FCC Proposes $44,000 Fine Against WLS-A/Chicago
February 6, 2012 at 4:12 AM (PT)
The FCC has proposed a $44,000 fine against CUMULUS for sponsorship identification violations at Talk WLS-A/CHICAGO. A complaint alleged that the station ran "program matter" from a group called WORKERS INDEPENDENT NEWS without identifying that it was "an advertisement, not a news story."
WLS said that during MARCH 18th through MAY 30th, 2009, it aired 45 90-second spots, 27 15-second promotional announcements, two two-hour programs, and 1 one-hour program from WIN in exchange for "consideration or the promise of consideration." It said that all of the programming complied with sponsorship identification rules except 11 90-second spots that did not carry a notice that WIN paid for or sponsored the spot but did identify WIN and the narrator (DOUG CUNNINGHAM), which WLS claimed satisfied the rule. The Commission rejected that reasoning as well as WLS' contention that because the spots ran within spot clusters, it was apparent to listeners that the material was paid content.
The FCC has also denied CALVARY CHAPEL OF COSTA MESA's objection to OWENS ONE CO.'s application to correct the coordinates of Country KUZZ/BAKERSFIELD, which is short spaced to CALVARY Religion KWVE/SAN CLEMENTE, CA. CALVARY contended that coordinate correction is only allowed when it does not result in "any new short spacings or increases in existing short spacings" and that the correction for KUZZ increases the short spacing that the stations already have. OWENS responded that standard rounding of the coordinates to the nearest kilometer means that the stations remain 221 km apart. The Commission ruled that CALVARY's strict reading of the rule was "overly restricted."