Fox’s D.C. Stations Chided by FCC

Oct 29, 2004  •  Post A Comment

The Federal Communications Commission has admonished Fox Television Stations and Tribune for running afoul of the agency’s children’s TV regulations on their Washington stations, WDCA-TV and WBDC-TV, respectively, even though the companies pointed out the violations in their license renewal applications.

In WDCA’s case, the violation consisted or airing a cereal commercial that included the character Buzz Lightyear during the “Buzz Lightyear” program-in violation of a ban on ads associated with children’s TV shows.

Fox attributed the violation to human error. But in a letter to Fox, the FCC said error was not an excuse. “We remind you that the commission expects all commercial television licensees to comply with the limits on commercial matter in children’s programming,” the FCC said.

In WBDC’s case, Tribune conceded running afoul of agency commercial limits on two occasions, once by 45 seconds and the other by 30 seconds.

Tribune also said it had aired a WB Network commercial for the Nintendo GameBoy E-Reader during “Pokemon,” and that the commercial included a fleeting reference to a “Pokemon” game card.

“The fact that the program-length commercial was inserted into the program by station WBDC-TV’s national television network does not relieve WBDC of responsibility for the violation,” the FCC said. “Although we do not rule out more severe sanctions for violations of this nature in the future, we have determined that an admonition is appropriate at this time.”