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NRB Seeking Comments from Non-Commercial Broadcast Members 

CommentNRB is soliciting feedback from our non-commercial broadcast members on an important issue. In April the FCC issued its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in which it is considering a significant rule-change impacting non-commercial stations: if adopted, this change would permit non-commercial stations to interrupt air-time programming to conduct fundraising for 3rd party non-profit groups. This would change the current rule that forbids on-air fundraising by non-commercial stations for 3rd party non-profit groups, in the absence of a specific waiver from the FCC. In actual practice the FCC has been limiting those waivers only to fundraising for massive, catastrophic disasters.

Under the leadership of NRB President & CEO Dr. Frank Wright, NRB has spearheaded the quest for a regulatory change for a number of years that would allow non-commercial Christian radio and TV stations to provide such support for charitable ministries in local communities and abroad:  if passed, the new rule would allow non-commercial licensees to use up to 1% of their annual air time to raise funds on the air for 3rd party, 501(c) (3) non-profit organizations of the station’s choosing.

NRB’s Senior Vice President and General Counsel has twice testified in support of this change at FCC hearings, in April 2010 and in October 2011, and will again be filing a formal Comment in response to the FCC’s NPRM, and is welcoming input from NRB’s non-commercial broadcasters. Non-commercial stations seeking to provide their thoughts on this rule-change can express their interest to the General Counsel’s office through an email to Assistant Counsel Erin Kube – ekube@nrb.org. Interested broadcasters will then receive a follow-up opportunity to weigh-in on this historic opportunity to impact FCC policy.