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Now Available: Archived Must-Carry/Retransmission Consent Webinar

With the October 1 deadline looming, FHH’s Dan Kirkpatrick and Paul Feldman held a webinar to help industry leaders navigate the waters regarding must-carry/retransmission consent. If you missed the webinar, or just want a refresher, never fear: you can catch it in re-runs. We’ve posted a recording of the show here – all audio and slides … Continue Reading

Reminder: FREE Must-Carry/Retransmission Consent Webinar Tuesday, August 22

This is a reminder that on Tuesday, August 22 from 2:00-3:15 p.m. (EDT), FHH carriage gurus Dan Kirkpatrick and Paul Feldman will present a FREE webinar entitled “Must-Carry and Retransmission Consent 2017.” Free registration for the webinar is available here. The industry faces an October 1, 2017 deadline requiring all full-power television stations to make … Continue Reading

ETRS Form 1 Due August 28 for all EAS Participants; Requires Registration in FCC CORES System

The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the FCC have announced that a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) will take place on September 27, 2017, at 2:20 PM EDT.  As a precursor to this test, all EAS Participants (which includes most broadcast stations and cable and DBS operators) must file a “Form 1” … Continue Reading

Commercial Radio Stations Offered Opportunity to Extend Interim License with GMR

No sooner did we report an update on the dispute between the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) and Global Music Rights (GMR), do we have another update to share.  Only this time, the update: (1) is less wonky/more practical, (2) is good news for commercial radio stations, and (3) requires action by affected stations.… Continue Reading

RMLC Seeks PI; Attempts to Stay in PA, Avoid CA

(As end of GMR Interim License Period Approaches, fight over GMR’s refusal to deal with Pennsylvania radio stations has implications for others around the country) We’ve written (and talked) plenty about the fight between the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) – which represents the interests of the commercial radio industry in negotiating licenses with performing … Continue Reading

Independent Decisionmakers Reduce SESAC’s Commercial Radio License Rate by Tens of Millions of Dollars

(Stations will pay 60% less than old SESAC rate card) While the fight between the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) and Global Music Rights (GMR) has captured music licensing headlines in 2016 and 2017 (including here at Commlawblog), it has previously been RMLC v. SESAC which stole the show.  (Recall that until GMR came on … Continue Reading

Save the Date for Our FREE Must-Carry/Retransmission Consent Webinar

Tuesday, August 22, 2017 – 2:00-3:15 p.m. (EDT) For all full power TV stations, October 1, 2017 is a critical deadline for electing between must-carry and retransmission consent for the next three years. What should you consider before electing must-carry or retransmission consent? What has changed in the three years since elections were last made? … Continue Reading

Last Nail in the PTFP Coffin?

(NTIA Proposes Formal End to Public Telecom Facilities Program) The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that proposes to repeal all of its regulations establishing and governing the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP).  The PTFP was a competitive grant program that helped public broadcasting entities, state and local … Continue Reading

FCC Tweaks Mic Rules, Microsoft Launches Spectrum Fight

In late 2015, major wireless microphone manufacturers requested that the FCC “reconsider” various mostly-technical rules that it had adopted as part of a wide-ranging strategy to reallocate spectrum for wireless microphones. (We’ve written about recent regulatory changes for wireless mics here, here and here.) The Commission now has responded via an Order aimed at fine-tuning … Continue Reading

Winter is Coming . . . Freeze on certain FM Translator/FM Booster and LPFM Applications starts July 19th

In case you missed this detail in Matt McCormick’s recent article about the upcoming FM translator application filing window for AM Class C and D station owners, Wednesday (July 19) is the start of a temporary freeze on acceptance of applications for minor modifications of existing FM translators and LPFMs, and for FM booster construction … Continue Reading

FCC Releases Instructions for Registering for the 2017 EAS Test Reporting System

(New procedures require all filers to register in the FCC’s updated CORES system) On June 26, 2017, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB) of the Federal Communications Commission released instructions as to how Emergency Alert System (EAS) Participants must register for access to the 2017 EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS).  The PSHSB also … Continue Reading

Sinclair-Tribune Merger Open for Comments

As has been widely reported, Sinclair Broadcast Group reached a $3.9 Billion cash and stock agreement in May with Tribune Media Company.  The agreement calls for Sinclair to acquire Tribune Media and its 42 broadcast television stations, among other media assets.  Just before the July 4 holiday, the companies filed a series of transfer of … Continue Reading

See you later, local correspondence file!

As Egon said in Ghosbusters, “print is dead.” Okay, that may be a bit of an overstatement.  But at least as to many broadcast stations’ local public inspection files, it is essentially true as of today.  Back in January, the FCC voted to do away with the requirement that commercial broadcast stations retain in their … Continue Reading

UPDATE: FCC Announces Deadline for Comments on Proposed Elimination of the Main Studio Rule

In a previous entry, we discussed the Federal Communications Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to eliminate the main studio rule, which requires radio and television broadcasters to maintain a main studio located at or near a station’s community of license.  The NPRM was published in the Federal Register on June 2, 2017, which means … Continue Reading

FCC Looks to Modernize Media Regulations

Last month, the FCC launched a new proceeding with an extremely broad goal of modernizing its media regulations.  The very brief (less than three page) Public Notice launching the proceeding, which Chairman Pai previewed in his speech at the NAB Show in Las Vegas, asks for comment on almost any media regulation considered “outdated, unnecessary, … Continue Reading

The Commission Extends Transition Progress Reporting Requirement to Non-Reimbursable Stations

Last week, the Commission adopted transition progress reporting requirements for broadcast television stations that will be changing channels during the post-incentive auction transition, but that are ineligible for reimbursement from the TV Broadcast Relocation Fund. The Commission had already decided back in January that TV stations eligible for reimbursement from the Fund would be required … Continue Reading

FCC Proposes to Eliminate Main Studio Rule for Broadcasters

On May 18, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission proposed to eliminate the rule requiring radio and television broadcasters to maintain a main studio located at or near a station’s community of license.  The Commission proposed the repeal of the rule on the grounds that the ubiquity of electronic communications eliminated the necessity of a studio’s … Continue Reading

FCC v. Colbert – A Controversy Based on Truth or Truthiness?

Last Monday, during his monologue on the Late Show, Stephen Colbert made a number of jokes at President Donald Trump’s expense, including lobbing a series of insults at the President.  (The full monologue is available here; check around 11:15 for the portion that has gotten folks talking).   One of these insults, which included a joking … Continue Reading

FCC’s EEO Policies Subject of Re-examination and Update

The FCC’s policies with regard to diversity generally have taken center stage over the past few days.  First up, on Friday, April 21, the Commission released a Declaratory Ruling which updated its policy as to whether the use by broadcasters and multichannel video programming distributors (MVPD’s) of only Internet-based recruitment sources provides sufficiently wide dissemination … Continue Reading

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same – UHF Discount Restored

The Commission has acted to restore the UHF discount used to calculate audience reach in connection with determining compliance with television ownership limits.  The national ownership cap currently limits the number of stations one owner may control to those which reach no more than 39 percent of national television households (with reach defined as the … Continue Reading

The FCC Announces Two Rules of Interest to NCE Stations

On April 20, 2017, the FCC announced two new developments for NCE stations. First, the FCC stated that it will no longer require the officers and board members of NCE stations to obtain FCC registration numbers (“FRNs”), a process which requires individuals to disclose personal information such as social security numbers. NCE station officers and board … Continue Reading
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