The FCC is on the prowl again, this time striking at a station for going over the line with "underwriting" announcements before it gave up the noncommercial ship and switched to commercial status. And the attack was on the sacred national treasure — Tastee Freeze ice cream.
You will recall that noncommercial stations may acknowledge funding but may not use qualitative terms or suggest that listeners should make a purchase.
The announcements on this station (WCVZ, South Zanesville, Ohio) said that Tastee Freez products are "tastefully decorated" — whoops, that says they are of good quality — and they may be suitable for "a special occasion" — whoops, that’s telling you to buy some if you’re having a party.
The friendly neighborhood realtor also caused heartburn with announcements that "we are about family," and "we love selling real estate" — whoops, that says they are nice people, which is not allowed.
The FCC did back down in one situation, where a vendor’s products were described as "creative learning materials." The FCC left that one alone.
Don’t count on any let-up in the FCC’s enforcement efforts in the underwriting area. The new decision included a bill to the station for $9,000 to help fund the FCC’s budget.