note that the station does not charge Native Americans for funeral announcements.” Anderson further argued that all funeral announcements are “public service announcements” and should be aired free of charge.
Anderson filed the objection 5/26/05.
KSDZ-FM answered the charges, saying that it in fact did not charge families for the announcements, but rather charged professional funeral directors who submitted and paid for them at their own discretion. KSDZ-FM also noted that Native American announcements had been underwritten by a local business (until recently). And it pointed out that the announcements are not in fact public service announcements.
The FCC found in favor of DJ Broadcasting and KSDZ and granted the license renewal.
RBR/TVBR observation: KSDZ-FM need not have made any argument at all. There is absolutely no requirement that any station provide this service – in fact, we cannot ever recall hearing a funeral announcement on any radio or television station. We are glad that the FCC batted it aside with a minimum of regulatory fuss. Why it took over four years to do so is a mystery.