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FCC Grants Request by Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth to Revise Post-Auction Broadcast Transition Phase Assignments and Deadlines for Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands in Wake of Hurricane Maria

January 16, 2018 – Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth is proud to announce that, through its efforts, the FCC’s Incentive Auction Task Force and the Media Bureau division on Jan. 11, 2018 granted a request to allow for 20 broadcast TV stations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to construct post-incentive auction facilities early. … Continue Reading

Mark Your Calendars: Political Broadcasting Webinar Set for Jan. 18 Hosted by Colorado Broadcasters Association and Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth

Join us on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018 from 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EST for a political broadcasting rules refresher webinar! Presented in collaboration with the Colorado Broadcasters Association and Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, the webinar will be hosted by FHH’s all-star attorneys Frank Montero, Scott Johnson, and Dan Kirkpatrick. And, as an added bonus, … Continue Reading

FCC Welcomes Blue to the EAS Family

Last week the FCC unanimously adopted a new member to the Emergency Alert Systems (EAS) family: the “Blue Alert.” Transmitted through the broadcast EAS and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) systems, the Blue Alert is a voluntary alert code that can be used by state and local authorities to alert the public of credible “threats to … Continue Reading

CMRS Rules Get an FCC Facelift – Say Goodbye to Sections 20.7 and 20.9

Chairman Pai and the FCC last week continued their campaign of revamping FCC rules, this time by adopting a Report and Order tackling the Commission’s Commercial Mobile Radio Services (CMRS). The Order deletes Sections 20.7 and 20.9 of the Commission’s rules and is intended to generally eliminate an “outdated and incomplete list of certain services” … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcasting and Telecommunications Deadlines for January-February 2018

It’s never too early to get a jump start on upcoming deadlines as the New Year approaches. Below is a list of upcoming FCC deadlines to keep on your radar. Note our list is not comprehensive. Other proceedings may apply to you. Please do not hesitate to contact FHH if you have any questions.  January 10, 2018 … Continue Reading

‘Here Comes the Sun…’ Federal Magistrate Recommends that RMLC Lawsuit Against GMR be Moved to California

It was around this time last year that one of the most closely watched fights in music licensing history – if not copyright generally – went to the next level as the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) sued Global Music Rights (GMR). The RMLC lawsuit alleges that Irving Azoff-founded newest Performing Rights Organization (PRO), was … Continue Reading

Comment Deadlines Set for Proposed Changes in Ancillary/Supplementary Service Report Requirements

As we reported back in October, the Commission has proposed to end the requirement that all digital television, LPTV, and TV translator stations file annual ancillary/supplementary services reports. Plus, it instead requires only stations which actually offer such ancillary/supplementary services to file the forms and report on any revenues received. While this proposal has been … Continue Reading

FCC Approves Voluntary ATSC 3.0 Next Gen TV Implementation

New Opportunities for Next Gen Broadcasters and Simulcast “Host” Stations, but Controversies Remain. Yesterday, the FCC adopted a Report and Order authorizing television broadcasters to use the “Next Generation” broadcast television (Next Gen TV) transmission standard (also called “ATSC 3.0”) on a voluntary, market-driven basis. This Order may herald a revolutionary change in TV broadcasting, opening … Continue Reading

Christmas Has Come Early: Media Bureau Waives Ancillary/Supplementary Services Report Filing Requirement

Acting with commendable promptness, the Media Bureau has relieved virtually all television stations from the requirement to file ancillary/supplementary service reports, at least for this year and likely for future years as well. These reports are traditionally due on Dec. 1 of every year. As we reported back in October, the reports are the ones … Continue Reading

New Equipment Rules Take Effect

Changes to the equipment authorization rules the FCC adopted last July appeared in the Federal Register this morning and take effect today. Major changes include the option of putting required labeling on a device’s display screen, and combination of the former verification and Declaration of Conformity procedures into a new procedure called Supplier’s Declaration of … Continue Reading

Ancillary/Supplementary Services Report and Public Notice Rule Face Regulatory Weed-Whacker

At its October meeting, the FCC proposed to clear away further regulatory underbrush by eliminating, or drastically modifying, two rules. The first is the requirement that all TV stations engaged in digital broadcasting file annual reports concerning Ancillary/Supplementary services that might have been offered. Second is the requirement that licensees filing certain applications publish and/or … Continue Reading

FCC Releases Proposed Order to Modify Media Ownership Rules

As expected, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai yesterday released his proposed Order modifying the FCC’s media ownership rules. Consistent with what he announced at an Oct. 25 House Energy and Commerce Committee FCC Oversight Hearing, the Order, if adopted, will allow nearly unrestricted television duopolies in almost every market, eliminate radio/TV cross-ownership restrictions, and abolish the Commission’s long-standing prohibition … Continue Reading

NOW AVAILABLE: FHH CPB Compliance Webinar with Bob Winteringham

Compliance has never been more important for public broadcasters. CPB regularly issues forfeitures to public broadcasting stations when the Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) finds non-compliance with the provisions of the Communications Act, the terms of the CSG General Provisions, or errant NFFS reporting.  Compliance, though, is more than just checking boxes and filling out … Continue Reading

FCC Eliminates Broadcast Main Studio Rules, Related Staffing, and Program Origination Requirements; Controversial Order Passes Three-Two Along Party Lines

On Oct. 24, 2017, the FCC issued a Report and Order eliminating the Commission’s rule requiring each AM, FM, and television broadcast station to maintain a main studio located in or near its community of license (i.e. the Main Studio Rule). In the same Order, the FCC eliminated existing requirements that are associated with the … Continue Reading

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: FREE Online Public Inspection Files Refresher Course Webinar

This is a reminder that tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 12th at 12:00 p.m. EDT, Fletcher, Heald, & Hildreth’s Frank Montero and Steve Lovelady in partnership with Colorado Broadcasters Association, will present a FREE webinar entitled “Online Public Inspection Files: A Refresher Webinar.” You can register for the webinar, for FREE, via this link. While 2017 isn’t … 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

CPB Compliance: Basic Preparedness and Recent OIG Audit Activity Webinar

Compliance has never been more important for public broadcasters. CPB regularly issues forfeitures of up to $15,000 to public broadcasting stations when the Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) finds non-compliance with the provisions of the Communications Act, the terms of the CSG General Provisions, or errant NFFS reporting. Compliance, though, is more than just checking … 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
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