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FCC: Broadcast Complaints Up

But whether higher volume means a problem is unclear

The FCC says it’s receiving more complaints about radio and television programming. But what that increased volume means exactly is harder to determine.

Reporting a “notable increase,” the commission says such complaints skyrocketed from 9,740 in the 4th quarter of 2009 to 132,416 in the 1st quarter of 2010, an increase of about 1,259%.

Consumers submitted complaints about programming and advertising. The bulk of the programming criticisms concern indecency and/or obscenity, according to the commission.

The agency said the existence of a complaint doesn’t necessarily indicate wrongdoing by a company.

We’ve reported that the commission made it easier to gripe by accepting e-mail complaints and making instructions for how to complain easier to find on its website. Since Michael Powell was chairman, many complaints are postcards or e-mails carrying a repetitive message supplied by organized groups rather than individually-written messages.