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More Emergency Alert System Proposed Changes and Reporting Requirements

To accompany its recently adopted modifications to the requirements for the Emergency Alert System (“EAS”), the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) to address the FCC’s ongoing concerns about operational readiness and the security of the EAS system from being acted or otherwise misused by bad actors. Comments on … Continue Reading

Emergency Alert System Required Changes

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) recently adopted modifications to the requirements for the Emergency Alert System (“EAS”), and the new rules will go into effect on December 12, 2022.  Fortunately, however, EAS participants, which include most radio and television stations, have one year, until December 12, 2023, in which to make the necessary changes to … Continue Reading

FCC Fines Gray Television for Violation of Ownership Rules

This week, the FCC issued a Forfeiture Order imposing a penalty of over $500,000 against Gray Television, Inc. for violating the FCC’s rule prohibiting ownership of two top-four television stations in the same Nielsen Designated Market Area (DMA).  Gray acquired the CBS network affiliation for KTVA(TV), Anchorage, Alaska, and the FCC found that this action … Continue Reading

Election Season Refresher: Political Ad Compliance

With midterm elections fast approaching, candidates for public office and advocates for a variety of political issues are looking to radio and television broadcasters to get their message out. However, broadcasters need to keep in mind that airing these ads comes with upload requirements to a station’s political file, which is located within its online … Continue Reading

2022 Upcoming FCC Deadlines

  2022 Upcoming Broadcast Deadlines   September Annual Regulatory Fees – On a date not yet determined, but certainly before September 30, 2022, annual regulatory fees will be due. These will be due and payable for Fiscal Year 2022 and will be based upon a licensee’s/permittee’s holdings on October 1, 2021, plus anything that might … Continue Reading

Court Strikes Down a Portion of the FCC’s Foreign Sponsorship Identification Rules for Broadcasters

Earlier this year, new FCC rules went into effect requiring radio and television stations to broadcast Sponsorship ID disclosures for programming provided by foreign governmental entities.   Yesterday, the federal Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down one part of those requirements:  the requirement for broadcasters to independently confirm the sponsor’s status by consulting … Continue Reading

What’s Next for Next Gen TV? FCC Seeks Comments on The Status of Next Gen TV and Sunset of Two Rules.

The FCC has just released a Third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-22-47A1.pdf seeking comments on the state of the Next Generation Television (“Next Gen TV” or “ATSC 3.0”) transition, and on the scheduled sunset of two rules adopted in 2017.  Generally, the FNPRM seeks comments on the progress of broadcasters’ voluntary deployment of … Continue Reading

Repacked Stations: Final Deadline for Submitting Invoices for Reimbursement

The Incentive Auction Task Force and Media Bureau (Bureau) has released a public notice reminding all low power TV and TV translator (LPTV/translator) stations, multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), and FM stations that they must submit all remaining invoices in the TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund no later than September 6, 2022.  All licensees are encouraged … Continue Reading

FCC Announces Legacy CORES to be Decommissioned July 15, 2022

On Friday, May 27th, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing that the Legacy Commission Registration System (Legacy CORES) – currently used to obtain and update FRNs for individuals, licensees and other entities doing business with the FCC – would be decommissioned on Friday, July 15th, 2022 at 6pm. After that time, the current Commission … Continue Reading

Depp v. Heard – a Brief Legal Overview

Social media has been exploding with news about the defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard in Fairfax County, Virginia. Fletcher, Heald  attorneys have considerable experience with this court and this type of claim. As such, we thought our Commlawblog readers might be interested in a breakdown of what is really going on here … Continue Reading

FCC to Update Rules to Allow Digital Generation and Verification of Antenna Directional Patterns

The FCC has released a draft Report and Order to amend its broadcast radio rules to allow the use of computer models to verify antenna directional patterns. Barring unexpected developments, the Report and Order will be adopted during the Commission’s May 19th open meeting This proposed rule changes are great news for applicants – under … Continue Reading

Media Bureau Announces Transition of Additional Filings to Licensing and Management System (LMS)

The FCC announced this week that various additional applications must soon be submitted through the LMS online electronic system. Specifically, commencing May 17, 2022, the following filings are required to be submitted through LMS: FM Engineering Special Temporary Authority (STAs) Request for Silent STA Extension of Silent and Engineering STA Suspension of Operations Notification Resumption … Continue Reading

FHH Attorneys on the Faculty of the NAB Leadership Foundation’s Broadcast Leadership Training Program

On March 25th our very own Frank Montero and Seth Williams presented on the subject of broadcast station acquisitions to the most recent class of industry leaders. This training was part of the NAB Leadership Foundation’s Broadcast Leadership Training Program (BLT). FHH is a proud sponsor and provides several faculty members to the BLT program. … Continue Reading

New FCC Foreign Sponsorship Identification Rules for Broadcasters Effective Today

FCC rules requiring radio and television stations to broadcast disclosures for programming provided by foreign governmental entities go into effect today over the objection of some broadcast groups. Broadcasters are required not only to fully comply moving forward, but must also ensure that their existing airtime lease agreements come into compliance as soon as reasonably … Continue Reading

FCC License Renewal Applications due on April 1st for Radio Stations in Delaware and Pennsylvania, and TV Stations in Texas

FCC License renewal applications and associated EEO Program Reports are due on or before Friday, April 1st for radio licensees located in Delaware and Pennsylvania and television licensees in Texas. Radio and television stations must file renewals regardless of commercial or noncommercial status in the FCC’s licensing Management System (LMS).  Both television and radio licensees … Continue Reading

Political Broadcasting Webinar Now Available On Line

On February 24, 2022, Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth attorneys Frank Montero and Sara Hinkle teamed up with Bobby Baker, Gary Schonmen, and Sima Nilsson of the FCC’s Political Programming Staff to present a webinar on the FCC’s political broadcasting rules. The webinar, presented in collaboration with over twenty state broadcast associations, addressed a number of … Continue Reading

FCC Eliminates Outdated Radio Technical Rules

On Wednesday, February 16, the FCC adopted a Report & Order to eliminate and amend “outdated or unnecessary” broadcast radio technical rules. As you will see, some of the rule changes do not create new policy or requirements. Rather, the primary purpose of this proceeding is to ensure that all of its rules are consistently with … Continue Reading

FCC Announces Effective Date of New Political Programming Rules

Recently we posted a blog alerting that the FCC was updating aspects of its political programming and recordkeeping rules.  That FCC Order revised the definition of “legally qualified candidate for public office”, and also amended the political file rules.  The revised rules are effective 30 days after publication of a summary of the order in … Continue Reading

FCC Announces Procedures and Deadlines for Upcoming Auction of Full Power TV Construction Permits

The FCC announced this week that Auction 112, an auction of 27 construction permits for full power TV stations, is set to begin on June 7, 2022.  The auction procedures were set forth in a Public Notice, and participation will require certification that “the applicant has read the public notice adopting procedures for the auction … Continue Reading

FCC Set to Decide Fate of Idaho License

The Federal Communications Commission is cracking down on stations that are off the air for a majority of its license term.  In June of 2021, Snake River Radio, LLC, applied to renew the license of KPCQ (AM) in Chubbuck, Idaho. However, the FCC’s review of the application and station records found that the station had … Continue Reading

Sohn FCC Confirmation Hearing Rescheduled

On February 2, 2022, FCC nominee Gigi Sohn was to attend a nomination hearing, but after Democratic Senator Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico suffered a stroke, the Senate Commerce Committee rescheduled Sohn’s hearing. The rescheduled nomination hearing will be on February 9, 2022, and will likely address concerns over Sohn’s former position on the … Continue Reading
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