Tag Archives: Broadcast

Partial Return of the Radio Duplication Rule

Continuing its progression of reversals, the FCC announced on June 5, 2024 that it would once again reinstate section 73.3556 of the Commission’s rules (the “Radio Duplication Rule” or “Rule”) for commercial FM stations.  The Radio Duplication Rule does not apply to noncommercial educational stations nor AM stations.  As some of our readers might recall, … Continue Reading

FCC Amends and Clarifies Foreign Sponsorship ID Requirements

On Monday of this week, the FCC issued a Second Report and Order amending and clarifying its rules concerning the disclosure of foreign sponsorship of programming.  Amidst growing concerns regarding the potential influence of Russian, Chinese, and other foreign governments on recent U.S. elections, the FCC implemented new rules in 2022 requiring broadcasters to conduct … Continue Reading

FCC Announces Lift of Channel Change Freeze for Class A Television, LPTV, And TV Translator Stations

The FCC has announced that the current freeze on major modification to Class A television, LPTV, and TV translator stations will be partially lifted to allow applications to change channels as of August 20, 2024, subject to certain limitations.  Channel change applications will be permitted on a nationwide basis without geographic limitation.  For the limited … Continue Reading

FCC Announces Exercise of the Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS)

The FCC released a Public Notice today announcing a June 10-12 exercise of the Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS).  Communications providers, including broadcast, wireless, satellite, broadband, and wireline providers, interested in participating must register by June 3.    DIRS is the FCC online system through which providers report information on the operational status of communications assets … Continue Reading

FTC Votes to Ban Noncompete Agreements

In late-breaking news, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has adopted a final rule banning new noncompete agreements for all workers and effectively nullifying existing agreements and requiring companies to notify most current and past employees that the company will no longer enforce such agreements. In a change from the prior FTC proposal, however, the agreements … Continue Reading

Broadcast Station Contest Rules Aren’t Just for Contestants, They Apply to the Stations, Too!

The FCC recently released a Notice of Apparent Liability (“NAL”) for a forfeiture of $8,000 that should be a cautionary tale for other broadcast licensees that conduct contests for listeners or viewers.  This fine arose out of the station’s failure to conduct a contest in accordance with its announced terms, and specifically to make payment … Continue Reading

Comments on Proposed Rules for Program Originating Booster Stations Due May 16, Reply Comments Due June 17

The FCC released a Public Notice today establishing deadlines for submitting comments on its proposed rules to permit limited, voluntary program origination on FM boosters.  Comments must be filed no later than May 16.  Reply comments must be filed no later than June 17.  The proposed rules would provide flexibility for stations to use boosters … Continue Reading

Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth Attorney Peter Tannenwald Recognized by LPTV Broadcasters Association with Gravino Lifetime Achievement Award at NAB 2024 

At this year’s LPTV Broadcasters Association meeting during the NAB convention in Las Vegas, Peter Tannenwald, retired member of Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, received the Mike Gravino Lifetime Achievement Award. This award recognizes individuals who contribute to the advancement of the low power TV industry and who exemplify the highest standards of excellence in their … Continue Reading

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 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

FDA Adopts New Rules Requirements for “Side Effects” Statements in Prescription Drugs Ads on Broadcast Stations

The Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) has adopted a Final Rule requiring that when a direct-to-consumer TV or radio ad for a prescription drug makes statements relating to side effects of the drug, those statements must be presented in a “clear, conspicuous, and neutral manner.”  This Final Rule implements one requirement of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic … Continue Reading

FCC Adopts Report and Order Allowing Certain LPTVs to Convert to Class A Television Stations

On December 12, 2023, the FCC adopted a Report and Order (“R&O”) providing certain qualifying Low Power TV (“LPTV”) stations with a limited opportunity to convert to Class A status.  The R&O came after the FCC circulated a draft last month and implements the requirements of the Low Power Protection Act (“LPPA”), which is intended … Continue Reading

Reminder: November 29th Deadline for FCC Filing to Protect 12.7-13.25 GHz Broadcast Auxiliary/Cable Relay Licenses

We remind parties with 12.7 – 13.25 GHz (“13 GHz”) Broadcast Auxiliary/Cable Relay licenses that you have until November 29, 2023 to make a filing at the FCC to protect those licenses, as the FCC moves towards repurposing some or all of that band for other uses.     In a May 19, 2023 Notice of Proposed … 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

TV Station Licensees: Don’t Forget the October 1st Deadline for Uploading Election of Cable TV/Satellite Status

While it’s only July, TV station licensees should be mindful of an October 1st deadline for uploading to their station online public information file (“OPIF”), the station’s election of cable TV/satellite must-carry or retransmission consent status.     Under the FCC’s rules, for full power and certain Class A/Low Power commercial TV stations, there is a three-year … 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
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