Bummer: Work Howard Event Canceled
A solid 1960’s saying for disappointing but not tragic events was … bummer! That’s fitting for this announcement from the ARRL with the ICQ Podcast’s endorsement. We’d certainly not want an event, no matter how exciting, to get the W1AW station license in dutch with Part 97. After all, the League should lead by setting examples of following the rules.
“Put Howard to Work” Event Canceled
Earlier this week, ARRL announced that ARRL CEO Howard Michel, WB2ITX, would be on the air at W1AW on Monday, May 13, giving ARRL members a chance to chat with the CEO and get to know him better as a ham. An issue was raised, however, that this event may pose a potential FCC rule violation.
The particular rule is §97.113: “A station is also not allowed to transmit communication in which the station licensee or control operator has a pecuniary interest, including communications on behalf of an employer.”
Given that ARRL is Michel’s employer and that an effort was made to publicize an event at which members of the organization could chat with the CEO, such an event could be perceived as a benefit to the organization. So, out of an abundance of caution and to avoid any potential violation of FCC rules, or even the appearance of a violation, Michel has decided to cancel plans for the “Put Howard to Work” event.
“I’ve operated W1AW before and will continue to do so in the future,” Michel said. “I hope to meet many of you on the air, but only as part of my regular ham radio activities and not as part of an ARRL-promoted event.”
The “Put Howard to Work!” event was conceived by the ICQ Amateur/Ham Radio Podcast, on which Michel was a guest on March 31. “We are disappointed, of course, at this turn of events but fully understand and endorse ARRL’s decision,” said ICQ Podcast Presenter Frank Howell K4FMH.
I find this parsing of the language (and spirit/intent) of that regulation to be cautious to a ridiculous extent.
Did anyone think of contacting the FCC and actually asking for their interpretation of this planned activity?
Lemme guess, someone on the ‘Zed made a stink about it?