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Barreling Down the Road to 5G, FCC Votes to Relax EBS Spectrum Rules

On June 20, 2019, I blogged about the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC”) plan to vote on July 10 to relax the rules governing the Educational Broadband Service (“EBS”), including eliminating the requirement to devote part of the air time to educational purposes and opening up license eligibility to commercial entities. Sure enough, the FCC voted, … Continue Reading

FCC Makes Leased Access Rules More Cable Operator Friendly, Opens the Door to Eliminating Them

On June 7, 2019, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) released a Report and Order (“R&O”) revising the Commission’s rules under which independent programmers may lease cable TV channels to retransmit their programming (“Leased Access Rules”).   Leased Access has rarely been used, due to concerns by both cable operators and programmers, and the … Continue Reading

Equal Employment Opportunity Mid-Term Report Form Elimination Now Official

Remember our article in February about the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) eliminating a requirement for certain broadcast television and radio stations to file a Broadcast Mid-Term Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Report (a/k/a Form 397)?  If you’re a regular CommLawBlog reader you might have noticed that fact in our monthly deadlines articles too. … Continue Reading

FCC Adopts New FM Translator Interference Complaint Procedures

On May 9, 2019, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) issued a Report and Order in which it adopted new procedures used to resolve interference complaints against FM translator stations.  We previously blogged about the proposed reforms to the complaint procedures in a May 21, 2018 article.  Sections 74.1203(a) and 74.1204(f) of the … Continue Reading

ATTENTION OLDIES STATIONS (OR OTHERS WHO PLAY PRE-72 RECORDINGS): Think Twice Before You Pony Up Three Years of Royalties Under New MMA Provision

Remember our April 4, 2019 “CALLING ALL OLDIES STATIONS!” post that alerted you to a simple form you could file to receive certain protections from potentially crippling infringement awards for unauthorized uses of sound recordings fixed before February 15, 1972 (aka “pre-72 recordings”)?  That post created quite a stir.  In fact, we were flooded with … Continue Reading

FCC Revises Procedures for Submitting Financial Information Regarding Repack Reimbursement

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) on June 4 released in a Public Notice streamlined financial information instructions for full-power/Class A TV stations receiving repack reimbursement that have changed their banking information or have sold or acquired an eligible station and need to transfer the banking information to the new owner. Eligible entities … Continue Reading

Peter Tannenwald Honored by WAMU Radio

We are very proud to congratulate our own Peter Tannenwald on being recognized by American University Radio in Washington, DC. for his many years of work with radio station WAMU, the local NPR affiliate found on 88.5 FM. Peter was presented with a ceremonial (but functioning) microphone at the WAMU Community Council meeting on May … Continue Reading

Now Available: “Navigating the Online Public Inspection File” Webinar

Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth’s Frank Montero, Steve Lovelady, and Dan Kirkpatrick recently presented a webinar about Online Public Inspection Files (OPIFs). The webinar, in collaboration with the broadcast associations of Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, and Tennessee in addition to the Public Radio Regional Organizations, covered a variety of topics, … Continue Reading

Radio Stations’ FCC License Renewal Cycle Starts Again

Has it been eight years already?  It’s hard to believe, but yes – the license renewal cycle for radio stations is about to start over again, with preparatory on-air announcements already in progress.  The TV cycle will start next year. In a Public Notice released today, The Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC” or the “Commission”) Media … Continue Reading

Deadline for Submission of Information on Earth Station Use of the 3.7 – 4.2 GHz Band

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) issued a Public Notice on April 11, 2019 (DA 19-278) in the proceeding relating to the use of the 3.7 to 4.2 GHz band (referred to as the “C-band”).  In its July 13, 2018 Order, the Commission announced that it would issue an information collection requirement for … Continue Reading

FCC Adopts Rules for Distributing Repack Funds to FM Stations and FM Translators

[Editor’s Note:  This is part 2 of a 2-part series.  Part 1, addressing repack funds for LPTV and TV Translator stations, is available here] As we reported in August 2018, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”)  at that time released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking laying out how it would parcel out reimbursement funds … Continue Reading

FCC Adopts Rules for Distributing Repack Funds to LPTV and TV Translator Stations

[Editor’s Note:  This is part 1 of a two part series.  Part 2, addressing repack funds for FM stations, will be available tomorrow] As we reported in August 2018, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) at that time released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking laying out how it would parcel out reimbursement funds for … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for April-June

Broadcast Deadlines: April 1, 2019:         License Renewal Pre-Filing Announcements – Radio stations located in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia must begin their pre-filing announcements with regard to their applications for renewal of license.  These announcements must be continued on April 16, May 1, and May 16.… Continue Reading

LPTV-Translator Displacement and Companion Channel Freeze Lifted

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) has announced in a public notice on March 19, 2019, that it will lift the 9-year old freeze on applications for displacement relief and digital companion channels by Low Power Television and TV Translator stations (together, “LPTV”).  Applications will be accepted starting April 18, 2019. The new … Continue Reading

RMLC-GMR Continue to Fight (but Also Agree To Extend Interim License for Yet Another Six Months)

One of the most famous movie franchises ever is the “Rocky” series.  From its origin as an underdog story where an unknown fighter named Rocky Balboa shocks the world by taking heavyweight champion Apollo Creed the distance (spoiler alert: only to lose the fight but get the girl) through sequels II (Rocky Wins!), III (Mr. … Continue Reading

Broadcasters Seek New Business Opportunities Amid Legalization of Industrial Hemp Products (Including CBD Oil)

There’s a green wave coming in the form of expanding marijuana legalization across the US, and many of the people trying to take advantage of this green wave are also trying to turn it into another kind of green: money. Broadcasters are also looking to take advantage of these new revenue opportunities, but because marijuana … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for March-May

Broadcast Deadlines – March 11, 2019: Additional Steps to Revitalize the AM Radio Service – Reply comments are due in response to the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with regard to revised alternative proposals regarding interference protection to Class A AM radio stations.… Continue Reading

FCC Ponders Revising Several NCE and LPFM Procedures

Anyone who has filed an application for a new noncommercial educational (NCE) station or a new Low Power FM (LPFM) station knows that many traps beset the unwary throughout the process.  If you fall into one of those traps, your chance of success can be severely injured.  On Valentine’s Day, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” … Continue Reading

FCC Eliminates EEO Mid-Term Report for Broadcasters

On February 14, 2019, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC,” or the “Commission”) released a Report and Order in which it eliminated the requirement that certain broadcast television and radio stations file a Broadcast Mid-Term Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Report (Form 397).  As we reported back in January, the FCC found that the Form 397 reporting … Continue Reading
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