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FCC Reinstates Workplace Diversity Reporting Requirement

The FCC issued an Order last Friday reinstating the collection of workforce composition data for television and radio broadcasters, requiring broadcast licensees to file Form 395-B, which collects race, ethnicity, and gender information about the licensee’s employees, on an annual basis.  The requirement to file Form 395-B had been suspended for almost 20 years, but … Continue Reading

FCC Clarifies that AI-Generated Voices are Subject to TCPA

Given the increasing power of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to generate content that mimics human voices, the FCC issued a unanimous Declaratory Ruling clarifying that current AI technologies that generate human voices constitute “artificial or prerecorded voices” subject to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The TCPA protects consumers from unwanted calls made using artificial … Continue Reading

FCC Releases NPRM Seeking Comment on Proposal to Require Subscriber Rebates for Retransmission Consent Blackouts

On January 17, 2024, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) seeking comment on a newly proposed requirement for cable operators and direct broadcast satellite (“DBS”) providers, which, if enacted, would require those cable operators and DBS providers to make available rebates to their subscribers for programming blackouts caused by failed retransmission consent … Continue Reading

FCC Proposes to Prioritize Application Processing for Stations that Provide Locally Originated Programming

On January 17, 2024, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) seeking comment on a proposed rule that would prioritize review of certain broadcast applications filed by stations that certify that they provide locally originated programming. Eligible Stations Under the proposed rule, priority review would be available to radio and television stations (excluding … Continue Reading

FCC Releases NPRM Proposing New Reporting Requirements for Retransmission Consent Blackouts

On December 21, 2023, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) proposing new reporting requirements for multichannel video programming distributors (“MVPDs”).  The amendments to the FCC’s rules, if enacted, would give MVPDs 48 hours to notify the FCC when a blackout of 24 hours or more of a broadcast television station, or stations, … Continue Reading

FCC Releases Report and Order Concluding Its 2018 Quadrennial Regulatory Review

After receiving a mandated deadline from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the FCC presented its long-awaited Christmas gift to the broadcast industry with the December 26 release of the 2018 Quadrennial Review Report and Order (“R&O”).  By a 3-2 vote, with both Republican commissioners dissenting, the R&O found that the FCC’s … Continue Reading

FCC Adopts Final Deadlines for Submission of C-Band Reimbursement Claims

On December 5, 2023, the FCC released a Public Notice adopting two final reimbursement claims submission deadlines for eligible incumbents and stakeholders as part of the ongoing transition of the 3.7-4.2 GHz band (“C-band”).  Claimants seeking reimbursement for all claims for C-band transition costs incurred and paid by claimants as of December 31, 2023, including … Continue Reading

FCC Announces Another Round of EEO Audits

On October 30, 2023, the FCC released yet another list of broadcast stations that will be audited regarding their compliance with the FCC’s Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) rules. Licensees of the audited stations will have to upload their audit responses to their online public inspection files by December 14, 2023.    Approximately twice per year, the … Continue Reading

FCC Proposes Power-Up for Digital FMs

The FCC has issued a proposal that would allow more FM stations to increase digital power and allow asymmetric power on digital sidebands.  Interested parties have until September 21 to file comments.  Reply comments are due October 6.    Power Increase for Digital FM Stations  In the Order and Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) released … Continue Reading

EAS Nationwide Test Scheduled for Wednesday, October 4, 2023

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) and the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) have announced that a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (“EAS”) will take place on October 4, 2023, at 2:20 pm EDT.   As we previously reported, EAS participants, with limited exceptions, should have already filed their ETRS Form 1 providing the FCC … Continue Reading

FCC Announces Opening of Biennial Ownership Report Filing Window

This week, the Commission issued a Public Notice announcing that the filing window for submitting biennial ownership reports will open on October 2, 2023.  All licensees of commercial and non-commercial full power television, Class A television, low power television, AM radio, and FM radio stations, as well as any entity having an attributable interest such … Continue Reading

FCC Modifies Next Gen TV Multicasting Rules to Ease Transition

In a recently released Third Report and Order, the FCC has revised its Next Generation Broadcast Television (ATSC 3.0 or Next Gen TV) rules to enhance the transition from the current TV technology (ATSC 1.0).  Among other things, the Order allows a Next Gen TV station to modify its license to include certain non-primary video … Continue Reading

FCC Announces End to System Outages and Updated Deadlines

  On June 21st, the FCC announced that the Universal Licensing System (ULS), Tower Construction Notification System (TCNS), E-106 System, and Antenna Structure Registration System (ASR) are now operational following an outage that began on June 9th.   As discussed in our prior blog post, the FCC had previously extended filing deadlines to address the system … Continue Reading

FCC Extends Deadlines During Certain FCC System Outages

The FCC announced that it would extend deadlines to accommodate outages in the Universal Licensing System (ULS), Tower Construction Notification System (TCNS), E-106 System, and Antenna Structure Registration Systems (ASR).   These extended deadlines include:  Regulatory Filings in ULS and ASR. All regulatory filings that needed to be or will need to be made in these … Continue Reading

FCC Extends Deadline for Television Stations to Implement Aural Description of Emergency Information

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has largely granted the NAB’s request and will again extend for 18 months to November 26, 2024, the effective date of the FCC’s rule governing accessibility of emergency communications. This rule requires broadcasters to provide, during non-newscast programming, an aural representation of any visual, non-textual emergency information, such as radar … Continue Reading

House Panel Advances Bipartisan Bill To Restore FCC Auction Authority

The House Subcommittee on Communications & Technology on Wednesday, May 24th unanimously advanced a bill to renew the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC”) authority to auction commercial airwaves and use the proceeds to pay for both next generation 911 and the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program.  The bipartisan 50-0 vote comes after the FCC’s … Continue Reading

Biden Announces Nomination of Anna Gomez to Fifth FCC Seat

President Joe Biden has announced that he plans to nominate Anna Gomez to serve as an FCC Commissioner.   Currently, Gomez is a Senior Advisor to the State Department’s Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy. She previously served as the Deputy Administrator for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and held a variety of roles … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcast Filing Deadlines for June and July

June 1  Annual EEO Public Inspection File Report – Broadcasters with Station Employment Units comprised of radio and/or television stations with five or more full-time employees licensed to communities in Arizona, the District of Columbia, Idaho, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, or Wyoming must upload to the stations’ respective Online … Continue Reading

FCC Ends COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Measures for Political Advertising Lowest Unit Charge Calculations

On the heels of the expiration of the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, the FCC has announced that they too will be rescinding some pandemic-related relief measures. As of Monday, May 15th, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing that, effective immediately, broadcasters will no longer be permitted to exclude free time that they provide … Continue Reading

FCC Announces EEO Mid-term Reviews Begin June 1 and New Online Public Inspection File EEO Mid-term Requirement for Radio Stations

The FCC announced today via Public Notice that mid-term EEO reviews for radio stations in DC, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia will begin on June 1.  We discussed EEO mid-term reviews earlier this year in anticipation of this announcement.  The Public Notice stated that “each television station that is part of an employment unit of … Continue Reading

FCC Announces EEO Audits

On April 24, 2023 the FCC released its most recent list of broadcast stations that will be audited regarding their compliance with the FCC’s Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) rules. Licensees of the audited stations will have to upload their audit responses to their online public inspection files by June 8, 2023.  Approximately twice per year, … Continue Reading

FCC Chair Announces “Future of Television” Initiative and Shares Update on Next Gen TV Transition 

During her address today at the 2023 NAB Show, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel shared two developments in the Next Generation Television (“Next Gen TV” or “ATSC 3.0”) rulemaking.   The Future of Television Initiative   The Chairwoman introduced the Future of Television initiative (the “Initiative”), a private-public leadership group hosted by the NAB, dedicated to “develop[ing] a … Continue Reading
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