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FCC To Probe Kids' Viewing Of TV Shows, Ads

WASHINGTON - The FCC plans to examine whether the nation's television broadcasters are beaming programming that is inappropriate for children into viewers' homes when children constitute a large portion of the audience.

FCC chairman Bill Kennard's announcement Tuesday came during what has shaped up as a tough week for the people who produce and distribute movies, video games, music and television shows.

On Monday, the Federal Trade Commission released a report that says the entertainment industry is guilty of "pervasive and aggressive marketing" of adult material to children. Today, two of the Senate's leading industry critics -John McCain, R-Ariz., and Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut -will confront entertainment executives during a Senate Commerce Committee hearing chaired by McCain.

Kennard scheduled FCC hearings on broadcast TV content for October after a group of senators, including Lieberman and McCain, complained several months ago about sexual vulgarity and violence on the airwaves. The senators have questioned whether broadcasters, who enjoy free access to public airwaves, are providing programming that benefits the nation -particularly young viewers -and serves the public interest.

On Tuesday, Lieberman lauded Kennard for addressing lawmakers' concerns about television content. "It shows that the FCC is sensitive to the concerns of parents and the needs of children," Lieberman said. "And it shows that the FCC is prepared to act to uphold the public interest."


The Hollywood Reporter, ADWEEK Online. September 13, 2000

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