Sponsorship ID Rule Violations Are Serious Matter

Posted on August 30th, 2019 by

The sponsorship identification rule is pretty straightforward – stations must disclose sponsors of paid programming, lest the public be duped into believing that the paid broadcast material is a station’s own independently generated content. Yes, there are some exceptions (you can read those in 73.1212 of the FCC’s rules).

Not following the sponsorship identification rule is a recipe for losing money quickly, as Cumulus recently learned. Eight years ago, A Cumulus station failed to follow the rule and entered into a consent decree with an obligation to report any noncompliance with the sponsorship identification rules within 15 calendar days of discovering its noncompliance. In 2017 and 2018, Cumulus failed to report 26 instances of noncompliance. The FCC has proposed a fine of $233,000 for these missteps. That’s about $9,000 for each violation and failure to report non-compliance. We’ll just leave that there.