FCC rejects looser noncom underwriting guidelines.

underwritingThe Commission has affirmed its denial of the proposal from Maricopa Community College District to test the effects of using “prohibited material” in underwriting commercials on their Phoenix stations KJZZ and KBAQ. The original decision came in May, and it was affirmed this week. The Media Bureau rejection was accompanied by an explanation that experimental authority is meant for technical experiments, not programming. The present action says, “The commission lacks authority to provide the relief which Maricopa seeks. While Maricopa downplays the magnitude of the underwriting enhancements it proposes to air, saying the material cannot ‘be deemed true commercial advertising’ because it merely ‘pushes the envelope slightly,’ we find nevertheless that Maricopa’s proposal would cross the line established in the statute.”