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Federal Register / Vol. 70, No.

90 / Wednesday, May 11, 2005 / Notices 24791

Street, SW., Room CY–A257, Proposed Rulemaking, (2004 TRS 1440, TTY (202) 418–7172, or e-mail at
Washington, DC 20554. This document, Report and Order and FNPRM), CC
NECA’s submission, and any Docket Nos. 90–571 and 98–67, CG SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a
subsequently filed documents in this Docket No. 03–123, 19 FCC Rcd 12475, synopsis of the Commission’s document
matter may also be purchased from the pages 12564–12565, paragraph 233, June in MB Docket No. 05–171, FCC 05–84,
Commission’s duplicating contractor, 30, 2004; published at 69 FR 53346 and released April 13, 2005. The complete
BCPI, Inc. Customers may contact BCPI, 69 FR 53382, September 1, 2004. text of the document is available for
Inc. at their Web site http:// NECA indicates that if the inspection and copying during normal or call 1–800–378– Commission did require separate business hours in the FCC Reference
3160. A copy of NECA’s submission compensation rates, NECA would Center, 445 12th Street, SW.,
may also be found by searching on the propose an IP Relay rate of $1.278, and Washington, DC 20554, and may also be
Commission’s Electronic Comment a traditional TRS rate of $1.440. We seek purchased from the Commission’s copy
Filing System (ECFS) at http:// further comment on whether the contractor, BCPI, Inc., Portals II, 445 (insert CC Docket Commission should adopt separate 12th Street, SW., Room CY–B402,
No. 98–67 into the Proceeding block). compensation rates for IP Relay and Washington, DC 20554. Customers may
To request materials in accessible traditional TRS for the 2005–2006 fund contact BCPI, Inc. at their Web site
formats for people with disabilities year. or call 1–800–
(Braille, large print, electronic files, 378–3160.
Federal Communications Commission.
audio format), send an e-mail to
Jay Keithley, Synopsis or call the Consumer &
Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) Deputy Bureau Chief, Consumer &
Governmental Affairs Bureau. 1. The Commission has recently
418–0530 (voice), (202) 418–0432 received a large number of requests that
(TTY). This document can also be [FR Doc. 05–9405 Filed 5–10–05; 8:45 am]
it consider whether the use of ‘‘video
downloaded in Word or Portable BILLING CODE 6712–01–P
news releases’’ or ‘‘VNRs,’’ by broadcast
Document Format (PDF) at: http:// licensees, cable operators, and others complies with the Commission’s
Synopsis COMMISSION sponsorship identification rules. (See,
On April 25, 2005, pursuant to 47 e.g., Letter from Josh Silver, Executive
CFR 64.604(c)(5)(iii)(H), the National [MB Docket No. 05–171; FCC 05–84] Director, Free Press, et al., to Honorable
Exchange Carrier Association (NECA), Kevin Martin, Chairman, FCC et al.
Request for Comments on the Use of (March 21, 2005) (stating that the
the Interstate Telecommunications
Relay Services (TRS) Fund Video News Releases by Broadcast authors ‘‘are writing you today on behalf
Administrator, submitted its annual Licensees and Cable Operators of nearly 40,000 Americans who have
payment formula and fund size estimate signed a petition urging the Federal
AGENCY: Federal Communications
for the Interstate TRS Fund for the Communications Commission to
period July 1, 2005 through June 30, investigate all broadcasters who
ACTION: Notice. distribute government-sponsored news
2006. See Telecommunications Services
for Individuals with Hearing and Speech SUMMARY: This document, reminds
reports without properly identifying
Disabilities, and the Americans with broadcast licensees, cable operators and their source’’); Letter from Honorable
Disabilities Act of 1990, Interstate others of sponsorship identification John F. Kerry, U.S. Senator, to
Telecommunications Relay Services requirements applicable to video news Honorable Michael Powell, Chairman,
Fund Payment Formula and Fund Size releases and solicits public comment on FCC (March 15, 2005); Letter from
Estimate (filed April 25, 2005) (2005 the use of video news releases by Honorable Daniel Inouye, U.S. Senator,
TRS Rate Filing). broadcast licensees and cable operators. to Honorable Michael K. Powell,
NECA proposes a carrier contribution Chairman (March 14, 2005). Also, the
DATES: Comments may be filed on or
factor of 0.00528, and a fund size Commission has received thousands of
before June 22, 2005, and reply e-mails about this practice.) VNRs are
requirement of $413.3 million. NECA
comments may be filed on or before July essentially prepackaged news stories,
proposes per completed minute
22, 2005. that may use actors to play reporters and
compensation rates of: $1.312 for
traditional TRS and for Internet Protocol ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, include suggested scripts to introduce
(IP) Relay (compared to $1.398 for the identified by docket number, by any of the stories. (See, e.g., Joe Mandese, The
2004–2005 fund year); $1.579 for the following methods: Art of Manufactured News, Broadcasting
Speech-to-Speech (STS) (compared to • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// and Cable, March 28, 2005, at 24; David
$1.596 for the 2004–2005 fund year); Follow the Barstow and Robin Stein, The Message
and $5.924 for Video Relay Service instructions for submitting comments. Machine: How the Government Makes
(VRS) (compared to $7.596 for the 2004– • Federal Communications News; Under Bush, a New Age of
2005 fund year). In the 2004 TRS Report Commission’s Web site: http:// Prepackaged News, New York Times,
and Order and FNPRM, the Commission Follow the March 13, 2005, at A1.) These practices
sought comment on whether the instructions for submitting comments. allow such externally prepackaged news
Commission should require the TRS • People with Disabilities: Contact stories to be aired, without alteration, as
Fund administrator to determine and the FCC to request reasonable broadcast or cable news. Some of the
propose separate compensation rates for accommodations (accessible format parties contacting the Commission have
IP Relay and traditional TRS. See documents, sign language interpreters, suggested that broadcast licensees and
Telecommunications Relay Services and CART, etc.) by e-mail: cable operators may have aired VNRs
Speech-to-Speech Services for or phone: 202–418–0530 or TTY: 202– with news stories containing material
Individuals with Hearing and Speech 418–0432. paid for, prepared and/or provided to
Disabilities, Report and Order, Order on FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: them by or on behalf of commercial,
Reconsideration, and Further Notice of Hope Cooper Media Bureau (202) 418– governmental and other entities without

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24792 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 90 / Wednesday, May 11, 2005 / Notices

disclosing, at the time of the airing, the and 76.221), Report and Order (R&O), itself received no such consideration.
source of and the circumstances 40 FR 18395 (April 28, 1975), paragraph (See, e.g., Letter to Mr. Earl Glickman,
surrounding their acquisition of such 37 (‘‘We see no reason why the rules for President, General Media Associates,
material. such cablecasting should be different Inc., 3 FCC 2d 326 (1966); KMAP, Inc.,
2. With this Public Notice (PN), the from those for broadcasting, for the Memorandum Opinion and Order, 44
Commission reminds broadcast consideration of keeping the public FCC 2d 971 (1974).) Section 317(c)
licensees and cable operators that air informed about those who try to requires each licensee to ‘‘exercise
VNRs, as well as all entities and persuade it would appear to be the same reasonable diligence to obtain from its
individuals involved in the production in both cases.’’) Under our rules, employees, and from other persons with
and provision of the material at issue origination cablecasting is defined as whom it deals directly in connection
here, of their respective disclosure ‘‘programming (exclusive of broadcast with any program or program matter for
responsibilities under the Commission’s signals) carried on a cable television broadcast, information to enable such
sponsorship identification rules. These system over one or more channels and licensee to make the announcement
rules are grounded in the principle that subject to the exclusive control of the required by this section.’’
listeners and viewers are entitled to cable operator.’’ 47 CFR 76.5(p). The 6. Based upon these requirements of
know who seeks to persuade them with broadcast and cable rules are section 317 of the Act, the
the programming offered over broadcast substantially identical with the single Commission’s rules require broadcasters
stations and cable systems. (See, e.g, exception that paragraph (c) of the (section 73.1212) and cable operators
Applicability of Sponsorship broadcast rule, which pertains to reports (section 76.1615), where appropriate, to
Identification Rules, PN, 28 FR 4732 under section 508 of the Act (which inform their audience, at the time of
(May 6, 1963); Sponsorship applies only to broadcasters), is not airing: (1) That such matter is
Identification Rules, Applicability, 40 applicable to cable television. See In the sponsored, paid for or furnished, either
FR 41936 (September 3, 1975).) For the Matter of Amendment of the in whole or in part; and (2) by whom or
reasons noted in this PN, and as Commission’s Sponsorship on whose behalf such consideration was
provided for in the statutory provisions Identification Rules, R&O, 40 FR 18395 supplied. The announcement must fully
and in the Commission’s rules, (April 28, 1975).) for which any money, and fairly disclose the true identity of
whenever broadcast stations and cable service, or other valuable consideration the person or persons, or corporation,
operators air VNRs, licensees and is directly or indirectly paid, or committee, association or other
operators generally must clearly promised to or charged or accepted by, incorporated group, or other entity by
disclose to members of their audiences the station so broadcasting, from any whom or on whose behalf such payment
the nature, source and sponsorship of person, shall at the time the same is so is made or promised, or services or
the material that they are viewing. We broadcast, be announced as paid for or other valuable consideration is received,
will take appropriate enforcement furnished, as the case may be, by such or by whom the material or services
action against entities that do not person. * * * received by the licensee or operator are
comply with these rules. This PN is To provide parties with the furnished. Where an agent or other
confined to the disclosure obligations information necessary to air these person or entity contracts or otherwise
required under section 317 and our disclosures, section 507(a) requires that makes arrangements with a station or
rules thereunder, and does not address each station employee who has accepted cable system on behalf of another, and
the recent controversy over when or or agreed to accept consideration for the that fact is known or, by the exercise of
whether the government is permitted to airing of program matter, or any person reasonable diligence could be known to
sponsor VNRs, which is an issue beyond who has paid or has agreed to so pay the station or system, the announcement
the Commission’s jurisdiction. any such employee, must disclose that should disclose the identity of the
fact to the station prior to the airing of person or persons or entity on whose
The Sponsorship Identification Rules
the matter. Similarly, section 507(b) behalf the agent is acting, rather than
3. The sponsorship identification imposes such a duty of disclosure upon the agent. (47 CFR 73.1212(e),
rules, which are contained in sections any person involved in the production 76.1615(d).)
317 and 507 of the Communications Act or preparation of broadcast matter who 7. In situations in which a broadcast
of 1934, as amended (the ‘‘Act’’) (47 receives or agrees to receive, or provides licensee has not directly received or
U.S.C. 317, 508), and sections 73.1212 or promises to provide, such been promised consideration, has not
and 76.1615 of the Commission’s rules consideration. The disclosure must be received any section 507 report that
(47 CFR 73.1212, 76.1615), generally made to each payee’s employer, the material has been paid for from its
require that, when payment has been person for whom the material is being employees or others that must make
received or promised to a broadcast produced, or the licensee. Section such reports pursuant to that section of
licensee or cable operator for the airing 507(c) requires this disclosure by the Act, and, acting with the requisite
of program material, at the time of the anyone who supplies broadcast matter diligence, has no information
airing, the station or cable system must to the person to whom he or she concerning the making of such promise
disclose that fact and identify who paid provides the matter. In this way, the or payment, section 317(a)(1) of the Act
or promised to provide the information must ultimately be provides generally that no sponsorship
consideration. provided up the chain of production identification is necessary with regard
4. Specifically, section 317(a)(1) of the and distribution, before the time of to material that is furnished to the
Act provides, in pertinent part: broadcast, to the licensee so that it can licensee ‘‘without charge or at a nominal
All matter broadcast by any radio timely air the required disclosure. charge.’’
station (The Commission has ruled that 5. Moreover, section 317(b) of the Act
the sponsorship identification requires that any broadcast station that Political and Controversial Issue
requirements also apply to origination has received such information pursuant Programming
programming by cable operators. to section 507 must air the section 317 8. The sponsorship identification
Amendment of the Commission’s announcement, as if the consideration rules impose upon broadcast licensees
Sponsorship Identification Rules was paid to the station for airing the and cable operators a greater obligation
(Sections 73.119, 73.289, 73.654, 73.789 broadcast matter, even if the station of disclosure in connection with

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Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 90 / Wednesday, May 11, 2005 / Notices 24793

political material and program matter Request for Comments of a well-functioning democracy. Along
dealing with controversial issues. The 10. In addition to reminding broadcast with this role comes the responsibility
Commission has noted that, particularly licensees, cable operators, and others, that licensees and operators make the
in the case of such programming, pursuant to this PN, of their respective sponsorship announcements required
audience members are ‘‘entitled to know disclosure responsibilities under the by the foregoing rules and obtain the
when the program ends and the Commission’s sponsorship information from all pertinent
advertisement begins.’’ (Richard identification rules, the Commission individuals necessary for them to do so.
Kielbowicz and Linda Lawson, seeks comment on VNRs and their use We remind all such licensees and
‘‘Unmasking Hidden Commercials in by broadcast licensees and cable operators, as well as those involved in
Broadcasting: Origins of the operators. With this more detailed the production and provision of the
Sponsorship Identification Regulations, information, we will be better material that they air, that they must
1927–1963,’’ Fed. Comm. L.J. 329 at 344 positioned to monitor this area and strictly adhere to the foregoing
n. 80 (2004) citing FCC, Public Service ensure that broadcast licensees, cable requirements and to fully meet their
Responsibility of Broadcast Licensees 47 operators and others comply with our responsibilities under them.
(1946).) Congress has acknowledged the rules. To this end, we seek comment on 12. The Commission will investigate
danger that groups advocating ideas or the ways in which VNRs are used in any situation in which it appears that
promoting candidates, rather than programming, and on which practices these requirements of the law may have
are the most common. For example, we been violated and will order
consumer goods, might be particularly
also seek comment on whether the administrative sanctions against its
inclined to attempt to mask their
entities producing or providing VNRs, regulatees, including the imposition of
sponsorship in order to increase the
including the government, pay monetary forfeitures and the initiation
apparent credibility of their messages.
broadcast licensees and cable operators of license revocation proceedings,
(56 Fed. Comm. L.J. at 338.) Thus, where such action is appropriate. In
deviating from the general rule to air VNRs, or whether the VNRs are
provided free of charge, without addition to these sanctions that the
contained in section 317(a)(1) that no Commission may impose, we note that
sponsorship identification separate payment or consideration. Are
mechanisms in place to ensure that the criminal penalty for violation of the
announcement is necessary if material is disclosure requirements of section 507
provided to a station free or at a broadcast licensees and cable operators
receive notice regarding the payment of of the Act is a fine of up to $10,000,
nominal charge, section 317(a)(2) of the imprisonment of not more than a year,
consideration from all individuals and
Act enables the Commission to require or both. (47 CFR 508(g).)
entities that are involved in the
such an announcement regarding
production and provision of VNRs? Are Procedural Matters
material so provided, if the mechanisms in place to ensure that
programming involves political material broadcast licensees and cable operators 13. Ex Parte Rules. There are no ex
or the discussion of a controversial receive notice regarding the identity of parte or disclosure requirements
issue. entities providing programming applicable to this proceeding pursuant
9. Consistent with this statutory involving political material or the to 47 CFR 1.1204(b)(1).
provision, both the broadcast rule discussion of controversial issues of 14. Comments Information. Pursuant
(section 73.1212(d)) and the cable rule public importance? Do broadcast to sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the
(section 76.1615(c)) expressly require licensees and cable operators receive Commission’s rules, 47 CFR 1.415,
the airing of sponsorship disclosure in VNRs as part of an overall news service, 1.419, interested parties may file
such situations. In contrast to the which may be provided under contract comments and reply comments on or
general disclosure requirement that a or on a subscription basis? If so, should before the dates indicated on the first
single announcement be made at the this affect the applicability of our page of this document. Comments may
sponsorship identification rules? be filed using: (1) The Commission’s
time of airing of the material, for
Finally, we seek comment on whether Electronic Comment Filing System
political or controversial programming
there are alternative or better means of (ECFS), (2) the Federal Government’s
of more than five minutes’ duration, the
ensuring proper disclosure concerning eRulemaking Portal, or (3) by filing
announcements must be made both at paper copies. See Electronic Filing of
the beginning and the conclusion of the VNRs in addition to those prescribed by
the existing rules. The Commission Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings,
airing of the material. (47 CFR 63 FR 24121 (May 1, 1998).
73.1212(d), 76.1615(c). For political or intends to issue a report, or initiate a
more formal proceeding, as appropriate, Electronic Filers: Comments may be
controversial programming that is five filed electronically using the Internet by
minutes or less in duration, only one on the comments received in response
to these questions about VNRs accessing the ECFS:
announcement must be made, at the cgb/ecfs/ or the Federal eRulemaking
forthwith. Although we seek comment
beginning or the end of the material. Id.) Portal:
on the use of VNRs in this Notice, we
Moreover, if a corporation, committee, Filers should follow the instructions
emphasize that the rules remain in
association or other unincorporated effect and that we will continue to provided on the Web site for submitting
group or other entity is paying for or investigate complaints and enforce the comments.
furnishing the broadcast matter, the rules during the pendency of this In completing the transmittal screen,
station must include, for public proceeding. ECFS filers should include their full
inspection at the location of its public name, U.S. Postal Service mailing
file (47 CFR 73.3526, 73.3527), a list of Conclusion address, and the applicable docket
the chief executive officers or members 11. In sum, the Commission number. Parties may also submit an
of the executive committee or of the acknowledges the critical role that electronic comment by Internet e-mail.
board of directors of such corporation, broadcast licensees and cable operators To get filing instructions, filers should
committee, association, other play in providing information to the send an e-mail to, and
unincorporated group or other entity. audiences that they serve. This include the following words in the body
(47 CFR 73.1212(e).) information is an important component of the message, ‘‘get form.’’ A sample

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24794 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 90 / Wednesday, May 11, 2005 / Notices

form and directions will be sent in ADDRESSES:Federal Communications FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS

response. Commission, Commission Meeting COMMISSION
Paper Filers: Parties who choose to Room, Room TW–C305, 445 12th St. [CC Docket No. 92–237; DA 05–1153]
file by paper must file an original and SW., Washington, DC 20554.
four copies of each filing. Filings can be Next Meeting of the North American
sent by hand or messenger delivery, by Numbering Council
commercial overnight courier, or by Barbara Kreisman, Designated Federal
first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Officer of MSRC, 445 12th St. SW., AGENCY: Federal Communications
Service mail (although we continue to Washington, DC 20554; telephone (202) Commission.
experience delays in receiving U.S. 418–1600, e-mail ACTION: Notice.
Postal Service mail). All filings must be
SUMMARY: On May 6, 2005, the
addressed to the Commission’s Press Contact, Meribeth McCarrick, Commission released a public notice
Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Office of Media Relations, 202–418– announcing the May 17, 2005 meeting
Federal Communications Commission. 0654, and agenda of the North American
The Commission’s contractor will
receive hand-delivered or messenger-
Council was established by the Federal intended effect of this action is to make
delivered paper filings for the
Communications Commission to bring the public aware of the NANC’s next
Commission’s Secretary at 236
together the leaders of United States meeting and its agenda.
Massachusetts Avenue, NE., Suite 110,
mass media companies, cable television DATES: Tuesday, May 17, 2005, 9:30 a.m.
Washington, DC 20002. The filing hours
at this location are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. All and satellite service providers, trade ADDRESSES: Telecommunications
hand deliveries must be held together associations, public safety Access Policy Division, Wireline
with rubber bands or fasteners. Any representatives, manufacturers and Competition Bureau, Federal
envelopes must be disposed of before other related entities. MSRC II is chaired Communications Commission, The
entering the building. by David J. Barrett, President and Chief Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW., Suite 5–
Commercial overnight mail (other A420, Washington, DC 20554. Requests
Executive Officer of Hearst-Argyle
than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail to make an oral statement or provide
Television, Inc. MSRC was formed
and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 written comments to the NANC should
following the events of September 11, be sent to Deborah Blue.
East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, 2001, in order to study, develop and
MD 20743. U.S. Postal Service first- FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
report on best practices designed to
class, Express, and Priority mail should Deborah Blue, Special Assistant to the
assure the optimal reliability, robustness Designated Federal Officer (DFO) at
be addressed to 445 12th Street, SW., and security of the broadcast and
Washington DC 20554. (202) 418–1466 or
multichannel video programming The fax number
People with Disabilities: Contact the distribution industries.
FCC to request materials in accessible is: (202) 418–2345. The TTY number is:
formats (braille, large print, electronic The agenda for the meeting is as (202) 418–0484.
files, audio format, etc.) by e-mail at follows: The Council will review SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Released: or call the Consumer & progress reports of its two working May 6, 2005.
Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202– groups: The Toolkit Development The North American Numbering
418–0531 (voice), 202–418–7365 (TTY). Working Group and the Local Council (NANC) has scheduled a
Coordination Working Group. meeting to be held Tuesday, May 17,
Federal Communications Commission.
Information concerning the activities of 2005, from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. The
Marlene H, Dortch, meeting will be held at the Federal
MSRC can be reviewed at
Secretary. Communications Commission, Portals
MSRC. Material relevant to the June 2
[FR Doc. 05–9105 Filed 5–10–05; 8:45 am] II, 445 12th Street, SW., Room TW–
meeting will be posted there.
BILLING CODE 6712–01–P C305, Washington, DC. This meeting is
Members of the general public may open to members of the general public.
attend the meeting. The Federal The FCC will attempt to accommodate
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS Communications Commission will as many participants as possible. The
COMMISSION attempt to accommodate as many public may submit written statements to
people as possible. However, the NANC, which must be received two
Media Security and Reliability Council admittance will be limited to the seating business days before the meeting. In
AGENCY: Federal Communications available. A live RealAudio feed will be addition, oral statements at the meeting
Commission. available over the Internet; information by parties or entities not represented on
ACTION: Notice of meeting of Media
on how to tune in can be found at the the NANC will be permitted to the
Security and Reliability Council. Commission’s Web site extent time permits. Such statements
The public may submit written will be limited to five minutes in length
SUMMARY: In accordance with the comments to the Council’s designated by any one party or entity, and requests
Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Federal Officer before the meeting. to make an oral statement must be
Law 92–463, as amended, this notice received two business days before the
Federal Communications Commission.
advises interested persons that the meeting.
William F. Caton,
Advisory Committee, The Media Proposed Agenda—Tuesday, May 17,
Security and Reliability Council (MSRC) Deputy Secretary.
2005, 9:30 a.m.*
will be holding its semiannual meeting [FR Doc. 05–9410 Filed 5–10–05; 8:45 am]
at the Federal Communications BILLING CODE 6712–01–P
1. Announcements and Recent News.
Commission in Washington, DC. * The Agenda may be modified at the discretion
DATES: June 2, 2005 at 10 a.m. to 11:30 of the NANC Chairman with the approval of the
a.m. DFO.

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