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FCC Drops Radio Regulations; Will Not Affect WHRB's Format

A decision this week by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to rescind many of the regulations on radio stations will not affect WHRB's programming, but will greatly reduce the station's paperwork, Nancy I. Kalow '82, WHRB programming director said yesterday.

The FCC voted 6-1 to delete maximum limits on commercials and minimum percentage requirements for news and public affairs programming. The commission also dropped the requirement that station's keep detailed program logs.

WHRB schedules far fewer than the maximum allowable commercials, WHRB President Elizabeth A. Kopley '81 said yesterday. "We play mostly jazz and classical music--usually longer pieces--and these can not be interrupted very often," she added.

The FCC's decision does not affect other FCC requirements, such as obeying the fairness doctrine and equal time standards, serving the public interest, Martin Blumenthal, an FCC spokesman said yesterday.

John Sebastian, programming director at WCOZ said yesterday deregulation is "a positive step that will give freedom back to the airwaves." The station will not change its news stance, Sebastian said, adding that it is too early to tell if its public affairs programming will be affected.

Mounds of Manure

"If anything, it will improve our programming," Tony Berardini, programming director at WBCN said yesterday. "The paperwork and bureaucratic bullshit that is required now takes up so much time. We'll be able to devote more time to the creative aspects of programming."

Competitive pressures keep advertising time below FCC limits, Berardini said. WBCN has a self-imposed limit of seven minutes of advertising an hour, though the FCC regulations had allowed 18 minutes of advertising, he added.

The United Church of Christ is appealing the FCC deregulation in District of Columbia Circuit Court. Many religious groups strongly oppose the commission's move because religious programming, which falls under the category of public service, is no longer mandatory.

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