FCC Grants NCE Waivers for Sandy Relief Fundraisers

The FCC is making it easier for noncommercial stations to host on-air fundraisers for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

The commission has received and granted two waiver requests related to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. For television, the agency granted WNYE(TV) in New York City a waiver to simulcast NBCU’s telethon last Friday.

The other waiver request was for WAMC(FM), Albany, N.Y., for a broadcast this Thursday, Nov. 8. That broadcast will be simulcast on 10 co-licensed NCE stations and FM translators: WAMK(FM), Kingston, WANC(FM), Ticonderoga, WANZ(FM), Stamford, WCAN(FM), Canajoharie, WCEL(FM), Plattsburgh, WOSR(FM), Middletown, WRUN(FM), Remsen, WWES(FM), Mount Kisco in New York and WAMQ(FM), Great Barrington, Mass.

The commission usually prohibits noncoms from conducting on-air fundraising on behalf of other parties, however the agency has granted waivers for fundraising appeals to support relief efforts for big disasters like Hurricanes Andrew and Katrina, the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the January 2005 tsunami in Southeast Asia and the January 2010 Haiti earthquake.

These waivers have been issued for a specific fundraising program or programs, or for station appeals over a few days.

The agency wants to provide information to other NCEs seeking expedited review of such requests. NCE licensees can file informal requests providing basic information like the organization the raised money would go to and how long the effort would last, as whether the relief effort is part of a noncoms normal fundraiser.

Radio requests should go to Audio Division Bureau Chief Peter Doyle and Assistant Division Chief Michael Wagner and video requests to Video Division Chief Barbara Kreisman.


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