FCC Sets Out Procedures for Noncommercial Station Fundraising For Japan Relief


Under FCC policies, stations licensed as noncommercial educational (NCE) stations cannot conduct fundraising for parties other than the station licensee if such fundraising will disrupt the normal program schedule of the station. So the Jerry Lewis Telethon and similar charitable programming efforts cannot be conducted by noncommercial stations without a waiver from the FCC. In recent years, when there have been major disasters, like Hurricane Katrina and the Haitian earthquake, the FCC has adopted a liberal waiver policy to allow noncommercial stations to join the rest of the world in aiding the victims of such tragedies. This week, the FCC adopted a similar policy for noncommercial stations wanting to conduct fundraisers for Japanese relief efforts, issuing a Public Notice setting out that policy. Waiver requests can be filed by an email to the head of the Audio or Video Division of the FCC (depending on whether the request is coming from a radio or TV station), setting out the following information:

a. the nature of the fundraising effort;

b. the proposed duration of the fundraising effort;

c. the organization(s) to which funds will be donated; and

d. whether the fundraiser will be part of the licensee's regularly scheduled pledge drive or fundraising effort.

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