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As I See It

CALM Act not very calming



It was about fifteen years ago when I first complained about the disparity in the level of volume between television programming and the commercials. As you are aware, the commercials are often considerably and sometimes annoyingly louder than the show. In 2010, Congress passed what it called the CALM Act, forcing television broadcasters to quiet the level of their commercials to match that of their programming. So why are commercials still so loud? There are a couple of reasons. First, the CALM Act only applies to television broadcasts, no streaming services, so commercials on HULU and other streaming platforms are exempt from the law. Second, despite the passage of the CALM Act, it isn’t being enforced. In the 14 years since the CALM Act was passed, there have been thousands of complaints to the FCC. But the agency sent just two letters to offenders and has yet to issue a single penalty. A new bill in Congress would amend the legislation to cover streaming services, while forcing the FCC to take enforcement when violations are reported. Let’s hope this time they give the law some teeth, so we can stay calm while watching television.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Tom

    May 15, 2024 at 9:09 am

    WIZM has the same problem when it ANNOUNCES with their musical blast when it is going to the NEWS. Fix that please.

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