News Ticker

Will the FCC let radio cure digital motor mouth?

No, this isn’t about politically passionate talkers or over caffeinated morning zoo teams, but the disclaimers stations must run for sponsored music or sports programming.  Radio stations will sometimes digitally time compress sponsorship announcements to pack as much understandable information into the shortest period of time–hardly a great experience for the listener or the sponsor footing the bill.

The FCC recently asked for public comment on an industry proposal to cut down on motor mouth disclaimers. The idea would let radio stations use the web to give listeners more of the information about the companies that sponsor music and sports programming.

The proposal was submitted in November by nine of the nation’s largest radio groups such as iHeart Media, Emmis Communications, Cox and Entercom Communications.

In exchange for not having to spell out sponsorship information on each and every sponsored music or sports program, stations would continue to broadcast the currently required sponsor identification in separate spots that would air at least four times each day during most listened to parts of the day.

These consolidated announcements would info on all third-party sponsors for all sponsored music and sports programming aired on the station that day.  They would also contain a clear statement about the supplemental information available online or through other means.

Broadcasters are not asking for a change to the current sponsorship ID requirements for news, informational or political programming.  Those “does not necessarily reflect the views of this station” disclaimers would continue.

Comments are due by April 13 with reply comments due May 12.