Radio, Television and Society

By Charles A. Siepmann | Go to book overview

III
THE FCC IN ACTION

THREE considerations limit the power (and readiness) of the Commission to impose its will upon the industry. The first is the delimitation of its powers written into the Communications Act in the terms we have quoted. A second is the pragmatic restriction imposed by the work load the Commission carries and the comparatively small staff at its disposal. As we have seen, broadcasting is only one of the areas of regulatory control with which the FCC is concerned. Thus, much of the time of the Commission as a whole (and most of the time of some of its members) is devoted to business other than that of broadcasting. Considering the number and complexity of problems with which the Commission has to deal, its staff is, and always has been, small. Even today with FM, television, and facsimile clamoring for attention, the reluctance of Congress to concede expansion in this department of government, as in any other, has resulted in appropriations allowing of a total staff of only 1,327 persons.1

____________________
1
This is the figure as of September 1949. It shows a decrease, actually, of staff. In 1945, for instance, the staff numbered 1520. Consider, likewise, total FCC appropriations. In 1945 there was appropriated $6,373,343; in 1948, $6,717,000; in 1949, $6,240,000. The recommended appropriation for 1950 is $6,600,000. (Figures provided by FCC)

-24-

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Radio, Television and Society
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Part I - Radio in the U.S.: Early History, 1920-34 3
  • III - The Fcc in Action 24
  • IV - The Radio Industry 41
  • V - Rights and Duties of the Listener 69
  • Vl - The Listener in America 82
  • Part II 168
  • IX- Freedom of Speech: in Theory 201
  • X - Freedom of Speech: in Practice 218
  • XIII - Television 317
  • Appendix VI 384
  • Appendix VII 389
  • Index 399
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