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WTOC License Subsidiary, LLC

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Released: May 17, 2013
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
May 17, 2013

DA 13-1116
Released: May 17, 2013

WTOC License Subsidiary, LLC
RSA Tower, 20th Floor
201 Monroe Street
Montgomery, Alabama 36104
Re:
WTOC-TV, Savannah, Georgia
Facility ID No. 590
FRN: 0014585657
Dear Licensee:
This letter refers to your license renewal application for WTOC-TV (the “Station”)1 and
hereby admonishes the Station for its failure to comply with the limits on commercial matter in
children’s programming.
In the Children's Television Act of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101-437, 104 Stat. 996-1000,
codified at 47 U.S.C. Sections 303a, 303b and 394, Congress directed the Commission to adopt
rules, inter alia, limiting the number of minutes of commercial matter that television stations may
air during children's programming, and to consider in its review of television license renewals the
extent to which the licensee has complied with such commercial limits. Pursuant to this statutory
mandate, the Commission adopted Section 73.670 of the Rules, 47 C.F.R. § 73.670, which limits
the amount of commercial matter which may be aired during children's programming to 10.5
minutes per hour on weekends and 12 minutes per hour on weekdays. The Commission also
reaffirmed and clarified its long-standing policy against “program-length commercials.” The
Commission defined a “program-length commercial” as “a program associated with a product, in
which commercials for that product are aired,” and stated that the entire duration of any program-
length commercial would be counted as commercial matter for the purpose of the children's
television commercial limits.2 The commercial limitations became effective on January 1, 1992.3
On January 16, 2013, you filed the above-referenced license renewal application for the
Station. In response to Section IV, Question 5 of that application, you certified that, during the
previous license term, the Station failed to comply with the limitations on commercial matter in
children’s programming specified in Section 73.670 of the Commission's Rules. In Exhibit 22 to
that application, you report that, on November 4, 2012, the 7:30 a.m. half-hour episode of
Liberty’s Kids II was interrupted after three minutes and 23 seconds due to a technical failure that
prevented the audio portion of the program from airing. The master control operator attempted to
restore audio by re-setting the station’s programming server, but this action instead re-cued a paid
program that had aired earlier that morning.4 This resulted in a commercial overage of 20 minutes
and 30 seconds.


1 File No. BRCDT-20121130BFL.
2 Children’s Television Programming, Report and Order, 6 FCC Rcd 2111, 2218, recon. granted in part, 6
FCC Rcd 5093, 5098 (1991).
3 Children’s Television Programming, 6 FCC Rcd 5529, 5530 (1991).
4 File No. BRCDT-20121203BAV, Exhibit 22.

In Children’s Television Programming, the Commission specifically recognized that
licensees may experience “occasional emergency scheduling change[s],” which would be taken
into consideration in determining whether “extenuating circumstances” mitigated any resulting
children’s television violations.5
The technical failure here constitutes an extenuating
circumstance that means this overage shall be considered de minimis.6 Although we do not rule
out more severe sanctions for violations of this nature in the future, we have determined that an
admonition is appropriate at this time. Therefore, based upon the facts and circumstances before
us, we

ADMONISH

you for this violation of the children's television commercial limits rule and
policies described in the Station’s renewal application. We remind you that the Commission
expects all commercial television licensees to comply with the limits on commercial matter in
children’s programming.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, a copy of this Letter shall be sent by First Class and
Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested to the licensee at the address listed above and to
licensee’s counsel, Christopher G. Tygh, Esq., 201 Monroe Street, RSA Tower, 20th Floor,
Montgomery, Alabama, 36104.
Sincerely,
Barbara A. Kreisman

Chief, Video Division

Media Bureau


5 Children’s Television Programming, Report and Order, 6 FCC Rcd 2111, 2126 n.123, recon. granted in
part
, 6 FCC Rcd 5093, 5098 (1991).
6 WFTV, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 25 FCC Rcd 6140, 6142 n.8 (2010).
2

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