FCC's Requirements

The Commission's rule regarding broadcast of telephone conversations is set forth at Section 73.1206 of the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R. § 73.1206.

Pursuant to this rule, before recording a telephone conversation for broadcast, or broadcasting such a conversation simultaneously with its occurrence, a licensee shall inform any party to the call of the licensee's intention to broadcast the conversation, except where such party is aware, or may be presumed to be aware from the circumstances of the conversation that it is being or likely will be broadcast. Such awareness is presumed to exist only when the other party to the call is associated with the station (such as an employee or part-time reporter), or where the other party originates the call and it is obvious that it is in connection with a program in which the station customarily broadcasts telephone conversations.


To file a complaint of violation of this rule, the complainant generally should include the following information: (1) the call letters of the station; (2) the city and state where the station is located; (3) the time and date of the specific conversation in question; (4) the time and date the conversation was broadcast; (5) the name of the station personnel involved in the conversation; and (6) a description of the circumstances of the conversation.

Complaints of broadcast of telephone conversations in violation of the FCC's rules generally should include a statement of a party with first hand knowledge or information regarding the subject conversation.

Complaints should be sent to: Federal Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Investigations & Hearing Division, 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20554. 

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