Archives: Enforcement

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FCC Fines Gray Television for Violation of Ownership Rules

This week, the FCC issued a Forfeiture Order imposing a penalty of over $500,000 against Gray Television, Inc. for violating the FCC’s rule prohibiting ownership of two top-four television stations in the same Nielsen Designated Market Area (DMA).  Gray acquired the CBS network affiliation for KTVA(TV), Anchorage, Alaska, and the FCC found that this action … Continue Reading

Election Season Refresher: Political Ad Compliance

With midterm elections fast approaching, candidates for public office and advocates for a variety of political issues are looking to radio and television broadcasters to get their message out. However, broadcasters need to keep in mind that airing these ads comes with upload requirements to a station’s political file, which is located within its online … Continue Reading

FCC Fines Stations for Failing to Timely File License to Cover Applications

This week, the Commission imposed a $13,000 fine on Radiant Light Broadcasting (RLB), the licensee of two low-power television (LPTV) stations for failing to timely file license to cover applications, and thus operating without licenses for four years. The stations, KRLB-LD and KWWO-LD, were granted construction permits for digital displacement channels and special temporary authority … Continue Reading

FCC Fines Stations $3.4 Million for Violations of Children’s Television Programming Rules

Last week, the FCC issued a ruling finding that 21 broadcast licensees, including Nexstar Media Group and Sinclair Broadcast Group, had violated the Commission’s rules regarding commercial programming on children’s television.  The Commission assessed penalties against these licensees totaling nearly $3.4 million.  Particularly notable was the Commission’s ruling that licensees are responsible even for commercials … Continue Reading

FCC IMPOSES $38,000 FINE FOR PREMATURE CONSTRUCTION OF ANTENNA TOWERS

Recently, the Federal Communication Commission (“FCC”) issued a Consent Decree detailing the $38,000 settlement reached with a telecommunications company relating to its  failure to complete required environmental and historic preservation reviews before beginning construction on new wireless telecommunications towers and prior to following the prescribed procedures under the FCC’s antenna structure registration (“ASR”) Rules. Under … Continue Reading

Update to FCC’s Covered List: The Commission Identifies Three New Companies as National Security Risks

Last Friday, the FCC expanded its list of companies it believes pose a risk to U.S. national security. The new additions include equipment and services from three companies: Russia’s AO Kaspersky Lab, China Telecom (Americas), and China Mobile International USA Inc. Since March of 2021, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau has maintained a … 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

FCC Warns Inactive/Non-Responsive C-Band Earth Stations: File or Be Terminated

As readers of CommLawBlog know, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) has reallocated the lower portion of the C-Band used for satellite communications and auctioned that portion of the spectrum for wireless services. In connection with that auction, operators of C-Band Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) earth stations will have to modify their operations … Continue Reading

Enforcement Bureau Cracks Down on Properties Allowing Pirate Radio 

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC”) Enforcement Bureau released three Notices of Illegal Pirate Radio Broadcasting to multiple New York City-based property managers for housing an unlicensed radio broadcasting operation. In conjunction with the notices, the FCC issued an Order – without the typical notice and comment procedures – implementing the Preventing Illegal Radio Abuse Through Enforcement Act (“PIRATE … Continue Reading

127,000 More Reasons to File Proper FCC Applications When Your Company Goes Through Bankruptcy

Recently, we published an article regarding a Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) Consent Decree where a company agreed to pay a $240,000 penalty for violating the FCC’s rules by engaging in transactions where FCC wireless licenses were transferred without filing for and obtaining the prior consent of the FCC.… Continue Reading

FCC Proposes $15,000 Penalty for LPFM Violations of Underwriting Rules

On July 2, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (“NAL”) against low power FM (LPFM) broadcast station KELS-LP, Greeley, Colorado, in which it assessed a $15,000 civil penalty for the station’s apparent violations of the prohibition on noncommercial educational (NCE) and LPFM broadcast stations … Continue Reading

240,000 Reasons to File Proper FCC Applications When You Buy a Business That Holds Wireless Licenses

The FCC recently released a Consent Decree in which the Archer Daniel Midlands Company (“ADM”) agreed to pay a $240,000 penalty for violating the FCC’s rules by engaging in transactions where five FCC wireless licenses were transferred without filing for and obtaining the prior consent of the FCC, and by failing to reveal in numerous … Continue Reading

FCC Lobs More Fireballs at Robocallers and Spoofers

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has taken several steps in recent years to deter robocalls of all kinds, with some success, but not enough to give us poor ordinary folks the telephone peace and quiet for which we yearn. Last year, Congress passed the Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (“TRACED Act”), … Continue Reading

FCC Continues Fines for Improper Use of EAS Signals

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) remains consistent in its enforcement of fines for the improper use of Emergency Alert System (“EAS”) tones.  On April 7, 2020, the Commission released a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (the “Notice”) proposing to levy a $20,000 fine against Entercom License, LLC (Entercom) station WNEW-FM for … Continue Reading

Prepare Your Station to Notify the FCC of a Rebroadcast or Prepare to Be Fined

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) ordered an FM translator owner to pay a fine of $2,000 for rebroadcasting a primary station without notifying the FCC. According to the forfeiture order released March 2, 2020, Carolina Radio Group Inc. – licensee of FM Translator station W225DF in Raleigh, North Carolina – rebroadcast station … Continue Reading

If Your Program Sounds Like It’s Live, but Isn’t, You Must Tell the Audience (Or Suffer the Consequence)

In late January, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released a Consent Decree penalizing Salem Media Group to the tune of $50,000 for “violat[ing] the FCC’s live broadcast rules by broadcasting prerecorded programming as ‘live’ without announcing before the broadcast that the programming was prerecorded.” In addition Salem has agreed to a three-year compliance plan to … Continue Reading

Monitor Your Tower Lighting or be Prepared to Pay Up – Scripps Settles with FCC to the Tune of $1.13 Million

In an order released this week, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) announced that Scripps Broadcasting Holdings had agreed to a $1.13 Million settlement with the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau to resolve violations of tower lighting monitoring rules. What makes this case especially interesting is that the party who is paying the fine and instituting a years-long … Continue Reading

A Primer on the CBD Interim Rules: What Broadcasters and Media Companies Need to Know

Cannabidiol (“CBD”) oil, a product that can be derived from hemp or marijuana plants, is an undeniably hot commodity right now. You may have seen CBD gummies, CBD topical creams, and even CBD-infused pillows for sale at your local store. At this point you are wondering if your broadcast station can advertise these products. CommLawBlog … Continue Reading

Reversing the Trend of Deregulation, FCC Tackles Caller ID Spoofing Head-on

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) continued its long-running fight against unwanted robocalls earlier this month, but the steps the Commission proposed may not make a significant impact immediately. On Friday, February 15th, the FCC released a notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPRM”) seeking comment on issues associated with implementing new caller ID spoofing … 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

Now in Effect: FCC Eliminates Requirement to Post Licenses

As we reported back in December, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) issued a Report and Order that would eliminate the need to post and maintain broadcast licenses at a physical location. The Commission’s stated goal is to modernize U.S. “media rules and remove unnecessary regulatory burdens that impede competition and innovation in the media marketplace.” … Continue Reading

A Word of Caution to Broadcasters Pertaining to E-Cigarette and Vaping Advertisements

Last month I participated in a webinar with my colleague Dan Kirkpatrick where we addressed the issue of advertising controversial products. While the topic of marijuana advertising (which we discussed in our webinar) gets much attention these days–especially with the recent decision by CBS to turn down a cannabis ad for the Super Bowl–we also … Continue Reading
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