In 2000, members of Congress introduced four bills to head off FCC restrictions on religious broadcasters using reserved TV channels. The issue arose when a religious broadcaster had agreed to a channel swap with Pittsburgh pubTV channel WQEX and the commission considered requiring it to air some nonsecular "educational" content. See Current stories about the proposed Pittsburgh channel swap and the furor over restrictions on religious broadcasters. House bill H.R. 4201 (below) | Earlier House bill H.R. 3525 | Senate bill S. 2010 | Senate bill S. 2215
Noncommercial Broadcasting Freedom of Expression Act of 2000, H.R. 4201
Introduced April 6, 2000, by Rep. Charles "Chip" Pickering (R-Miss.) , H.R. 4201 addresses concerns that the FCC will attempt to regulate religious broadcasting on reserved educational channels. Mr. PICKERING (for himself, Mr. OXLEY, Mr. TAUZIN, Mr. LARGENT, and Mr. STEARNS) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Commerce
A BILLTo amend the Communications Act of 1934 to clarify the service obligations of noncommercial educational broadcast stations.
In March 2000, the FCC reduced its 1997 fine of public TV station WTTW, finding that three of the four underwriting credits at issue were permissible after all. The original fine was levied in December 1997. [Text of 1997 letter.]
Before the Federal Communications Commission Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of Window to the World Communications, Inc., Licensee of Station WTTW(TV), Chicago, IL, Facility ID #10802
For a Forfeiture
File No. 97040529
Adopted: March 3, 2000 Released: March 6, 2000
By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Order, we grant the request of Window to the World Communications, Inc. ("WTTW"), licensee of noncommercial television station WTTW(TV), Chicago, Illinois, for a reduction in the $5,000 forfeiture proposed in a Notice of Apparent Liability ("NAL") issued for violation of the statutory prohibition against the broadcast of advertisements on noncommercial stations.
The Temporary Commission on Alternative Financing for Public Telecommunications (TCAF) delivered its recommendations to Congress on Oct. 1, 1983, after extensive research, including an Advertising Demonstration Program at a number of public TV stations. Documents below:
Letter of transmittal
Membership of TCAF
Chairman's letter of transmittal
To the Congress of the United States:
In accordance with Congress' direction in the Public Broadcasting Amendments Act of 1981, Public Law Number 97-35, the Temporary Commission on Alternative Financing for Public Telecommunications hereby submits its Final Report. This report describes the Advertising Demonstration Program in which selected public television stations experimented with the carriage of limited advertising. The report includes findings, conclusions, and recommendations to Congress concerning the financing of public broadcasting.
This is the PBS Board's governing document as amended Feb. 6, 2000. For comparison, see also
the original PBS bylaws of 1969, and the most recent version, amended November 2011. Article I
The Corporation shall be known as the PUBLIC BROADCASTING SERVICE (PBS). Article II
2.1 Registered Office.
Five months after the conflict developed between Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, N.C.) and its public radio station, WFDD, the faculty's Senate Ad Hoc Committee on WFDD released this report Feb. 2, 2000. See also coverage in Current and case study on the conflict in the Public Radio News Directors Guide. Events Triggering This Inquiry
Proposed Guidelines on Confidentiality Policy
The Public Trust and Internal Management at WFDD
The Committee's Process
Memo from university Vice President Sandra Boyette to university Counsel Leon Corbett
Separate statement by member Michael Curtis
Report to the University Senate on the WFDD Matter
In October 1999, the President of the University Senate appointed an Ad Hoc Committee on WFDD. She asked the committee to inquire into events at public radio station WFDD during September 1999 and to report to the University Senate with proposals for avoiding such events in the future.
Undated document supplied by NPR, January 2000. No Commercial Obligations or Influence
NPR is an independent, nonprofit organization that carries no on-air advertising. One of the ways NPR helps fund its programming and general operations is by seeking underwriting support from corporations, foundations and associations. These tax-deductible donations provide virtually all of NPR's contributed income. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations govern all underwriting announcements by NPR and public radio stations.
FCC members approved the proposed sale of WQED's second station, WQEX, in a split vote. See also the
text of the order, Dec. 15, 1999.William Kennard and Gloria Tristani (Democrats)
Michael Powell and Harold Furchtgott-Roth (Republicans)
Susan Ness (Democrat)
Statement of Chairman William Kennard and Commissioner Gloria Tristani, dissenting in part
We disagree with the majority's decision not to designate Cornerstone's application for hearing. Under Section 73.621 of our rules, an applicant for a reserved channel must demonstrate that the station "will be used primarily to serve the educational needs of the community." If there is any substantial and material question of fact on that issue, the Commission must designate the application for hearing on the issue of whether the applicant's proposed programming is primarily educational.
On Dec. 15, 1999, the FCC approved a swap/sale deal that would have enabled Pittsburgh public TV station WQED to sell its second channel, WQEX, to raise capital and pay longstanding debts. (The deal fell through Jan. 18, 2000, when Cornerstone TeleVision backed out.)
See also separate statements by the commissioners. WQED developed the complex plan after the commission in 1996 declined to drop the noncommercial reservation on WQEX.
"Credibility is the currency of our programming. ... To maintain a credible public service programming effort, we must assure its credibility by: ... Assuring that this policy, once in place, can be implemented free from undue external pressures, whether from political, financial or other sources ..."