Dan Kirkpatrick

Dan Kirkpatrick Mr. Kirkpatrick counsels television and radio stations on compliance with FCC regulations affecting their day-to-day operations, as well as in the context of sale, purchase, and financing transactions.

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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Pai previewed in his speech at the NAB Show in Las Vegas, asks for comment on almost any media regulation considered “outdated, unnecessary, … Continue Reading

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 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

Under New Leadership, FCC Media Bureau Reverses January Decision on Reconsideration of NCE Ownership Reporting Requirements

Back in early January, the FCC’s Media Bureau released an Order denying a number of Petitions for Reconsideration of an earlier Bureau Order that had adopted new requirements regarding FCC Registration Numbers (“FRNS”) and “Restricted Use FRNs” (“RUFRNS”) used in broadcasters’ biennial ownership reports.  The Petitions had objected to application of certain new FRN and … Continue Reading

FCC’s Media Bureau Reaffirms NCE Ownership Reporting Requirements, Angers GOP Commissioners

The (seemingly never-ending) saga of the FCC’s attempts to revise its biennial ownership reporting requirements for broadcasters has taken an interesting, and somewhat unexpected turn. As we have previously reported, the Media Bureau early last year adopted new requirements related to the FCC Registration Numbers  (FRNs) and “Restricted Use FRNs” (RUFRNs) that interest holders would … Continue Reading

Media Bureau Seeks Comment On Broadcast EEO Petition

Earlier this week, two broadcasting companies petitioned the FCC to revise its Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) rules to allow broadcasters to rely on Internet recruitment sources when filling job openings. The Commission’s current EEO rules, which date back to 2002, require broadcasters employing five or more full-time employees, and MVPDs employing six or more full-time … Continue Reading

Large Market Radio Stations Must Have Complete Online Public File by Christmas Eve

Many radio owners have a Commission-imposed deadline looming before Christmas. Most radio stations located in large markets, which have been defined by the Commission in this instance to be the Nielsen Top-50 radio markets, will need to make sure that they have their online public files completely uploaded by December 24, 2016. Each full-power commercial … Continue Reading

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

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

Wheeler Takes Retrans Re-Tooling Off the Table

Chairman blogs that FCC will not be modifying “totality of the circumstances” test on his watch. In the long-running retransmission consent war pitting broadcasters against MVPDs, a major threat to the status quo has been averted: according to a blog posted on the FCC’s website by Chairman Tom Wheeler, the Commission has opted not to … Continue Reading

The Quad Pulls A Sisyphus … Again

Three’s the charm, as the Third Circuit sends the FCC’s Quadriennial Review proceeding back to the Commission for a third time We once described the FCC’s quadrennial ownership review process as Sisyphean in nature. Keeping with that analogy, we can report that the rock has now rolled back down the hill … again. But this … Continue Reading

The Political Broadcasting Rules: A Refresher Course

The 2015 elections are now in the books, but the 2016 election season, featuring federal campaigns (Presidential, Vice Presidential, Congressional) galore, is already upon us. Now’s a good time to be sure you’ve got a handle on the rules. The 2016 elections are a year away, but the race for presidential nominations is already heating … Continue Reading

The Retransmission Consent NPRM: An Overview as the Comment Deadline Approaches

Here’s your chance to let the FCC know how to assess the “good faith” of parties to a retrans negotiation. While many (if not most) television licensees are likely trying to sift through the several hundreds of pages of FCC materials laying out the fast-approaching incentive auction process, it’s important not to lose sight of … Continue Reading
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