Cumulus Media to Pay $540,000 Penalty to Settle FCC Investigation
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says that it has reached a $540,000 settlement with broadcaster Cumulus Media regarding sponsorship identification in radio advertising promoting a proposed energy project.
The settlement resolves an investigation into whether radio station WOKQ (97.5 FM) in Dover, New Hampshire violated the FCC's sponsorship identification rules. The agency says that the station had broadcast 178 announcements in support of the Northern Pass hydro-electric energy project without identifying the sponsor of those announcements, in this case a company with a financial interest in the project.
This is the largest payment in FCC history for a single-station violation of the Commission's sponsorship identification laws.
"Radio and television stations that are paid to air any announcements or other content are required to clearly disclose the payer's identity," said Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc. "While failure to disclose these identities generally misleads the public, it is particularly concerning when consumers are duped into supporting controversial environmental projects."
The Northern Pass energy project is a $1 billion proposal to run 180 miles of new power lines from Canada through New Hampshire. The Enforcement Bureau says that it began its investigation into Cumulus Media after receiving a consumer complaint alleging that WOKQ had broadcast an announcement for the Northern Pass project in September 2011 without identifying who sponsored the announcement. The Bureau's investigation revealed that the station had broadcast multiple versions of the announcements from May through October 2011 that referenced the Northern Pass project but none of them expressly identify Northern Pass Transmission LLC, a company with a financial interest in the project, as the sponsor.
Under the terms of the settlement, Cumulus Media Inc. subsidiaries Cumulus Radio Corporation and Radio License Holding CBC, LLC will pay a penalty of $540,000 and will enter into a robust compliance plan governing 195 stations across the country. The plan includes appointing a Compliance Officer, enhanced operating procedures, employee training on sponsorship identification laws, and a hotline for reporting violations of the compliance plan.
You can Buy A Car At the Dealership Like A Pro. Here's How You Can Be Prepared.
So you're finally ready to trade in your current car for a new one! Congratulations on such an important step. If you've never bought a new car before, you may know nothing about the process. To begin with, there are a number of things you should do to get ready to buy the car before you ever step on the dealership lot.
Can you Use Money That Is Mistakenly Deposited Into Your Account?
Have you ever noticed that your bank account somehow had 'extra' money in it even though you knew for a fact it wasn't yours? If so, you are not alone. It happens more often than you would think. All it takes is for a bank teller to type in one wrong number at the time a deposit is being made.
Low Interest Automotive Financing Might Not Be Best Deal After All
Great rates do exist. But even if you are offered a low interest car loan, you can probably save more money by accepting a slightly higher rate and using rebates or other incentives or by getting your own financing and taking the rebates and incentives.
Following These Tips Can Help You Save Your Hard-Earned Money at Tax Time
Many people feel like they just can't get ahead when it comes to money. What you may not know is that saving during tax season can start you on the path to financial security. We urge you to take advantage of tax season to prepare for unexpected emergencies or plan for the future. Here are some tips to help get started.