Overdoing underwriting


The sponsorship announcements on WCVZ-FM in South Zanesville OH went over the line, according to the FCC, and it’s going to cost noncommercial licensee Christian Voice of Central Ohio Inc. a $9K fine. The faulty announcements were on behalf of Tastee Freeze and Prindle-GMAC Real Estate. Tastee Freeze messages went over the line when they noted that its products were “tastefully decorated,” and Prindle’s claims that “we’re all about family” and that “we love selling real estate” pushed it over the edge. CVCO tried to get the fine reduced or better yet, replaced with a simple admonishment. It cited a similar case in which the licensee was hit up for $2K. However, the FCC pointed out that the other case involved the airing of 120 faulty announcements. CVCO overran its problem underwriting statements 3,000 times in 15 months.

RBR/TVBR observation: This works out to $3 per announcement. We don’t know what the going rate is for an underwriting announcement on a noncom in South Zanesville is, but we hope CVCO at least was able to break even. And the fine is not all that steep, compared to the $2K fine cited by the FCC – it works out to a much stiffer $16.67 per announcement.