Turner Broadcasting:"Stunt Gone Wrong"

John Mullaney john@minutemancomm.com
Thu Feb 1 07:37:31 EST 2007

I think this rule fits the Water Drinking stunt more than this incident.

This incident seems like an accident. I don't think Turner Broadcasting had
any intent to cause what happened. Should they have used more sense in a
post 911 world? Well I guess we know that now but I'm not sure that they
would have thought of that in advance. I think if they apologize and offer
to pay for some or all of the extra costs of this marketing stunt that the
government officials should relax their attack. 
However if these new reports are true that they didn't release the locations
of all the other signs when asked is true I think that will change the
situation dramatically.

If it was a marketing mistake Turner should take immediate actions to
explain that and fix it. If they decide to go silent for fear of litigation
on the advice of counsel then I think they can expect litigation and perhaps
license challenges. 

-----Original Message-----
From: boston-radio-interest-bounces@rolinin.BostonRadio.org
[mailto:boston-radio-interest-bounces@rolinin.BostonRadio.org] On Behalf Of
Sid Schweiger
Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2007 9:37 PM
To: boston-Radio-Interest@rolinin.BostonRadio.org
Subject: Re: Turner Broadcasting:"Stunt Gone Wrong"

>>if there's a rule against broadcast hoaxes,
why wasn't any action taken against the clowns who broadcast April Fools Day
news a few years ago about Mayor Menino having a heart attack or some such

Because that incident does NOT fit the definition of a broadcast "hoax."
 The applicable rule is here:

          Subpart H_Rules Applicable to All Broadcast Stations
Sec.  73.1217  Broadcast hoaxes.

    No licensee or permittee of any broadcast station shall broadcast false
information concerning a crime or a catastrophe if:
    (a) The licensee knows this information is false;
    (b) It is forseeable that broadcast of the information will cause
substantial public harm, and
    (c) Broadcast of the information does in fact directly cause substantial
public harm.

Any programming accompanied by a disclaimer will be presumed not to pose

foreseeable harm if the disclaimer clearly characterizes the program as a
fiction and is presented in a way that is reasonable under the

    Note: For purposes of this rule, "public harm'' must begin immediately,
and cause direct and actual damage to property or to the health or safety of
the general public, or diversion of law enforcement or other public health
and safety authorities from their duties. The public harm will be deemed
foreseeable if the licensee could expect with

a significant degree of certainty that public harm would occur. A "crime''
is any act or omission that makes the offender subject to criminal
punishment by law. A "catastrophe'' is a disaster or imminent disaster
involving violent or sudden event affecting the public.

[57 FR 28640, June 26, 1992]


Now that I've read it again, maybe it doesn't apply, since it was broadcast
only in news coverage while the devices were being rounded up, and was not
broadcast by The Comedy Channel.

Sid Schweiger
IT Manager, Entercom New England
WAAF - WEEI AM/FM - WKAF - WMKK - WRKO - WVEI AM/FM 20 Guest St / 3d Floor
Boston MA  02135-2040
Phone: 617-779-5369
Fax: 617-779-5379
E-Mail: sid@wrko.com

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