Dan Kirkpatrick

Dan Kirkpatrick Mr. Kirkpatrick counsels television and radio stations on compliance with FCC regulations affecting their day-to-day operations, as well as in the context of sale, purchase, and financing transactions.

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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

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

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 and Class A stations, the REA for the first time expanded the universe of stations eligible … Continue Reading

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 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

Political Broadcasting Rules Q&A

With primaries in some states happening as soon as March, the 2018 election cycle is certain to be contentious and hard-fought. Now is the time for broadcasters to review their systems to ensure that they will be in compliance with the FCC’s political advertising requirements. Now that all broadcast stations are required to place political … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Asked to Delay Implementation of Media Ownership Rules

As we previously reported, the deregulatory changes the FCC recently adopted to its media ownership rules are due to take effect on Feb. 7. Prometheus Radio Project and Media Mobilizing Project, however, have filed an appeal of those rule changes in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and, as expected, have now … Continue Reading

Children’s Programming Requirements on the Chopping Block?

Could the FCC’s children’s programming requirements (colloquially known as “kidvid”) be on their way out? If Commissioner O’Rielly gets his way, it seems that they might be; Or at the very least they will be subject to some significant revision. In a blog post released on Friday, O’Rielly argued that the rules are outdated, impose … Continue Reading

FCC Releases Proposed Order to Modify Media Ownership Rules

As expected, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai yesterday released his proposed Order modifying the FCC’s media ownership rules. Consistent with what he announced at an Oct. 25 House Energy and Commerce Committee FCC Oversight Hearing, the Order, if adopted, will allow nearly unrestricted television duopolies in almost every market, eliminate radio/TV cross-ownership restrictions, and abolish the Commission’s long-standing prohibition … Continue Reading

Initial Reimbursement Allocations Announced for Repack Expenses

On Oct. 16, 2017, the Incentive Auction Task Force and the FCC’s Media Bureau jointly announced the initial allocation from the TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund (Relocation Fund) for the reimbursement of eligible full power and Class A television stations as well as multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) (Eligible Entities) impacted by the Incentive Auction. The … Continue Reading

Reminder: EAS National Test Scheduled for Wednesday, September 27

ETRS Form 2 Due Same Day (Except for Hurricane-Impacted EAS Participants) Assuming that it is not delayed due to a real national emergency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the FCC are still scheduled to conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on Sept. 27, 2017, at 2:20 PM EDT. As we … Continue Reading

Incentive Auction Second Priority Filing Window Opens: What to Know

On Sept. 20, the FCC announced the second filing window for all full power and Class A television stations receiving new channel assignment as part of the post-incentive auction repack. The filing window will open Oct. 3 and close at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Nov. 2. During this “second priority” filing window, all eligible stations … Continue Reading

FCC Releases Annual Regulatory Fee Order – Payments Due Sept. 26, 2017

Now that summer and beach season is over, the Commission has finally released the final listing of regulatory fees for 2017 and their due date. While it might not be as big of news as a Taylor Swift release, this is an important time for the Commission which has announced the final amounts due for … 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

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

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

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 Releases Instructions on Receiving Incentive and Reimbursement Payments after the Incentive Auction Closes

On March 29, 2017, the FCC released a Public Notice providing instructions to full power and Class A television broadcasters and Multi-Channel Video Programming Distributors (MVPDs) on receiving incentive and/or reimbursement payments following the closure of the Incentive Auction.  The Public Notice stated that, in order to receive payments, winning bidders in the reverse auction … Continue Reading

Under New Leadership, FCC Media Bureau Reverses January Decision on Reconsideration of NCE Ownership Reporting Requirements

Back in early January, the FCC’s Media Bureau released an Order denying a number of Petitions for Reconsideration of an earlier Bureau Order that had adopted new requirements regarding FCC Registration Numbers (“FRNS”) and “Restricted Use FRNs” (“RUFRNS”) used in broadcasters’ biennial ownership reports.  The Petitions had objected to application of certain new FRN and … Continue Reading
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