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when are legal IDs supposed to be done?

<<On Sat, 24 Jul 1999 10:42:56 -0400 (EDT), Bob Nelson <bluesradio_99@yahoo.com> said:

> Was using the scan button on my car radio yesterday and heard a couple
> of stations (WOKQ was one) doing legal IDs on the half-hour. Now, I
> thought that the FCC required legal IDs (calls and city of license) on
> the hour (or at least between :50 and :10) but any other airing of a
> legal ID is optional.

The specific rule is to be found at 47 CFR 73.1201, which is quoted at
<http://www.bostonradio.org/radio/legal-id.html>.  Stations are
required to identify ``hourly, as close to the hour as feasible, at a
natural break'' in programming, as well as at every sign-on and -off.
The rule was worded in this way to allow stations broadcasting
classical music or live events, for example, to defer identification
until doing so would not interfere with the program.  (Canadian
stations, on the other hand, must identify hourly or at the beginning
and end of each program should it last more than an hour.  Many
Canadian stations have decided that their entire broadcast day is one
continuous program, and thus do not identify or do so only once a
day.)  Previously (30 years ago) stations had to identify, like
clockwork, at both the top and the bottom of every hour.

Beyond this requirement, stations are permitted to broadcast any
programming they wish provided it is not obscene, with very little
other regulation.

There is, however, some history to suggest that stations which
broadcast messages sounding like a legal ID, with the intent to
mislead listeners, may be breaking the law.  WHFS Annapolis was,
within the last ten years, found liable for forfeiture on the basis of
having broadcast a false station identification indicating itself a
Washington station.  If I remember correctly, WHFS reached a
settlement with the FCC rather than fighting it in court, so as to
pave the way for the station's sale to Infinity.

- -GAWollman

- --
Garrett A. Wollman   | O Siem / We are all family / O Siem / We're all the same
wollman@lcs.mit.edu  | O Siem / The fires of freedom 
Opinions not those of| Dance in the burning flame
MIT, LCS, CRS, or NSA|                     - Susan Aglukark and Chad Irschick


End of boston-radio-interest-digest V3 #452