Ron Whitworth

Subscribe to all posts by Ron Whitworth

FCC OK’s AM on FM Translators

The Commission has changed its rules to permit AM stations to rebroadcast their signals on FM translators under certain conditions. The long-awaited Report and Order - whose release was anticipated last Fall - opens the door for considerable, but not universal, "cross-service translation".… Continue Reading

Pursestrings Update III: Adjusted Fee Schedule Is Apparently NOT Effective February 18, 2009

The latest word is that the adjusted application fee schedule which the Commission adopted six months ago, and which was supposed to go into effect on December 30 -- no, wait, make that January 29 . . . no, no, that's not it . . . wasn't it February 18? - will NOT be going into effect on February 18 after all.… Continue Reading

Embedded Advertising Proceeding Deadlines Set

Last month, we reported on the Notice of Inquiry and Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NOI/NPRM) launched by the Commission to examine "embedded advertising" in light of the dramatic increase in the use of "product placement" and "product integration." Advertisers have become increasingly reliant on such techniques as technology has enabled viewers to circumvent traditional … Continue Reading

New Version of Mandatory Public File Document Released

By Ron Whitworth
703-812-0478
email

An updated version of "The Public and Broadcasting," a Commission publication which all broadcasters must place in their public inspection files, was released on April 24.  All broadcasters must replace the former version of the document with the revised version immediately and also must be prepared to provide copies to any member of the public who requests one.
 
The Commission also announced that it will provide two "Broadcast Information Specialists," one in the Media Bureau's Audio Division and the other in its Video Division, to serve as contact points for the public to ...… Continue Reading

Commission Seeking Voluntary Dismissal of Auction Applications

By Ron Whitworth
703-812-0478
email

It's fish-or-cut-bait time for folks who filed more than 10 applications for FM translators in FM Auction No. 83 back in 2003: if you still have more than 10 applications pending from that window, you must decide - by April 3 - which 10 you want to continue to prosecute, and which others may be dismissed.  If you fail to make that call by April 3, the FCC will make it for you.   

In a Public Notice released March 4, the Commission followed up on the "limit of 10" policy which it had announced in ...… Continue Reading

Localism NPRM Published in Federal Register; Comment Deadline Set

By Ron Whitworth
703-812-0478
email





With the publication of the Commission's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on
localism in the February 13, 2008 Federal
Register
, the deadline to submit Comments in the proceeding has been set
for March 14, 2008.  Reply Comments will be due on April 14, 2008.





As discussed previously on this blog, the
NPRM presents a laundry list of tentative conclusions and proposed rules that
would turn the clock back nearly three decades, forcing broadcasters to comply
with costly and burdensome requirements, including a return to ascertainment
requirements similar to those required of licensees through the early-1980's. ...

Continue Reading

FCC’s Localism Proposed Rules/Tentative Conclusions Present Significant Burden for Broadcasters

By Ron Whitworth
703-812-0478
email

The release of the Commission's January 24, 2008 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ("NPRM") announcing a laundry list of tentative conclusions and proposed rules concerning localism sent immediate shockwaves throughout the broadcast industry.  Particularly following up on the heels of the recently released Television Standardized and Enhanced Disclosure Requirement Report & Order (see our coverage of this R&O here, and more in depth coverage in the January edition of Memorandum to Clients).

Continue Reading

TV Rereg Order Released

By Ron Whitworth
703-812-0478
email

On January 24, 2008, the Commission finally released the Report
& Order
containing the standardized and enhanced disclosure
requirements which it had decided to impose on the television broadcast
industry last November.  In our November Memo to Clients we
described the FCC's action based on the public notice issued by the Commission
then.  The release of the R&O provides us with the detailed
nitty-gritty of what the FCC is imposing on the industry.

Continue Reading

Update: Three Items Deleted from Open Meeting Agenda

By Ron Whitworth
703-812-0478
email

On the morning of a very controversial Open Meeting at the FCC, three items were deleted from the agenda. But the deleted items were not the ones at the source of the controversy.

The Commission removed items concerning competitive market conditions for commercial mobile services, an NPRM addressing sponsorship identification rules and embedded advertising, and an item considering two NPRMs addressing satellite digital audio radio service (SDARS) and Wireless Communications Service licenses. The latter was adopted by the Commission prior to the Meeting.

What remained ominously on the agenda, however, were the items concerning media ownership and localism ...… Continue Reading

Heat on Martin Intensifies on Eve of Media Ownership Vote

By Ron Whitworth
703-812-0478
email

One day before the December 18 FCC Open Meeting in which Chairman Kevin Martin planned to bring his media ownership proposal to a scheduled vote, 25 senators signed a letter to Martin issuing yet another warning from Congress that his actions are inappropriate.

The letter, organized by Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), stated that if the Commission proceeds with final action on the media ownership proposal on December 18, "we will immediately move legislation that will revoke and nullify the proposed rule.

The congressmen pointed out that just 28 days were allotted for comment between the issuance of ...… Continue Reading

Martin Facing Onslaught of Criticism

By Ron Whitworth
703-812-0478
email 


Just five days before the final FCC Open Meeting of 2007, the controversy surrounding Chairman Kevin Martin's media ownership proposal has reached a fever pitch. Martin's fellow Commissioners, many Congressmen and commenters on both sides of the issue have barraged Martin with an onslaught of criticism for the manner by which he released his proposal and his inclusion of the item on the Dec. 18 agenda. The proposal was announced on Nov. 13 in what a group of commenters including Common Cause, the ...

Continue Reading

Copps, Adelstein Blast Martin’s Cross-Ownership Proposal

By Ron Whitworth
703-812-0478
email



One day after Chairman Martin issued his proposal in which newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership would be allowable only in the top 20 markets (see Harry Cole's article on November 13, 2007 for details), FCC Democratic Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein blasted the proposal in a joint statement.


 


The Commissioners labeled Martin's plan a "wolf in sheep's clothing," ...

Continue Reading

FCC Considers Allowing AM Stations to Use FM Translators

By Ron Whitworth
703-812-0478
email




The FCC's proposal to allow AM stations to use FM translators for fill-in service (including at night, even if the AMer is a daytime-only station) has taken an important step forward.

The Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) containing that proposal has been published in the Federal Register (on Tuesday, November 6). With that publication, the deadlines for comments and reply comments have been established. If you want to file comments, you have until January 7, 2008. Reply comments are due on February 4, 2008.  The NPRM was issued in August ...… Continue Reading

NAB Offers Preview of DTV Education Plan

By Ron Whitworth
703-812-0478
email 

In a letter to Chairman Kevin Martin on Tuesday, the National Association of Broadcasters informed the Commission of its plans to educate the public on the February 17, 2009 hard date to complete the digital transition.

As reported in Michael Richards' article posted August 21, the Commission is seeking public comment concerning how to best prepare the public for the transition. The NAB letter, written by NAB Joint Chairman Jack Sander, previewed the formal comments that the association will file in the proceeding ...

Continue Reading
LexBlog