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Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for July – September

Broadcast Deadlines:  July 10, 2020 Children’s Television Programming Reports – For the first time, and after two delays, all commercial television and Class A television stations must file electronically annual children’s television programming reports with the Commission, although the first one will cover only the portion of the year which began with the effective date … Continue Reading

FCC Extends Sponsorship ID Waiver for Sponsored COVID-19 PSAs

The Media Bureau today extended the waiver it enacted in April to alleviate broadcast sponsorship identification requirements concerning air time donated by commercial advertisers for public service announcements (“PSAs”) provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) and other government agencies addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. Pursuant to this extension, commercial time donated for … Continue Reading

Welcoming Kristen Corra to Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, P.L.C.

Washington-area based telecommunications, media, and technology law firm Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, P.L.C. is pleased to announce the arrival of Kristen Corra, who has joined the firm as an Associate. Having represented a major wireless carrier and assisted with securing commercial leasing, licensing, and potential acquisition of telecommunications infrastructure, Kristen brings her prowess to the … Continue Reading

No National Test this Year for FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert & Warning System

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) has announced that it will not conduct a national test of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (“IPAWS”) via the broadcast Emergency Alert System (“EAS”) and Wireless Emergency Alert (“WEA”) system this year. As we have written about in the past, EAS tests are sometimes postponed due to … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for June – August

Broadcast Deadlines: June 1, 2020 Radio License Renewal Applications Due – Applications for renewal of license for radio stations located in Michigan and Ohio must be filed in the Licensing and Management System (“LMS”). These applications must be accompanied by Schedule 396, the Broadcast Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) Program Report, also filed in LMS, regardless … Continue Reading

FCC Invites Comments on its Attempts to Stop Scam Calls

On May 6, 2020, we wrote about several steps taken by the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) to deter robocalls, implementing new authority given by Congress last year in the Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (“TRACED Act”).  In addition to adopting several new rules to be effective immediately, the FCC invited comments … Continue Reading

FCC Adopts Order to Realign the 900 MHz Band

On May 13, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) adopted on circulation a Report and Order (“Order”) during its open meeting that would transform the 900 MHz band to enable broadband deployment. We wrote an article about the proposed changes last month. That article is still relevant as the draft report was adopted essentially as … Continue Reading

FCC Announces Full Electronic Filing Capability

This week, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released a Public Notice that announced 100 percent electronic filing capability for license applications in the Wireless Radio Services.  Accordingly, the filing of all wireless license applications via the Wireless Telecommunication Bureau’s online Universal Licensing System (ULS), or the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filings System (ECFS), will become mandatory … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for May – July

Broadcast Deadlines:  May 4, 2020 FM Boosters and Hyper-local Broadcasting – Comments are due with regard to a petition for rulemaking by GeoBroadcast Solutions LLC asking the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) to permit radio broadcasters to use single frequency network (SFN) technology to provide hyper-local programming, emergency alerting, and advertising.… Continue Reading

FM Auction 106 Postponed Indefinitely

As we have seen over the past two weeks, COVID-19 has taken up the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC”) time and attention, with other duties and proceedings getting pushed back. That list of impacted proceedings will now include FM Auction 106, which has been postponed indefinitely via a Public Notice released today.… Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for April – June

Broadcast Deadlines:  April 1, 2020 Radio and Television License Renewal Pre-Filing Announcements – Radio stations licensed in Michigan and Ohio, as well as TV stations licensed in Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia, must begin broadcasts of their pre-filing announcements concerning their applications for a license renewal. These announcements must be continued on April … Continue Reading

A Statement on COVID-19 from Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, PLC

As COVID-19 continues to challenge our nation, we at Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth PLC are taking action to ensure the health and safety of our team and their loved ones. Starting tomorrow, March 18, 2020, all staff will transition to telework. FHH attorneys and staff are reachable via email and their office telephone numbers and … 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

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for March – May

Broadcast Deadlines: March 9, 2020 All-Digital AM Broadcasting – Comments are due in response to the Federal Communication Commission’s (“FCC” or the “Commission”) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking input on a proposal to allow AM broadcasters to broadcast an all-digital signal using the HD Radio in-band on-channel (IBOC) mode known as MA3.… 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

Available Now: Getting into the Weeds of CBD & Marijuana Advertising

On Wednesday, January 29th, Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth’s Frank Montero, Dan Kirkpatrick, and Seth Williams presented a webinar that got “into the weeds” of CBD and marijuana advertising. New questions have been raised since the US Department of Agriculture in 2019 published their interim rules on the “Establishment of Domestic Hemp Projects”. To address broadcasters … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for January – March

Broadcast Deadlines: January 31, 2020 Biennial Ownership Reports – All licensees and entities holding an attributable interest in a licensee of one or more AM, FM, TV, Class A television, and/or Low Power TV (LPTV) stations must file a biennial ownership report reflecting information as of October 1, 2019. Please recall that not only corporations … Continue Reading

Dates Announced for Rules Mandating Vertical Location Information in 911 Calls

On November 26, 2019, we wrote about rules adopted by the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) to help locate callers in terms of not only the street address but also a caller’s vertical location within a multi-story building, asking “Which Door Should First Responders Kick In?” The new rules were published in the Federal Register on … Continue Reading

Comment Deadline Announced for “988” Suicide Hotline Proposal

On January 7, 2020, we wrote about a proposal by the FCC to establish “988” as a nationwide abbreviated telephone dialing code to reach the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis hotline.  The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking has now been published in the Federal Register, establishing the deadlines for comments and replies.  Initial Comments … 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

Davina Sashkin Recognized by LexBlog Excellence Awards

We are proud to announce that Davina Sashkin’s CommLawBlog article “Shutdown Uncertainty: What Broadcasters Should Do Now” was awarded 1st runner up for the Best Breaking News Post of 2019 by LexBlog, the leading blog platform for the legal community. This award is given “for outstanding same-day or second-day reporting of a legal news development”. … Continue Reading

Welcoming Thomas F. Urban II to Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, P.L.C.

Washington-area based telecommunications, media, and technology law firm Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, P.L.C. is pleased to announce that Thomas F. Urban II has joined the firm as Of Counsel. Tom has experience representing clients in everything from business disputes and class action cases to RICO actions and complex mortgage fraud cases. When it comes to … Continue Reading
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