There are clear rules regarding the broadcasting of live and prerecorded programming. And for those stations that don’t follow those rules, there will likely be consequences.
That was the case for Salem Media Group after the Federal Communications Commission began an investigation into a possible violation of the commission’s live broadcast rules. According to the FCC, Salem violated its live broadcast rules by broadcasting prerecorded programming as “live” without announcing before the broadcast that the programming was prerecorded.
Salem agreed to settle the matter by entering into a consent decree and pay a $50,000 civil penalty. The company admitted that it failed to announce that the programming was actually prerecorded and agreed to implement a compliance plan to help ensure future compliance with commission rules.
In announcing the consent agreement, the FCC reiterated that it has a “longstanding goal of protecting consumers by ensuring the public knows when certain program material is ‘live’ rather than taped, filmed or recorded.”
The commission specified that any time there is an impression that the event is occurring simultaneously as the broadcast, a broadcaster must clearly identify if it is actually taped, filmed or recorded. “Doing otherwise may mislead the public,” the FCC said.