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Kidvid Education Hour Urged

Hollywood’s Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors is urging the Federal Communications Commission to adopt an hour-a-day educational programming requirement for TV stations.

The Caucus, in a recent letter to FCC chairman Reed Hundt, said the kidvid mandate would be “a small price for TV stations whose licenses are granted without the requirement of any fees to the people of the United States.”

Under the 1990 Children’s Television Act passed by Congress, broadcasters must meet the educational needs of children or risk license revocation. However, consumer groups have complained that FCC enforcement of the law has been lax, and groups such as Action for Children’s Television support the hour-a-day requirement.

The FCC is expected to adopt new children’s programming regulations as early as March. Though Hundt is believed to be sympathetic with the hour-a-day mandate, the four other FCC members have been less than supportive of the idea.

In recent weeks, Hundt has floated the notion of allowing broadcasters to be judged on their compliance with kidvid rules on a market-by-market basis, rather than station-by-station.

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