The Minneapolis and Philadelphia market stations were fined by the FCC for airing video news releases during newscasts without properly identifying them. They were each fined $4,000. The charges were brought against them by Free Press and the Center for Media and Democracy.
FCC Levies Fines On KMSP, WMGM
WMGM-TV in southern New Jersey and KMSP Minneapolis were each fined $4,000 by the Federal Communications Commission for including video news releases (VNRs) in news programming without disclosing their origins.
WMGM, an NBC affiliate, is owned by Access.1 Communications Corp., and KMSP is owned by Fox TV Stations.
The fines, handed down yesterday, came in response to a 2006 complaint filed by Free Press and the Center for Media and Democracy,which made subsequent complaints in 2007.
KMSP-TV’s news report cited by the FCC concerned an increased consumer demand for convertible cars in the summer. The video, which was sponsored by General Motors, presented multiple shots and favorable descriptions of GM products, according to Free Press..
The issue at hand for WMGM-TV was a segment on how to treat the common cold, which used a VNR from Matrixx Initiatives, the maker of Zicam cold remedy.