The World: Washington - Regulator poised to fine US TV broadcasters

US regulators are poised to fine a broadcaster following revelations that a commentator was paid $241,000 in order to promote a Department of Education initiative.

The Federal Communications Commission is proposing to fine Sinclair Broadcast Group and Sunshine Family Television for airing broadcasts by Armstrong Williams without proper sponsorship disclosure.

The action follows the screening in 2004 and 2005 of The Right Side with Armstrong Williams, America's Black Forum and 2004 Election Countdown. In each broadcast, Williams spoke of the Department of Education's "no child left behind" programme.

The FCC said Armstrong was hired by Ketchum, which had been directed to issue the contract by the Department of Education.