VNR Producers Fight Back


North of a dozen Video news release producers have banded together to form a group to lobby Washington.

In a letter to the chairman and commissioners of the FCC Monday, the the National Association of Broadcast Communicators argues that the Center for Media and Democracy (CDM) study of unidentified TV station VNRs created a "false impression that numerous broadcast stations across the country are violating the Commission's sponsorship identification requirements."

Their point is one made by the Radio-Television News Directors Association, which is that unidentified VNRs are not against FCC rules unless they are on controversial or political topics. CMD argues that not identifying VNR's is controversial on its face, a point RTNDA and the new NABC dispute.

CMD has vigorously defended  it's study.

NABC also is concerned with FCC letters of inquiry to a large number of the stations cited in the CMD report, although the letters are part of a fact-finding process that will not necessarily lead to any enforcement proceedings.

NABC is being hit in the pocketbook by the FCC inquiry, saying some stations have cut back or eliminated the use of their product.

The group says it is fine with the FCC enforcing existing VNR rules, but not in what they say is an investigation prompted by "unfounded accusations."