Archives: Broadcast

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Sinclair-Tribune Merger Open for Comments

As has been widely reported, Sinclair Broadcast Group reached a $3.9 Billion cash and stock agreement in May with Tribune Media Company.  The agreement calls for Sinclair to acquire Tribune Media and its 42 broadcast television stations, among other media assets.  Just before the July 4 holiday, the companies filed a series of transfer of … Continue Reading

See you later, local correspondence file!

As Egon said in Ghosbusters, “print is dead.” Okay, that may be a bit of an overstatement.  But at least as to many broadcast stations’ local public inspection files, it is essentially true as of today.  Back in January, the FCC voted to do away with the requirement that commercial broadcast stations retain in their … Continue Reading

UPDATE: FCC Announces Deadline for Comments on Proposed Elimination of the Main Studio Rule

In a previous entry, we discussed the Federal Communications Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to eliminate the main studio rule, which requires radio and television broadcasters to maintain a main studio located at or near a station’s community of license.  The NPRM was published in the Federal Register on June 2, 2017, which means … Continue Reading

FCC Imposes $55,000 Fine for Inappropriate Use of EAS Tones

Continuing its historical hard line on misuse of EAS tones, the FCC announced on May 30 that it had settled an investigation with WTLV, a TEGNA-owned television station in Jacksonville, Florida regarding unauthorized EAS tones appearing in an ad for the Jacksonville Jaguars (the local NFL team).  As part of the settlement, TEGNA entered into … Continue Reading

FCC Looks to Modernize Media Regulations

Last month, the FCC launched a new proceeding with an extremely broad goal of modernizing its media regulations.  The very brief (less than three page) Public Notice launching the proceeding, which Chairman Pai previewed in his speech at the NAB Show in Las Vegas, asks for comment on almost any media regulation considered “outdated, unnecessary, … Continue Reading

The Commission Extends Transition Progress Reporting Requirement to Non-Reimbursable Stations

Last week, the Commission adopted transition progress reporting requirements for broadcast television stations that will be changing channels during the post-incentive auction transition, but that are ineligible for reimbursement from the TV Broadcast Relocation Fund. The Commission had already decided back in January that TV stations eligible for reimbursement from the Fund would be required … Continue Reading

FCC Proposes to Eliminate Main Studio Rule for Broadcasters

On May 18, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission proposed to eliminate the rule requiring radio and television broadcasters to maintain a main studio located at or near a station’s community of license.  The Commission proposed the repeal of the rule on the grounds that the ubiquity of electronic communications eliminated the necessity of a studio’s … Continue Reading

FCC v. Colbert – A Controversy Based on Truth or Truthiness?

Last Monday, during his monologue on the Late Show, Stephen Colbert made a number of jokes at President Donald Trump’s expense, including lobbing a series of insults at the President.  (The full monologue is available here; check around 11:15 for the portion that has gotten folks talking).   One of these insults, which included a joking … Continue Reading

FCC’s EEO Policies Subject of Re-examination and Update

The FCC’s policies with regard to diversity generally have taken center stage over the past few days.  First up, on Friday, April 21, the Commission released a Declaratory Ruling which updated its policy as to whether the use by broadcasters and multichannel video programming distributors (MVPD’s) of only Internet-based recruitment sources provides sufficiently wide dissemination … Continue Reading

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same – UHF Discount Restored

The Commission has acted to restore the UHF discount used to calculate audience reach in connection with determining compliance with television ownership limits.  The national ownership cap currently limits the number of stations one owner may control to those which reach no more than 39 percent of national television households (with reach defined as the … Continue Reading

The FCC Announces Two Rules of Interest to NCE Stations

On April 20, 2017, the FCC announced two new developments for NCE stations. First, the FCC stated that it will no longer require the officers and board members of NCE stations to obtain FCC registration numbers (“FRNs”), a process which requires individuals to disclose personal information such as social security numbers. NCE station officers and board … Continue Reading

The FCC is Now Granting Program Experimental Licenses (Finally!)

The FCC has always been kind to people who tinker with radio equipment, whether teenagers blowing out their parents’ fuses (that was us) or manufacturers’ research labs (maybe you). Licenses in the Experimental Radio Service allow work with radio transmitters that don’t otherwise meet FCC standards. The problem with these experimental licenses was that most … Continue Reading

FCC Brings Spectrum Auction to a Close, Sets Repack Transition in Motion

With the release of the Incentive Auction Closing and Channel Reassignment Public Notice (affectionately known as the “CCR”), the FCC officially draws the spectrum Incentive Auction to a close. The CCR is a must-read for TV broadcasters and wireless carriers alike. It announces broadcast and wireless winning bidders, sets deadlines and timetables for filings, and … Continue Reading

FCC Releases Instructions on Receiving Incentive and Reimbursement Payments after the Incentive Auction Closes

On March 29, 2017, the FCC released a Public Notice providing instructions to full power and Class A television broadcasters and Multi-Channel Video Programming Distributors (MVPDs) on receiving incentive and/or reimbursement payments following the closure of the Incentive Auction.  The Public Notice stated that, in order to receive payments, winning bidders in the reverse auction … Continue Reading

Pre-1972 Fight with a Twist: Georgia Supreme Court Exempts Internet Streaming from State Record Piracy Statute

(Court also compares Internet Radio to Terrestrial Under State Law) A Georgia Supreme Court decision on a narrow issue relating to the use of pre-1972 sound recordings creates an interesting new topic for discussion in this area, even as the holding in this case is itself necessarily limited to Georgia. The case is iHeartMedia v.Sheridan, … Continue Reading

Tomorrow’s Broadcast Leaders: Their Future’s So Bright, They Wear Shades

FHH Profs Montero and Kirkpatrick show up-and-comers the ropes. Another class of the brightest and the best is working its way through the Broadcast Leadership Training Program, and FHH is there to help. The BLT is a 10-month Executive MBA-style program created by the National Association of Broadcasters Education Fund (NABEF) to provide rising executives the … Continue Reading

FilmOn X Loses in Latest Bid to be a Cable System

Ninth Circuit is the latest to say that Internet-based services are not cable systems. Remember Aereo? Sure you do, if you were a regular CommLawBlog reader pretty much anytime between 2012 and 2015. Aereo was the upstart looking to revolutionize the way cord-cutters watched TV: its dime-sized antennas were designed to receive and capture local … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcast, Telecom Filing Deadlines

Do you know what upcoming FCC filing deadlines early April through early May apply to you? We do. Note our list is not comprehensive. Other proceedings may apply to you. Please do not hesitate to contact FHH if you have any questions.  April 1, 2017  – EEO Public File Reports – All radio and television stations with … Continue Reading

Drones for Tower Inspections? Lookout for FAA Regulations

FAA Waivers May Be Required Last summer, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued its first regulations allowing commercial flights of small unmanned aircraft (sUAS, colloquially known as drones). As we reported, those rules place a number of restrictions on flying drones for commercial use, although the agency provided the opportunity to obtain waivers of some … Continue Reading

Effective Date Announced for Relaxed FM Translator Siting Rules

The last “T” has been crossed and the last “I” dotted in the FCC’s proceeding to adopt new rules relaxing siting requirements for FM translators seeking to rebroadcast AM stations. In a Federal Register notice, the FCC announced that the Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection requirements associated with the Commission’s … Continue Reading
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