Dear Christian Radio,

Let’s face it, in radio ministry there are things we encounter during the day that are groan-worthy.  Routinely, we’re confronted by those necessary tasks that get in the way of doing the fun stuff we love – like ministry!  Keeping up with FCC rules and regulations certainly falls into that category.  Obviously no one enjoys mundane duties, but what would happen if we simply elected to ignore the mandates of the FCC and only focus on the fun stuff? 

As PAR’s FCC Coordinator,  I can assure you that radio ministries that fail to focus on the FCC will eventually have no ministry to focus on.  Taking that into perspective, maybe those tasks don’t seem so groan-worthy after all .  In fact, the necessary and mundane should become something stations choose  to take care of first so they can continue to focus on ministry!

When it comes to FCC rules, it doesn’t help that there are often a lot of gray areas. This can be especially true when discussing underwriting messaging for non-commercial stations (non-com).  It would certainly be easier if non-profit radio could air whatever our business partners wanted said, without restriction.  Unfortunately, this is not the case. 

Following the non-com guidelines protects non-profit stations from heavy fines that can cripple daily operations.  There is an added benefit as well.  From a pure ministry perspective, compliance allows Christian stations to focus their broadcast messaging on what’s truly important – the message of Jesus Christ – without the noise of commercial advertising.  So the next time you’re reviewing those scripts to make sure they’re compliant, focusing on the bigger picture will help keep things in perspective. 

Then there is the Public File. *Sigh*  It’s that all important stack of files every station is obligated to maintain.  It can be overwhelming to consider every piece of paper that goes inside this important file, where those pages need to be, how long they need to stay there, how many copies are required, where the file should be kept…I’m exhausted just thinking about it!  What’s more,  the transition to online Public Files is coming soon; depending on worldview , this revelation will either arouse fear within or bring relief to your station!  Over the long term, however, this seemingly difficult and tedious task will become a compliance blessing. 

So, Yes, we have to review those scripts for compliance…and Yes, we have to file those papers; doing so allows us to share Jesus with countless people, today and on into the future!  The bottom line, friends, is this…FCC rules and regulations will never be easy.  Yet,  by doing these difficult and sometimes confusing tasks, we get to change the world!

Dear Christian Radio…

  1. It’s all about perspective. Remember, those arduous tasks enable more ministry to happen.
  2. You have resources. If you find the FCC’s rules and regulations overwhelming, there is help!
  3. When in doubt, ask. Reach out to friends in Christian Radio, contact your station’s attorney and/or follow the CMB Forums. Whatever you do, don’t let it consume you!

 

#ENCW –

Megan Billingsley
PAR FCC Compliance Coordinator
Positive Alternative Radio

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