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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Initial Reimbursement Allocations Announced for Repack Expenses

On Oct. 16, 2017, the Incentive Auction Task Force and the FCC’s Media Bureau jointly announced the initial allocation from the TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund (Relocation Fund) for the reimbursement of eligible full power and Class A television stations as well as multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) (Eligible Entities) impacted by the Incentive Auction. The … Continue Reading

Reminder: EAS National Test Scheduled for Wednesday, September 27

ETRS Form 2 Due Same Day (Except for Hurricane-Impacted EAS Participants) Assuming that it is not delayed due to a real national emergency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the FCC are still scheduled to conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on Sept. 27, 2017, at 2:20 PM EDT. As we … Continue Reading

Incentive Auction Second Priority Filing Window Opens: What to Know

On Sept. 20, the FCC announced the second filing window for all full power and Class A television stations receiving new channel assignment as part of the post-incentive auction repack. The filing window will open Oct. 3 and close at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Nov. 2. During this “second priority” filing window, all eligible stations … Continue Reading

FCC Releases Annual Regulatory Fee Order – Payments Due Sept. 26, 2017

Now that summer and beach season is over, the Commission has finally released the final listing of regulatory fees for 2017 and their due date. While it might not be as big of news as a Taylor Swift release, this is an important time for the Commission which has announced the final amounts due for … Continue Reading

ETRS Form 1 Due August 28 for all EAS Participants; Requires Registration in FCC CORES System

The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the FCC have announced that a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) will take place on September 27, 2017, at 2:20 PM EDT.  As a precursor to this test, all EAS Participants (which includes most broadcast stations and cable and DBS operators) must file a “Form 1” … Continue Reading

FCC Releases Instructions for Registering for the 2017 EAS Test Reporting System

(New procedures require all filers to register in the FCC’s updated CORES system) On June 26, 2017, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB) of the Federal Communications Commission released instructions as to how Emergency Alert System (EAS) Participants must register for access to the 2017 EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS).  The PSHSB also … 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 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
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