FCC To Allow Noncoms To Raise Funds For Haitian Relief


The Federal Communications Commission said Friday it would allow noncommercial stations to raise funds on-air for victims of the Haitian earthquake.

While FCC rules generally prohibit noncoms from doing any on-air fund-raising for anything but their own coffers, the FCC said it would waive the rules for relief efforts.

It has waived those rules before for disasters including Hurricane Katrina, the tsunami in Southeast Asia, and the Sept. 11 attacks.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti during this terrible tragedy," said FCC chairman Julius Genachowski in a statement. "A number of noncommercial broadcasters have asked for permission to raise funds for relief efforts, which we are happy to give. The Media Bureau has posted procedures for any noncommercial TV or radio station to obtain expedited approval for such fundraising. These temporary waivers will help tap the American spirit of generosity in this time of great need to aid Haitian relief efforts."

"We support what the chairman has done," added National Association of Broadcasters spokesman Dennis Wharton. "My safe bet is that commercial broadcasters will be going the extra mile to help the victims of this horrific tragedy because that is what broadcasters always do."