Archives: Broadcast

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Streamlined Foreign Media Ownership Procedures (Mostly) Effective in January

A September Commission Order modifying a number of Commission Rules regarding filing and review of foreign ownership in broadcast licensees has now been published in the Federal Register, setting the effective date of at least some of these changes.  Many of those rule changes will now go into effect January 30, although some changes regarding … Continue Reading

Are Alternative Inspection FCC Notifications Still Needed?

Is there an easier way to notify the Commission when a station has taken part in the Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program (ABIP)? Or does the FCC need to be notified at all? The agency seeks public input on the issue. The alternative program is a series of agreements between the Enforcement Bureau and a private … Continue Reading

Employers (and some Employees) Thankful as Federal Court Stays New Overtime Laws

For the past few months, business owners have been frantically preparing for a major change in the Department of Labor (DOL) regulations implementing the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which would greatly increase the number of employees eligible to receive overtime pay for work in excess of 40 hour per week.   These changes, were due … Continue Reading

RMLC Seeks to Subject GMR to the Same Competitive Restraints Governing ASCAP’s, BMI’s, and SESAC’s Licensing Practices

We have previously written here, here, here, and here about the Radio Music License Committee’s (“RMLC’s”) successful attempt to impose on SESAC some of the same competitive restrictions that limit ASCAP’s and BMI’s ability to demand inflated license prices for publicly performing the musical compositions of their members. It was only a matter of time … Continue Reading

Update: New EAS Foreign-Language Reporting Requirement Now In Effect

But EAS Participants have a year to advise their SECCs of what, if anything, they’re doing to provide EAS alerts to non-English speaking audiences. As we reported last spring, the FCC declined to require that non-English language announcements be provided by Emergency Alert System participants. But the Commission did decide that all State EAS Plans … Continue Reading

Day of the Deadlines: Your Guide to Upcoming FCC Broadcast Filing Deadlines

There are a number of upcoming FCC filing deadlines over the next three months that are relevant to broadcasters.  You should review these carefully, as some are only applicable to certain licensees while others (the EEO-related and noncommercial ownership reports) are state-specific. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.… Continue Reading

FCC to TV Licensees: Where Are You?

In a somewhat unusual move, the FCC’s Media Bureau and Incentive Auction Task Force have issued a joint public notice encouraging “all television licensees” to “ensure that their contact information on file with the Commission is accurate and current”. As the notice reminds everybody, licensees are generally required to do so anyway, but it’s especially … Continue Reading

Repack Update: FCC Invites Comments on Widelity II

Input sought on revised catalog of likely repack expenses As we all know, TV stations forced by the Incentive Auction/spectrum repack process to modify their facilities will be entitled to reimbursement of their reasonable repacking-related costs. And as we reported a couple of years ago, to give everybody – FCC and affected broadcasters (and MVPDs) … Continue Reading

DIRS Activated as Hurricane Matthew Approaches Southeast States

As we had anticipated, the Commission has officially activated its Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) in connection with the arrival of Hurricane Matthew. Because of the urgency of the situation, the FCC has asked the NAB to get the word out to broadcast stations, and we here in the CommLawBlog bunker are more than happy … Continue Reading

Coming Soon: Webinar on FCC’s Post-Incentive Auction Transition Scheduling Plan

On September 30 the Commission released a public notice soliciting comment on a plan for the post-Incentive Auction transition. As you might expect, the plan is complicated and dense with detail – we here in the CommLawBlog are still working our way through it – but the FCC’s initial plan is to get the public’s … Continue Reading

As Matthew Makes Its Move, FCC Provides Emergency Response Information

With Matthew, the first big hurricane to threaten Florida and the Carolinas in several years, barreling up the coast, the FCC has started its anticipatory disaster response. A public notice released this afternoon alerts the public that Commission personnel will be available, 24/7, to assist communications providers as they deal with the effects of the storm. … Continue Reading

Six-Figure Fine for Failing to Focus on Former Felonies

Many FCC forms completed on a “routine” basis may need extra attention. Anyone who fills in pretty much any FCC form should be familiar with the certifications required by those forms. Anyone who “signs” an FCC form (whether electronically or otherwise) must be familiar with them; more importantly, the signatory must be sure that the … Continue Reading

ASNE “Legal Hotline” Features FHH’s Kevin Goldberg

News Editors’ website highlights post addressing permissible media use of “user-generated” photo/video content obtained from social media and other Internet sources. I’m fortunate to represent a number of press-related trade associations. As part of my work for them, I provide a “Legal Hotline” service through which association members get to ask me questions without incurring massive … Continue Reading

2016 Reg Fees Set, But Payment Deadline Yet to be Announced

On the Friday before Labor Day weekend, the Commission released the final listing of regulatory fees for 2016. Those fees will have to be paid sometime before September 30, but as of September 4, the Commission had neither announced the deadline nor opened up its Fee Filer system for acceptance of reg fees. Maybe the … Continue Reading

Sisyphus Re-re-re-Dux: FCC “Concludes” a Decade of Quadrennial Reviews … For Now

Supposedly wrapping up 2006, 2010 and 2014 reviews, FCC leaves most media ownership restrictions in place, adds some new burdens As we have observed more than once (here and here, for example), the FCC’s quadrennial media ownership review process is Sisyphean in nature: even before the Commission can complete one review, the next begins, and … Continue Reading

Put It In Writing, Part III: Closed Captioning Chores Reassigned

Modified programmer compliance certifications, complaint procedures, to take effect September 22, 2016 For nearly two decades the FCC has been working to insure that television programming is appropriately accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing through closed captioning technology. In 2014 it finally got around to developing quality control standards which it applied not … Continue Reading
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