Making Phone Calls While on the Air

The FCC forbids broadcasting a telephone call or recording a call for broadcast purposes unless permission is first obtained from the person being called. According to this law, a violation occurs as soon as the person at the other end says “hello”, if a recorder is running, even if the person being recorded subsequently consents to the broadcast of the call. There is precedent for large fines from the FCC when just a “hello” occurred during a live or recorded show, prior to such notification.

The only exception occurs when the caller “originates the call” by calling the station to be put on a program when the caller knows or should anticipate being on the air. In these cases, it is still important for the host say: “you are on the air.”

Please contact us if you have questions or need help:

  • Ursula Ruedenberg, Pacifica Affiliates Coordinator / 510-812-7989 / 
  • Stephanie Schubert, Network operations coordinator /