FCC requirements to post political ad sponsors online will ‘cost jobs’ says KC station GM

The FCC voted 2-1 last week to require TV stations to disclose who is purchasing political ads. Before the decision, stations were required to provide the information in hard copy if someone requested a copy; now they will be put online, at least in the top 50 markets.

And while the public will be able to have a better idea of how political money is spent, Cheryl McDonald, president and GM of WDAF-TV, says it will hurt stations’ ability to report news, and it may cost jobs.

“The FCC’s decision will cost jobs at television stations across the country,” said Cheryl McDonald, president and general manager of WDAF-TV. “To comply with this regulation, we will have to divert resources from reporting or other more productive tasks. Budgets are stretched thin as it is. We cannot afford this latest government mandate. … To make matters worse, the material we will be posting online is our most commercially sensitive information.”

The FCC will not have a clearinghouse for all the data, which again, was previously available in hard copy. ProPublica has been working to gather information on a national scale.


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