Thursday, March 24, 2005

Ya Simply GOT To DO it

M Street Journal relays a cautionary tale (actually TWO of them):

If you miss doing a correct legal ID for ten straight weeks — it may lead to a big fine. Like $5,000. It’s been ages since the FCC has cited a station specifically for violating 73.1201, the line in the rules that requires stations to identify with their call letters and city of license “hourly, as close to the hour as possible.”

So it was an eye-opener to see the Commission propose a $5,000 fine against Leighton Enterprises’ KBOT, Pelican Rapids, MN(104.1) for failing to run a legal ID for 10 weeks. KBOT told the FCC it was an “inadvertent”programming error in its automation system that replaced the proper top-hour ID with a promotional announcement that included the station’s slogan(“Wild 104”) — but not the calls and city of license.

An expensive phone call for a Montana station. KZMN, Kalispell (103.9) broadcast a call in November2003 between DJ Paul Gray and a woman who called the station to complain about a turkey that was hanging froma window of the station’s building. (The turkey was thereto advertise the station’s Thanksgiving food drive.) The woman was transferred to the studio to talk to Gray, who was taking food drive pledges on the air. So far, so good— except that the woman then handed the phone to a coworker, who apparently wasn’t told the call was being broadcast. The co-worker wasn’t pleased (especially after Gray told her to “quit complaining...and listen to the station”).

She filed a complaint. KZMN fired Gray and apologized to the woman — but the FCC says that’s not enough. It imposes a $6,000 fine.

You know what to do: legal ID every hour and notify every single caller that they may be on the air. Ya got to do it.

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