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Media Contact: 
Will Wiquist, (202) 418-0509
For Immediate Release
Radio Stations Impermissibly Advertised For-Profit Products and Services in 
Violation of Noncommercial Broadcasting Rules
WASHINGTON, February 1, 2018—The Federal Communications Commission today 
announced a settlement with Cesar Chavez Foundation for violations of the Commission’s 
underwriting rules for noncommercial educational broadcasters.  Although such stations are not 
permitted to broadcast advertisements in exchange for consideration from for-profit entities, 
the underwriting rules allow these broadcasters to air acknowledgements of for-profit donors in 
specific, limited ways.  The underwriting rules thus permit noncommercial educational stations 
to obtain financial support while also protecting the public’s use and enjoyment of commercial-
free broadcasts.  
Between August 2016 and March 2017, Foundation-owned radio stations KNAI-FM in 
Phoenix, Arizona, and KUFW-FM in Woodlake, California, aired promotional announcements 
in violation of the underwriting rules.  These promotions ran afoul of the underwriting rules in 
various ways, by, for instance, including comparisons between an underwriter’s product or 
service to those of its competitors (“There are times that we fear going to see cars because we 
don’t know who to trust.  You can trust the Bill Luke car dealership”); information on prices, 
savings, or value (“Additional holiday bonus savings on select models”); calls to consumers to 
take action (“Are you ready to buy a house? Want to know if you qualify?”); menu listing of 
products or services (“Cell phones from companies such as Verizon Wireless, Cricket, T-
Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Trac-Fone”); and excessive length (between 30 and 60 seconds in 
duration).  To settle the investigation, the Foundation agreed to pay a $115,000 penalty, adopt a 
rigorous compliance plan to prevent future violations of FCC rules, and observe a one-year 
moratorium on seeking or accepting underwriting from for-profit entities.
Noncommercial educational broadcast stations, which pay lower regulatory fees and may 
utilize reserved spectrum, are prohibited from airing commercial advertisements.  The 
Commission has emphasized that permissible announcements in adherence to the underwriting 
rules typically cannot promote a donor’s business or service.  Impermissible promotional 
announcements include calls to action; inducements to buy, sell or lease the donor’s products 
or services; price information; or qualitative or comparative descriptions of the donor’s 
products or services. 
Today’s settlement represents the largest penalty for violations of the Commission’s 
underwriting rules.  The FCC continues to take enforcement action as necessary where rule 
violations threaten to upset the reasonable balance between the financial needs of 
noncommercial educational stations and their obligation to provide an essentially 
noncommercial service.
The settlement, formally known as a Consent Decree, is available at:
Office of Media Relations: (202) 418-0500
ASL Videophone: (844) 432-2275
TTY: (888) 835-5322
Twitter: @FCC
This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action.  Release of the full text of a Commission order 
constitutes official action.  See MCI v. FCC, 515 F.2d 385 (D.C. Cir. 1974).