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Florida Noncom Warned for Airing Ads

Florida Noncom Warned for Airing Ads

The FCC has slapped a noncom on the wrist for airing underwriting announcements that sounded like commercials.
Contributors of funds to noncoms may receive on-air acknowledgements, but those must be for identification purposes only and should not promote a service, product or business.
The agency began investigating after it received transcripts of several broadcasts of Jones College licensee WKTZ(FM) in Jacksonville, Fla. that appeared to promote products and services of for-profit entities. While Jones does not dispute the announcements aired, it couldn’t “confirm or deny” that the transcripts accurately reflected what aired. Jones stated the announcements are contained in a program supplied to the station and that the station does not pay the provider for the show, nor does it receive anything from the underwriters mentioned in the program.
Since the FCC inquiry, Jones said, the program provider now shortens the announcements to come into compliance with underwriting rules and the station has begun internal procedures to ensure more consistent review of its underwriting announcements.
The FCC said the announcements were ads but because of the station’s prior unblemished record, an admonishment was a sufficient sanction, rather than a fine.