September 13, 2006
The investigation was initiated after an individual filed a letter of complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Federal law prohibits broadcasting any advertisement for a lottery or any information concerning a lottery. Simply defined, a lottery is as any game, contest, or promotion that contains the elements of a prize.
Alaska state law also prohibits radio stations from broadcasting lotteries or lottery results within the state, no matter how good or worthy the cause.
According to a news release from KTKN and KGTW, their intent was to help the Diabetes Association raise funds for continued research to find a cure for the dreaded disease.
"We were most surprised to receive the investigation notice from the FCC," said Blake Messer, General Manager of KTKN and KGTW. "The Diabetes Association is such a worthwhile cause and you'd be right to ask what possible legitimate reason there could be to file a letter of complaint with the FCC against promotion of the Diabetes Association".
Messer went on to confirm that the filed grievance would not inhibit the station's future involvement in worthy Ketchikan events.
When asked for his comments, William Schulz, Team Diabetes Pennock Challenge race director, said, "I am very sorry to learn of the trouble that has come about from KTKN radio support of the Pennock Challenge event."
Schulz said, "KTKN radio played a significant role in helping Team Diabetes in Ketchikan raise money to support the American Diabetes Association's efforts in Ketchikan and the state of Alaska. The willingness and enthusiasm that KTKN radio put into promoting this event was truly inspiring. The staff at KTKN radio acted in a friendly professional manner that made the whole experience easy and enjoyable. I was very happy with the services that stations provided for Team Diabetes, specifically the Pennock Island Challenge event."
Alaska Diabetes Association volunteer Gretchen Klein of Ketchikan said, "I am sorry to hear about the current situation that has come to play with KTKN Radio pertaining to [the] Pennock Swim Event which has been supporting our local efforts to help people with diabetes."
Klein said, "Team Diabetes of Ketchikan has appreciated (all)the local coverage of the local event in Ketchikan. This event is just example of an organization trying to make a difference in Ketchikan."
A bill, supported by the Alaska Broadcasters Association, which would have allowed broadcasters to accept gambling advertising from non-profit organizations was before the state legislature in the last session, but it was tabled in the Senate Finance Committee. Consequently, it remains illegal for any broadcast station in the state to broadcast advertising relating to raffles, bingo games, or any other type of gambling.
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