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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. Circ 1974).

September 18, 1997


At a Center for Media Education press conference today highlighting the FCC's new Children's Television Act rules, Chairman Reed Hundt encouraged parents, educators, and children's advocacy groups to "stay involved" as the first round of new children's educational TV programming rolls out. Hundt praised the FCC's new children's television rules as "the dawning of civilization for kids TV" and declared that "this television season kids and families across the country will have the opportunity to tune into the new and exciting educational and informational shows designed specifically for kids."

Hundt surveyed some of the new children's TV shows and observed that the FCC's rules had "inspired many firsts in the children's television industry, including new programming strategies, new and innovative partnerships, and the launching of new production companies working to create educational programming that kids will want to watch." He cautioned that "we can't afford to be passive potatoes now," because "some broadcasters and networks may try to abuse the discretion . . . there is still a risk that some may air shows that don't meet our definition of core educational programming." Hundt suggested that parents tell stations "which shows get an A and which ones get Cs, Ds, and Fs."

Hundt also proposed creating "an Emmy award for outstanding children's educational TV," or an "advisory committee composed of outside experts to evaluate the shows and report to the FCC on them" as ways to ensure that the new rules succeed in encouraging programming that teaches children.

Hundt said those concerned about making TV a positive force for children "need to be vigilant and send a clear message that the broadcast of liquor ads is widely opposed and dangerous to kids." He noted recent news reports of new marketing tactics used by some distillers to gain wider acceptance by broadcasters for their liquor ads, and "that hard liquor companies are still trying to exploit the market power of TV -- they will try to get indirectly what they are prevented from getting directly."

More information on the new FCC children's television rules can be found at the FCC's Homepage <www.fcc.gov> under the link "Hot Topics."