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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

FCC REVISES POLITICAL PROGRAMMING AND ADVERTISING RULES

Today, the FCC released a Report and Order (Order), updating the political programming and recordkeeping rules for broadcast licensees, cable television system operators, Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) service providers, and Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service (SDARS) licensees.  The Order revises the definition of “legally qualified candidate for public office” to add the use of social … Continue Reading

FCC License Renewal Applications due on February 1st for Radio Stations in New York and New Jersey, and TV stations in Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma

FCC License renewal applications and associated EEO Program Reports are due on or before Tuesday, February 1st for radio licensees located in New Jersey and New York and television licensees in Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. 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 … Continue Reading

Attention Webcasters: January 31 Deadline for Filing Minimum Fee for Webcasting is Rapidly Approaching

The January 31, 2022 deadline for filing your annual minimum fee and related statement of account with SoundExchange under the webcasting statutory licenses under 17 U.S.C. § 112 and 114 allowing radio broadcasters and others to stream sound recordings (the “statutory licenses”) is just around the corner.  The easiest way to pay this fee is to … Continue Reading

Political Broadcast Rules on the Agenda for FCC’s January Open Meeting

On January 27, 2022, the FCC will hold its monthly open meeting. The meeting will address increasing the transparency of internet access service providers, amending the definition of a library to clarify that Tribal libraries are eligible for support from the E-Rate program, and resolving issues associated with white space devices and databases. The most … Continue Reading

Beasley Media Looking at $20k Fine for Airing Radio Show with EAS Tones

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) has issued a Notice of Apparent Liability proposing to fine Beasley Media Group Licenses, LLC $20,000.00 after KDWN(AM) in Las Vegas, Nevada apparently transmitted Emergency Alert System (“EAS”) Tones during one of its radio shows – without there being an actual emergency, EAS test, or PSA. Broadcasters … Continue Reading

Now your renewal is filed….don’t forget your post-filing announcements.

Last Friday, the Federal Communications Commission released a Public Notice listing radio and television licensees from whom the FCC has accepted applications for license renewal filed on or before the December 1 deadline.  Radio licensees located in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont and television licensees in Colorado, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, … Continue Reading

Broadcasters Check your Online Public File Links!

Recently, many broadcasters have been discovering that their stations’ on-line public file hyperlinks are failing to connect.  We have learned that this is likely due to recent modifications to the FCC’s internal servers. The hyperlinks currently direct viewers to a webpage that reads as follows: “We’re Sorry. We couldn’t find the page you were looking … Continue Reading

December 1st and Television License Renewal Deadlines

FCC License renewal applications and associated EEO Program Reports are due on or before Wednesday, December 1st for radio licensees located in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont and television licensees in Colorado, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Radio and television stations must file renewals regardless of commercial or noncommercial … Continue Reading

Broadcast Deadlines

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for December – February December 1, 2021 Biennial Ownership Reports – All licensees and entities holding an attributable interest in a licensee of one or more AM, FM, TV, Class A television, and/or Low Power TV (LPTV) stations must file a biennial ownership report reflecting information as of October … Continue Reading

2021 Biennial Ownership Reports

It’s that time of (every other) year again – The FCC announced that the filing window has opened and Biennial Ownership reports are due Wednesday, December 1st 2021. Every odd-numbered year, the FCC collects information about the owners of commercial and noncommercial licensees of broadcast stations. The FCC collects this data to ensure that the … Continue Reading
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