Harry Cole

Harry Cole The primary focus of Mr. Cole’s practice is broadcasting, including transactional, regulatory and appellate work. He has represented clients before the FCC and in various courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

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The New Future of OTA TV? Media Bureau Seeks Comment on Proposed Next Generation TV Standard

ATSC-designed transmission system promises lots of upside, minimal downside – as long as the FCC and marketplace cooperate. The broadcast television industry is resilient. Its core over-the-air technology was fundamentally changed with the transition from analog to digital transmission in 2009 and its spectrum habitat is about to shrink dramatically thanks to the Incentive Spectrum … Continue Reading

¿Es Esta Una Prueba?

FCC “grants” petition seeking mandatory foreign language EAS alerts by declining to impose mandatory foreign language EAS alerts; but some new reporting requirements are added How do you say EAS en español? Apparently, that’s something EAS participants won’t need to worry about anytime soon. The FCC has rejected a proposal that would have mandated the … Continue Reading

Irony Alert: Government Honors Recording Government Criminalizes

You may want to strap yourself in for this one – to avoid the intellectual whiplash that might otherwise result. Every year, the National Recording Preservation Board – a federal organization comprised of esteemed composers, musicians, musicologists, librarians, archivists, and representatives of the recording industry – undertakes a duty assigned to it by our elected … Continue Reading

Attention, Reverse Auction Participants: A Small Package of (Potentially) Great Value Should Be Delivered to You Shortly

Second Confidential Status Letters are on the way! If you’re a TV licensee who submitted a “complete” application to participate in the upcoming reverse auction component of the Incentive Auction, be on the lookout for a package coming to you from the FCC. It’s your Second Confidential Status Letter (SCSL) – a/k/a your Golden Ticket … Continue Reading

Does the FCC Want to Postpone the Incentive Auction?

Publicly, the Commission appears determined to proceed full speed ahead, but a couple of FCC pleadings to the D.C. Circuit suggest otherwise. Pretty much since the FCC set out on its headlong race to design and implement the upcoming Incentive Auction, one of the Prime Directives appears to have been to get the thing done … Continue Reading

Attention, Reverse Auction Applicants: An Important Letter from the FCC is on its Way to You!

First Confidential Status Letters advising of potentially fatal incompleteness flaws have been sent to would-be reverse auction applicants; Deadline for corrections: February 26, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. (ET) If you’re a TV licensee who submitted an application to participate in the upcoming reverse auction component of the Incentive Auction, you should be checking your mail … Continue Reading

“Local” No More: Radio, Cable, Satellite All Moving their (Previously) Local Public Inspection Files to the Internet

Concluding a proceeding begun a mere 18 months ago, the Commission has extended its online public file requirement well beyond the broadcast TV industry. To no one’s real surprise, the FCC has decided to expand its online public inspection file requirement – first imposed on television broadcasters in 2012 – to include radio broadcasters, cable … Continue Reading

$500K+ Spanking for Sponsorship ID Miscue

Enforcement Bureau extracts half-million dollar “civil penalty” AND an extensive compliance plan commitment from Cumulus for spots which it didn’t even sell. The Enforcement Bureau has scored another trophy for its burgeoning trophy room of extravagant penalties. This time, it’s $540,000 extracted from Cumulus for a supposedly inadequate sponsorship identification on a number of spots … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit, “Slant”(ing) Toward “Redskins”?

Appeals court tosses “disparagement” bar against registration of “offensive” trademarks Last May, our colleague Kevin “the Swami” Goldberg called readers’ attention to an interesting case wending its way through the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. It involves the rejection, by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), of an application for federal … Continue Reading

Congress Spares TV JSAs through September, 2025

Terse provision slides through as part of massive annual appropriations act  TV Joint Sales Agreements (JSAs) have been given a new lease on life, thanks to Congress and the President. Back in 2014, the FCC declared certain JSAs to be “attributable interests” and therefore subject to unwinding by June, 2016. But now compliance with that … Continue Reading

SESAC Seeks to Sidestep Settlement

Dueling letters from SESAC and RMLC offer distinct alternatives for radio stations in their dealings with SESAC As we reported several months ago, in July the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) reached a settlement agreement with SESAC that resolved RMLC’s antitrust lawsuit against SESAC and brought some measure of certainty and stability to the license … Continue Reading

2015 Reg Fees Set, Payment Deadline Announced, Fee Filer Open (for now)

Fire up your computer, free up some space on your credit cards and get your FRN information ready – you’ve got until SEPTEMBER 24, 2015 to get your reg fees paid … but don’t count on paying between 6:00 p.m., September 2 and 8:00 a.m., September 8. And we thought last year – when the … Continue Reading

FCC to Rest of World: Take an Extra Long Labor Day Weekend … and Keep Your Fingers Crossed

Commission extends due dates in advance of upgrade of all electronic filing systems and electronic dockets. If you’ve got something due to be filed at the FCC between September 2-8, 2015, you just got an extension … to September 9. Happy Labor Day! For this you can thank the Commission’s IT gurus, who are going … Continue Reading

The FCC’s Tower Approval Process: Round and Round It Goes, When Will It Stop? Nobody Knows!

FCC OK’s reopening of seemingly closed historic review process … eight years after the question is raised. Getting governmental approval to build a tower can take a long time. As a recent FCC decision demonstrates, it can take a lot longer when the government can’t decide when the approval process has come to an end. … Continue Reading
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