Kevin E. Foley
Kevin E. Foley founded KEF Media Associates in 1986 after a five year stint working in two public relations firms Burson-Marsteller and Ketchum. He is also President of the National Association of Broadcast Communicators, the trade association of video news release producers.
A biographical note on the company website states that in 1984 "he was unable to find a video news vendor," so, together with a freelance television news producer, he "began creating and distributing video news releases for his PR clients." 
Prior to working in PR, Foley had been a "city hall and police reporter for the Manchester (Connecticut) Evening Herald."
In October 2008, Foley's historical novel "Where Law Ends" was published by Wyoming's Pronghorn Press. Foley "hopes" the book "will set the record straight about the legend of the 'Montana Vigilantes,'" according to O'Dwyer's. Foley believes the self-appointed lawmen from the 1860s may have lynched innocent men, not corrupt officials and lawbreakers, to cover up "their vile deeds." 
On VNR labeling
After the Federal Communications Commission warned broadcasters about the need to disclose the source of video news releases (VNRs) to viewers, Foley objected. "The government has no business sticking its nose into news or communications as we practice it here ... The FCC has no jurisdiction over news and news content," PR Week reported. 
In a May 2006 column in Broadcasting and Cable, Foley defended the use of VNRs. "CMD [the Center for Media and Democracy] would have us believe that some great social harm is being done if a VNR isn’t attributed, but if the newscaster airs a story that holds the viewer’s attention and the viewer walks away informed or entertained, who has been hurt? Newscasters decide the editorial value of the content we offer as they’ve always done, so it’s not as though there aren’t safeguards in place," he wrote. 
In June 2006, Foley objected to the prospect of the FCC investigating television stations use of VNRs as a breach of their licensing conditions. "If the FCC is indeed investigating this matter, it is overstepping its authority by threatening fines and other punitive actions against TV stations that don’t attribute video content we supply," he told Red Herring. 
"When a print publication lifts a Steve Jobs quote from a press release, where is the disclosure? The publication never spoke to Jobs, but we don’t see the FCC threatening print publications. Where does the FCC’s authority to regulate TV news come from?," he asked.  However, his analogy ignores the fact that the FCC only regulates "interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable."  It does not regulate newspapers.
In a mid-June 2006 commentary column in O'Dwyers PR Daily, Foley notably abandoned even referring to VNRs, preferring to call them "TV press releases." The FCC investigation into undisclosed use of VNRs, he complained, represents a threat to "the free speech rights of my corporate clients." 
Articles and resources
Related SourceWatch articles
- "Foley Writes Novel of the West," O'Dwyer's PR Daily (sub req'd), October 24, 2008.
- "Kevin Foley, accessed May 2006.
- "Transcript to VNR Teleconference", O'Dwyers PR Daily (sub req'd), March 17, 2005.
- Erica Iacono, "FCC 'clarification' further confuses debate on VNRs", PR Week (sub req'd), April 25 2005.
- Kevin E. Foley, "FCC's "Payola" Rule Doesn't Apply To TV Press Releases", O'Dwyers PR Daily, June 8, 2005.
- Kevin E. Foley, "Are Video News Releases All Bad?", Broadcasting & Cable, May 1, 2006.
- Kevin E. Foley, "CMD Wants FCC To Regulate VNR: Goal is to prevent PR from using airwaves", O'Dwyers PR Daily (sub req'd), May 18, 2006.
- "PR Firm Blasts Fake TV Charges: Ad firm challenges FCC’s right to extend its jurisdiction into TV newsrooms", Red Herring, June 2, 2006.
- Erica Iacono, "Broadcast PR companies unite amid ongoing scrutiny of VNRs", PR Week (sub req'd), October 13 2006.
- Kevin E. Foley, "Television stations doing right by VNRs: The current rules on video news releases would be better than government censorship", StarTribune.com (Minneapolis), December 21, 2006.
- Matthew Lasar, "VNR executive files e-mail with FCC against radically left wing' group," Lasar's Letter on the FCC and Media Regulation, January 22, 2007.