42. Programming Regulations, Programming Order

All television and radio programs should advertise their various stories in the order in which they plan to show them. For example, some TV newsmagazine programs introduce their hour-long programs by advertising, at the very beginning of the program, the three or four different stories they plan to show that hour. But, often times, the stories they advertise first are not the first ones that are shown. This forces the viewer to wait through the previous stories, hoping that the next one is the one that they are interested in. This is very frustrating. Many times, because of their own personal schedules, people can’t stay and watch the full program, causing them to leave upset. These programs should either order their introductions so that they introduce their featured segments in the order in which they plan to show them in the main program, or they should clearly indicate the order or the general timeframe that each story is to be shown.

Programming Change Notifications

Programming schedule changes whether on television or radio should be announced over the station broadcasting that program or affected by the programming change at least once at the beginning and once at the end of the time slot affected by the program change and again during the first few minutes of the time slot (like right before the main first segment begins or during the first commercial break) to catch people that may have tuned in a little late.

Such announcements should be made anytime programming changes are made, whether they are temporary (such as during holiday broadcast schedules), permanent changes, or changes due to an emergency or breaking news.

In the case of permanent programming changes, the station should be required to make these announcements for at least the first two weeks and periodically (at least once a week) for at least two more weeks. Warnings of the impending change should also be broadcast a couple of weeks before the actual changes take place.

Broadcast Interruptions

Television and radio stations should be discouraged from running advertisements or otherwise interrupting or interfering during the broadcast of any part of a program, particularly during the ending when credits and/or music are being run. (Of course, emergency broadcasts and legitimate breaking news are exempted.) The media stations that do interrupt into any portion of scheduled programming, should pay the producers of the programs being interrupted the market rate for advertisements during this time.

When such interruptions causes some important information to be missed, such as a preview of what will be discussed on next time’s show, fines should be imposed on the broadcasting station that are equal to double or triple the normal commercial advertising costs for a minimum of 30 seconds of airtime or however long the interruption lasted, whichever is longer. All proceeds from such fines should be paid to the producers of the programming which suffered the interruption.

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