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D.C. Circuit Upholds FCC Reinstatement of UHF Discount

The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today dismissed challenges to the FCC’s April 2017 decision to reinstate the UHF Discount. That discount allows broadcast television station owners to count only 50 percent of households served by UHF stations when calculating a station’s compliance with the FCC’s national ownership cap, which limits … Continue Reading

FCC Announces the Next Step in Licensing Next Generation TV

When the FCC released its Next Gen TV Report and Order in November 2017, we wrote about how this authorized television broadcasters to use the “Next Generation” broadcast television transmission standard (also known as ATSC 3.0) on a voluntary, market-driven basis. The rules from that Order became effective on February 2, 2018, except for the … Continue Reading

Major Kid Vid Revisions Coming Soon… as the FCC Releases a Draft NPRM

When FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly published a blog post back in January that called for the reexamination of the Children’s Programming Requirements, we questioned whether the requirements would still exist in the near future. We can now report that we are not likely to see the complete demise of the FCC’s Children Programming Requirements (colloquially … Continue Reading

LPTV/TV Translator Minor Change Freeze Lifted

The FCC has lifted the freeze on filing applications for minor changes in existing Low Power TV (LPTV) and TV translator stations, effective today, July 3. The freeze was lifted without advance warning, and applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. This process is different from the recent window for filing displacement applications … Continue Reading

Comment Deadline for FM Translator Reforms Extended to Aug. 6

The FCC announced yesterday that it is extending the deadline for comments and reply comments on proposed rule changes to the FCC’s procedures for resolving complaints of interference caused by FM translators. The new deadline is set for Aug. 6 with reply comments due Sept. 5. Several parties requested an extension because of the complexity of the issues … Continue Reading

FCC Announces Extension of Filing Window to Oct. 17, 2018 for C Band Receive Only Earth Stations

The Commission has announced a 90-day extension of the filing window for C Band receive only earth stations to Oct. 17, 2018. We previously reported that the Commission had opened a filing window until July 18 to file applications for fixed-satellite (FSS) earth stations in the C Band by entities that own or operate existing FSS … Continue Reading

‘Leased’ Access or ‘Least’ Access? FCC Chucks 2008 Order and Asks What It Should Do Next

Requirements that cable television systems make a certain amount of channel capacity available for leasing to non-affiliated programmers have been in place since the time when George Orwell predicted that “Big Brother” would control the world – 1984. The leasing rules have never brought about an active leasing marketplace. The FCC is now taking another … Continue Reading

U.S. v. AT&T and Time Warner: The Death of the ‘Must-Have’ Programming Theory

In a decision issued Tuesday, Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia approved the proposed merger of AT&T and Time Warner. In doing so, he rejected the “must-have” programming theory that was the core of the government’s antitrust case seeking to block the merger. The “must-have” programming theory asserts … Continue Reading

FCC Establishes Funds for Post-Hurricane Recovery Efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

The FCC on Tuesday announced the establishment of the Uniendo a Puerto Rico Fund and the Connect USVI Fund in an effort to help “rebuild, improve, and expand voice and broadband networks in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.” These funds are part of the FCC’s ongoing efforts to rebuild communications networks in Puerto … Continue Reading

FCC Proposes Rules to Reform Procedures on FM Translator Station Complaints

The FCC at its May Open Meeting adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing reforms to the Commission’s current procedures used to resolve complaints of interference caused by FM translator stations. As the NPRM recites, the FM translator service was instituted in 1970 as a way to improve reception of FM radio stations in … Continue Reading

FCC Grants Puerto Rico Broadcasters Recovery Relief Request for FM Translator Applicants Impacted by Hurricanes Maria and Irma

On May 1, the FCC’s Media and Wireless Bureaus granted a request filed by Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth attorneys Frank Montero and Keenan Adamchak on behalf of the Puerto Rico Broadcasters Association (PRBA) to waive the FCC’s rules limiting the scope of settlements involving mutually exclusive (MX) FM translator applications filed in the Auction 100 … Continue Reading

Comments on FCC Proposed EEO Form 397 Elimination due by April 30; Reply Comments Due May 15

In March 2018, the FCC proposed eliminating the Equal Employment Opportunity Mid-Term Report (also known as Form 397) and now those wishing to voice their opinions can do so until April 30. As we’ve discussed before, this is part of the FCC’s ongoing Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative (spearheaded by Chairman Pai). Currently, Form 397 … Continue Reading

Reply Comments on FCC Incubator Diversity Program Due April 9

On Nov. 20, 2017, the FCC released an Order on Reconsideration of several of its broadcast multiple and cross-ownership rules, which included a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) looking toward increasing minority, female, and small business ownership by establishing an “incubator” program which incentives established broadcasters to help those types of entities. Comments on the … Continue Reading

FCC Updates DTV Reception Map

Last week, the FCC’s Incentive Auction Task Force and Media Bureau launched an updated DTV Reception map aimed at helping consumers during the post-Incentive Auction repack. The new DTV Reception Map (available here) will reflect changes to TV stations as they begin transmitting on new channels between now and July 2020 during the post-Incentive Auction … Continue Reading

Repack Funds and First Responders – What Broadcasters Need to Know About the ‘Omnibus’ Spending Bill of 2018

On Friday, March 23 President Trump signed a $1.3 trillion appropriations bill that will mean some significant changes to the broadcasting community. The 2,232-page omnibus bill not only includes an additional $1 billion for spectrum repack on top of the already $1.75 billion already allocated, but also changes how broadcasters are treated in terms of … Continue Reading

FHH Attorneys Show Broadcasting’s Future Leaders the Ropes

The BLT is a 10-month Executive MBA-style program that exposes rising broadcast executives to the fundamentals of successful radio and TV station ownership and operation. Created by the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation (NABEF), the BLT is taught by a volunteer faculty of well-regarded industry professionals, so FHH is proud to be represented among … Continue Reading
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