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Radio News: Record underwriting fine from the FCC

Feb 04, 2018 10:50 pm
The Los Angeles Times reports the Federal Communications issued a record fine last week to a non-profit broadcaster for violating underwriting rules. The Cesar Chavez Foundation, an affiliate of the United Farm Workers union, received a $115,000 fine and a one-year moratorium on new underwriting from for-profit sponsors on its stations KUFW-FM (90.5) in Woodlake, California, and KNAI-FM (88.3) in Phoenix, Arizona. The stations ran underwriting announcements comparing an underwriter's business with competitors' and listing discounts, and urging listeners to contact a business. All that is against the rules for non-profit stations running underwriting spots, which are meant to just be an endorsement of the station by the business, not an advertisement for shopping there. KUFW got fines of $12,500 in 2010 over similar violations, so they should have known the rules by now.