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Remember to Exercise Super Judgment When Discussing the Big Game

The matchup for the National Football League’s championship game, aka the “Super Bowl”, is set. The Los Angeles Rams will face the New England Patriots on Sunday, February 3 in Atlanta in a game that will be hard pressed to exceed either conference championship game in terms of excitement or controversy. Each of the NFC Championship, … Continue Reading

Now Available: Controversial Advertising and Sponsorship Identification Webinar

In collaboration with the Colorado Broadcasters Association, Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth’s Frank Montero and Dan Kirkpatrick presented a webinar covering guidelines for broadcasters on how to handle controversial advertising and proper sponsorship identification. Frank and Dan discussed many aspects of Federal and state regulation pertaining to advertising on potentially problematic subjects, including marijuana, tobacco, alcohol, and … Continue Reading

FCC Proposes Elimination of EEO Mid-Term Report for Broadcasters

On January 3, 2019, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) released a proposed Report and Order which would eliminate the requirement that certain broadcast television and radio stations file a Broadcast Mid-Term EEO Report (Form 397). The Commission released the proposed Report and Order for adoption at its public meeting scheduled for January … Continue Reading

Shutdown Uncertainty: What Broadcasters Should Do Now

Wondering how the federal government shutdown affects your broadcast station’s regulatory compliance obligations? Because some of the FCC’s online systems are up and running while others are not, it can be confusing as to what is still required of broadcasters. We have sorted through the confusion to help you understand what should still be prepared … Continue Reading

FCC Commences Review of Media Ownership Rules

On December 12, 2018, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) commencing the 2018 Quadrennial Review of the Commission’s media ownership rules.  The FCC is required under Section 202(h) of the Communications Act to review most of its broadcast ownership rules every four years to determine whether … Continue Reading

FCC Eliminates Posting of Broadcast Licenses

Two years into Ajit Pai’s chairmanship, a central theme at the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) is deregulation. Sometimes framed in terms of “modernizing media rules,” the topic is at the forefront of just about every proceeding.  This was true for one of the most recent decisions at the Commission, as a Report and … Continue Reading

Webcaster Wake Up Call!

We usually publish our “Webcaster Wake Up Call!” post each January.  This post reminds webcasting services of their compliance obligations for the upcoming year under the statutory licenses found in Sections 112 and 114 of the Copyright Act (the “statutory licenses”) allowing them to publicly perform sound recordings via digital audio transmission.  Part of the … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for December/January/February

December (the most wonderful time of the year) often carries with it a sense of retrospection.  We start looking back on the year that was, compiling “Best of” lists, tying up loose ends, getting those last donations and expenses in under the wire. Of course, there’s also plenty of forward-looking at what the new year … Continue Reading

Now Available: 2018 FCC EEO Rules Webinar

With FCC license renewals fast-approaching and public inspection files now all on line, it is time to seriously review and assess your FCC EEO compliance (….that is before the FCC does it for you!).  In collaboration with the Colorado Broadcasters Association and the New Jersey Broadcasters Association, Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth’s Dawn King, Anne Crump, … Continue Reading

FCC to Radio Licensees: We’re Watching You (or at Least Your Public Files)

With the whirl of the holiday season upon us, most broadcasters rightly thought they could put off looking ahead to the next license renewal cycle until 2019. Au contraire, says the FCC, which began sending out blast emails to certain radio licensees on December 6, warning that FCC internal audits have revealed that many stations’ … Continue Reading

Deadline Announced for AM Revitalization Comments

Attention all you AM radio nostalgia buffs and others interested in the future of AM radio, who hopefully read our post of October 10 about the FCC’s proposals to allow higher power operation by smaller AM stations by reducing nighttime signal protection for 50 kW Class A AM stations.  The FCC’s proposals have been published … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for November/December

Let’s play some word association. If we say “Deadlines”, you might answer “Scary.”  Hence, the reason we’re publishing our November and December FCC deadlines post on Halloween.  Only, unlike the ghouls and goblins you may see on the streets tonight, these are real! Please note that the list is NOT exclusive, so there may be others. … Continue Reading

FCC Proposes LPTV and FM Repack Reimbursement Schedule

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has invited comments on a “catalog” of categories and amounts it thinks are reasonable for reimbursement of expenses incurred by low power TV (“LPTV”) stations as a result of involuntary channel changes imposed by the post-incentive auction repacking of the TV spectrum. Congress initially appropriated funds to reimburse costs incurred … Continue Reading

C Band Receive Only Earth Stations Application Filing Window Extended

The FCC has extended the filing deadline for the C band receive only earth stations applications to October 31, 2018.  In a Public Notice, the FCC decided to extend the filing deadline (which was October 17, 2018) due to difficulties experienced with the International Bureau Filing System (IBFS) which prevented some applicants from filing for license … Continue Reading

What’s Next for AM Radio?

Late on Friday, October 5, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in a five-year ongoing effort to “revitalize” the AM radio broadcast service.  The new proposals continue a trend toward allowing higher power operation by smaller stations, by reducing nighttime signal protection for some 60 Class A AM … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Telecom and Broadcast Deadlines for Fall 2018 (October/November/December)

Deadlines!  Get your deadlines here!  With summer in the rearview mirror, it’s time to get back to work and look ahead to the rest of the year.  Here’s a list of FCC-related broadcast and telecom deadlines. Please note that the list is NOT exclusive, so there may be others. For help meeting these deadlines or … Continue Reading

Reminder: EAS National Test Scheduled for Sept. 20, But Don’t Use EAS Tone Outside Test

Unless it is delayed by a real national emergency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the FCC are on track to conduct a combined nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system on Thursday, Sept. 20, at 2:20 p.m. EDT. Should you decide to air any news coverage or … Continue Reading

FCC Proceeding on C Band Use and Receive Only Earth Stations Moves Forward; Comments Due Oct. 29

The Commission issued an Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the proceeding relating to the use of the 3.7 to 4.2 GHz band. As we’ve previously written, the Commission has been considering allowing the use of the 3.7 to 4.2 GHz band (known as the C band) by mobile broadband. The C-band is currently … Continue Reading

Copyright Enters the Twilight Zone (A Series of Controversial Decisions May Not Be as Bad as They Seem: Part Two)

If you read the first part of this two-part post on some bizarre copyright decisions emanating from federal courts in 2018, you know I left you with a cliffhanger. Copyright law was seemingly turned on its head when a federal court judge in New York declared that embedding tweets with photos could be considered direct … Continue Reading

Comment Deadline Set for NPRM on Rules for Distributing Repack Funds to LPTV, TV Translator, and FM Stations; Comments due Sept. 26

As we reported last week, the FCC has proposed new rules to distribute the funds allocated under the Reimbursement Expansion Act (REA). These funds are to be used to reimburse broadcasters that were involuntarily affected by the post-incentive auction repacking of television stations. Under the REA and the proposed rules, FM radio stations and LPTV … Continue Reading

FCC Proposes Rules for Distributing Repack Funds to LPTV, TV Translator, and FM Stations; Part II: FM Stations

(Editor’s Note: If you’re looking for information on LPTV and TV Translators review Part One here.) Back in March 2018, Congress passed the Reimbursement Expansion Act (REA), which allocated additional funds to be used to reimburse broadcasters involuntarily affected by the post-incentive auction repacking of television stations. In addition to providing additional money for full-power … Continue Reading
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