En­ter­com has no record of Drost

The Buffalo News - - CITY & REGION -

EN­TER­COM •fromC1

any records of re­quests for po­lit­i­cal ad time in 2018 on­line and may have “will­fully and re­peat­edly” vi­o­lated fed­eral law re­quir­ing this doc­u­men­ta­tion.

The agency sought this in­for­ma­tion for the three sta­tions by Feb. 28.

En­ter­com’s Feb. 28 re­sponse said it had no record of Drost seek­ing air­time. Fur­ther, be­cause the com­pany also found no record of her run­ning for Congress it con­tends she was not an el­i­gi­ble can­di­date and there­fore En­ter­com did not run afoul of the “low­est unit charge” rule.

The com­pany posted the 2018 po­lit­i­cal records, in­clud­ing in­voices of the rates charged to var­i­ous lo­cal can­di­dates for Congress, State As­sem­bly and other of­fices, on Jan. 28, the date it re­ceived the FCC let­ter.

“Un­for­tu­nately, due to an in­ad­ver­tent over­sight the pro­ce­dures broke down here with re­spect to the sta­tions’ po­lit­i­cal file,” wrote Laura M. Ber­man, En­ter­com’s se­nior coun­sel.

The FCC sent a fol­low-up let­ter on March 5 ex­pand­ing its in­quiry. The agency added En­ter­com sta­tions WLKK-FM, WWWS-AM, WWKB-AM and WKSE-FM to the case.

The FCC is now seek­ing in­for­ma­tion on both paid can­di­date ads and “non­can­di­date is­sue ads” for all seven sta­tions. It set an April 4 dead­line for a re­sponse.

Kevin R. Hard­wick, an Erie County leg­is­la­tor and Canisius Col­lege po­lit­i­cal sci­en­tist who pre­vi­ously hosted a po­lit­i­cal talk show on WBEN, said he never had any con­cerns of pay­ing an ex­or­bi­tant rate when he bought po­lit­i­cal ads from an En­ter­com sta­tion.

He said the sta­tion em­ploy­ees are well-versed in the rules they must work un­der.

The clos­est and high­est­pro­file lo­cal con­gres­sional race in 2018 pit­ted Collins, the in­cum­bent Clarence Re­pub­li­can, against the Demo­crat McMur­ray.

Collins nar­rowly won his re-elec­tion fight in the Re­pub­li­can-dom­i­nated dis­trict, de­spite an in­dict­ment on fed­eral in­sider trad­ing charges, which he is fight­ing.

Can­di­date ad in­voices pro­vided by En­ter­com to the FCC show Collins and McMur­ray paid the same rates for ads of the same length run­ning at the same time, a Buf­falo News re­view found.

For ex­am­ple, on Nov. 5, the day be­fore Elec­tion Day, both cam­paigns paid $110 each for one-minute ads that aired be­tween 4 and 9 p.m. on WBEN.

En­ter­com did not pro­vide doc­u­men­ta­tion for how much com­mer­cial ad­ver­tis­ers paid for their ads.

McMur­ray told The News he played no role in the FCC com­plaint.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.