FCC hits KMSP with $4K fine over video news releaseby Martin Moylan, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The Federal Communications Commission is proposing a $4,000 fine against KMSP-TV, saying the station should have identified General Motors as the source for video used in a 2006 story about convertible cars.
The FCC said the tape focused exclusively on General Motors cars and featured an interview with a GM executive.
Corie Wright is policy counsel at Free Press, one the organizations that complained to the FCC about the KMSP broadcast and similar broadcasts by 137 other stations.
"The problem is the station aired the video as though it was an objective newscast and failed to disclose it was actually a commercial masquerading as news," Wright said.
Wright says the FCC has acted on only seven of her organization's complaints about TV stations concealing the use of corporate-provided videos in newscasts.
KMSP's owner, Fox Television, said neither the station nor its employees received anything for broadcasting the GM video. Fox argued the video was like a press release. Fox said it's reviewing the matter, and it could appeal the fine. The FCC declined to comment.