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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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

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

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

Tabula (Quasi) Rasa: The 2016 EAS Operating Handbook!

Latest edition of FCC Handbook features blank spaces galore to be filled in by EAS participants themselves. Two days after we posted a reminder about the upcoming deadline for EAS participants to (a) register on the Commission’s new EAS Test Reporting System and (b) submit their Form Ones (or should that be “Forms One”?) through … Continue Reading

Does the FCC Know How Long It Takes to Complete an Ownership Report?

PRA notice suggests low-ball estimate, but what about, um, the 10 hours of outside attorney time the FCC told OMB about six months ago? Back in January the Commission announced its most recent overhaul of the biennial Ownership Reports that commercial and noncommercial broadcasters are required to file using, respectively, Forms 323 and 323-E. As … Continue Reading

EWW, SSA, SSW: New EAS Event Codes Added

While supporting the decision, Commissioner O’Rielly criticizes FCC’s “cost/benefit” analysis In what four out of five FCC Commissioners seem to view as a no-brainer, the Emergency Alert System just got three more event codes and two slightly-revised geographic location codes. The odd man out? Commissioner O’Rielly. He doesn’t question the potential utility of the new/revised … Continue Reading

Pursestrings 2016: New Application Fee Schedule Announced

Normally non-controversial biennial action spiced up this year by partial dissent from Commissioner O’Rielly Thanks to Congress, the FCC has got to charge application fees and, also thanks to Congress, those fees have got to be adjusted every two years in light of changes in the Consumer Price Index. The last time the Commission tweaked … Continue Reading

Convention-al Wisdom: Auxiliary Frequency Coordination Provisions for Political Confabs Announced

FCC takes steps in anticipation of extensive auxiliary operation at upcoming conventions, inauguration It looks like Louis Libin won’t be getting much time off this month, or next January either, for that matter. That’s because he has been designated as the single point of contact for frequency coordination operations under Section 74.24 at (deep breath, … Continue Reading

FCC Forfeiture Limits Increased Across the Board

Keeping up with the cost-of-living … If you happened to feel a vague, somewhat disturbing, shudder recently, don’t worry: it was just the upper limit of potential FCC fines being raised across the board. By Order effective July 1, 2016 (or maybe August 1 – we’ll get to that), the Commission followed up on a … Continue Reading

On the Way Out: Two Vestigial Remnants of Pre-Online Public File Universe

Commission proposes to eliminate obligations to include public correspondence in commercial broadcasters’ public files, headend location information in cable operators’. Following through on a promise it made in January, the Commission has proposed to eliminate one element of its local public inspection file rules for broadcasters, and it has now proposed to do the same … Continue Reading

2016 Regulatory Fees Proposed: Larger Market TV Fees Going Up, Most Radio Fees Heading Down

If it’s May, it must be time for  proposed regulatory fees – and sure enough, here they are! In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), the FCC has got the ball rolling down the road that, for many regulatees, will lead us to a payment deadline sometime in September (or maybe August, but don’t count … Continue Reading

Time to Test Drive the New and Improved Online Public File System!

“Local” no more – as of June 24, new “OPIF” will be up and running … but a demo can – AND SHOULD – be checked out NOW Last January we reported on the FCC’s decision to expand its online public inspection file (now officially referred to as “OPIF”) requirement to include radio broadcasters, cable … Continue Reading

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
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