[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

The FCC Lives!

Maine Public Radio's "Maine Things Considered" (I am philosophically  opposed
to public radio, but MPB does a good job with news.  I'll start giving them
money when they stop stealing it from my paycheck.) had a story today about
the FCC hitting WSNV Howland (now WVON) with a fine for not meeting FCC
regulations concerning political advertising during the 1994 primary.
 According to the story, the station did not charge candidates the lowest
rate as required by law and did not mainatin a proper public file of
political time sold.  According to the story, the station's owner at the
time, Bob Cole, was fined $6000 for the offense in May.  (Cole also used to
own WXGL Topsham and is in the process of selling a WCME Boothbay Harbor.  I
think he also owns a station in the Carolinas.)  The story indicated that the
former owner was hit with the fine, but I'm not sure if that is how it works.
 A spokesperson for the FCC who was interviewed said that the FCC had only
issued less than 20 fines for these kind of offenses in the last 10 years.
 He said the fine was issued because the violations were serious and
deliberate.  (Or something to that effect.)

The FCC requires stations to charge political candidates the lowest rates
they charge to any client.  I was managing a congressional campaign in 1994
and placed about $5000 in ads on WSNV.  Apparently, we overpaid!  Stations
are also required to maintain a public file of all political sales.  These
public files are very important to politcal campaigns because you can find
out what your opponent is doing for advertising.  In the campaign I managed,
we checked the TV stations public files daily in September and October.

Dan Billings
Bowdoinham, Maine