Last November, the FCC announced that it had adopted a new "enhanced" programming report for TV licensees, and also that it would require TV licensees to post pretty much all of the local public files on their respective websites. From March 13 until May 12, we all have an opportunity to send comments on the resulting paperwork to the FCC, which will then pass the comments on to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to let them how we feel about these new burdens.
OMB gets involved because the new ...… Continue Reading
If you are thinking about filing comments in response to the FCC's Localism Report and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (MB Docket No.04-233), be advised that the deadline for those comments has been extended by the Commission to April 28, 2008. The extended date for reply comments is June 11. As we have observed in previous postings here and in the FHH Memo to Clients, this proceeding is extremely important and could end up imposing very substantial new burdens on all broadcasters. We ...… Continue Reading
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. ...
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
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.
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
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
In addition to the new program reporting requirements the FCC is imposing on TV licensees, the FCC is introducing a new requirement that TV licensees post their public files on their websites (if they have websites). This raises an intriguing question: if a station's public file is readily accessible online, should the station be required to maintain a "main studio"?
Back to the future is where the Commission appears to be taking the television industry. The FCC has announced a major overhaul of the quarterly issues/programs list requirement for TV licensees. Instead of the quarterly report which stations have been required to compile (and place in their public inspection files) for a couple of decades, the Commission will now require the completion - and submission to the FCC - of a quarterly, FCC-designed form listing "various types of programming", including: local civic programming, local electoral ...… Continue Reading