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WBLK Fined for Unauthorized Airing of Caller

WBLK Fined for Unauthorized Airing of Caller

The FCC fined the Infinity’s WBLK(FM), Buffalo, N.Y. $4,000 for apparently violating the rule that prohibits a caller to be placed on air without prior disclosure. The case stems from June of last year, when Brenda Tanner complained to the FCC that the station aired a conversation with her without her knowledge. Tanner was working for a cable channel that was in Chapter 11 reorganization. Tanner said a station DJ asked her several questions about the future of the firm, job security of employees and the “possibility of non-payment of bills or cable theft.”
In its response to the FCC inquiry, Infinity said it did indeed, air the call without first telling Tanner it was doing so, going against a written company policy on the subject. Infinity said it disciplined the DJ and warned other station employees. The broadcaster considers this an isolated incident and argued a fine was unwarranted because it had taken steps to fix the situation.
The FCC said the violation still occurred and reducing or canceling the penalty was not warranted.
Before recording a conversation for air, the station employee must tell the caller the conversation could be broadcast.