Appeals Court Won’t Toss Public Television’s Corporate Advertising Ban
9th Circuit upholds advertising ban on public TV/radio
Writing for eight of 11 judges at the 9th Circuit, Circuit Judge Margaret McKeown wrote, “In a classic case of ‘follow the money,’ Congress recognized that advertising would change the character of public broadcast programming and undermine the intended distinction between commercial and noncommercial broadcasting.” The appeal was brought by Minority Television Project, operator of San Francisco’s KMTP-TV, which was determined by the FCC to have violated advertising restrictions more than 1,911 times between 1999-2002 for making underwriting announcements on behalf of corporations such as Chevrolet, Ford and Korean Airlines. The station was fined $10,000 before it went to court.
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U.S. Circuit Judge M. Margaret McKeown said that case was different, as it was not about broadcast regulation; it was about the validity of a statute banning political speech by corporations. The case originally came about after Minority Television Project Inc., which runs the public TV station KMTP in Palo Alto, Calif., sued the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over a $10,000 fine it received for airing advertising.
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