Broadcast Law Blog

Broadcast Law Blog

Category Archives: EEO Compliance/Diversity

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March Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Closed Captioning Quality Standards Effective Date, Comments on Online Public File, MVPD Status for Online Video Providers, LIFO for Political Ads, and FRNs for Biennial Ownership Reports

Posted in AM Radio, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, General FCC, Internet Video, License Renewal, Noncommercial Broadcasting, On Line Media, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Television
March is one of those rare months on the broadcast calendar when there are few routine regulatory deadlines for broadcasters. As we are winding down in the television license renewal cycle, the month’s only license renewal obligations for TV broadcasters are the pre-filing license renewal announcements on the 1st and 16th of the month for… Continue Reading

Commissioner O’Rielly Proposes to Bring Mandatory FCC EEO Recruiting Into the Modern Era by Allowing Reliance on Internet Resources

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, FCC Fines
In a post on the FCC’s blog, Commissioner Michael O’Rielly proposed allowing broadcasters to meet their EEO wide dissemination obligations solely through Internet sources. As we recently wrote, broadcasters need to widely disseminate information about job openings at their stations, using sources that are designed to reach all of the major groups that may exist within… Continue Reading

Protecting Broadcast Investors’ Social Security Numbers for the Biennial Ownership Report for Commercial Broadcasters (and, Potentially, Noncommercial Ones Too)

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, General FCC, Noncommercial Broadcasting
If all goes as scheduled, at the beginning of December, commercial broadcasters will file Biennial Ownership Reports on FCC Form 323. As we wrote when the obligation to file the current version of these reports was first adopted, the FCC’s intent was to be able to track the interests of broadcast investors across all of… Continue Reading

February Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – TV Renewals, EEO Reports, Lots of TV Incentive Auction Activity, OTT MVPD and Contest Comments, and Last-Minute January Deadlines for Webcasting

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Cable Carriage, Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FCC Fines, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Internet Radio, Internet Video, License Renewal, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Noncommercial Broadcasting, On Line Media, Television
As in any month, February has many impending deadlines for broadcasters and media companies – many routine regulatory obligations as well as some that are specific to certain proceedings.  First, let’s look at some of the routine filing deadlines.  On February 2, license renewal applications in the second-to-last filing window of this renewal cycle are… Continue Reading

What Washington Has in Store for Broadcasters in 2015 – Part 1, What’s Up at the FCC

Posted in Advertising Issues, AM Radio, Broadcast Auctions, Cable Carriage, Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Indecency, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Multiple Ownership Rules, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
Each year, at about this time, we pull out the crystal ball and make predictions of the issues affecting broadcasters that will likely bubble up to the top of the FCC’s agenda in the coming year.  While we try each year to throw in a mention of the issues that come to our mind, there… Continue Reading

A Broadcaster’s Regulatory Calendar for 2015, Plus Important Regulatory Deadlines for January Including Incentive Auction and Captioning Comments

Posted in Children's Programming and Advertising, EEO Compliance/Diversity, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Internet Radio, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
A new year, and a new set of regulatory obligations and deadlines for broadcasters and others.  To help track many of the important deadlines for broadcasters in the new year, we have put together a Broadcaster’s Calendar of important regulatory dates for 2015, available here, which highlights many of the dates for the regulatory obligations… Continue Reading

Fines of $9000 and $5000 Imposed on Radio Stations for Insufficient EEO Outreach Efforts – Reminder to Review Your Program as EEO Mid-Term Report Cycle Begins in 2015

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, FCC Fines, License Renewal, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
Two fines for EEO violations released Friday were among the rush of actions coming from the FCC last week as it tries to finish its work of 2014.  Incentive auction procedures, MVPD redefinition, online public file issues, approvals of long-pending TV company mergers and so many other actions were taken in the last week that… Continue Reading

FCC Continues EEO Audits, This Time Just For Cable and Satellite Television Systems – A Reminder for Broadcasters to Keep Up EEO Compliance and Paperwork

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity
The FCC has just announced another of its regular EEO audits, though this time it’s just for cable and satellite television systems, which also have EEO obligations (see the FCC Public Notice and list of affected systems here). The FCC will audit 5% of all broadcasters and cable companies each year to assess their EEO… Continue Reading

October Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Quarterly Issues Programs Lists and Children’s Television Reports, New Form for TV CP Applications, Comments on Captioning of Video Clips and Incentive Auction Reimbursement Form and More!

Posted in Children's Programming and Advertising, Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Internet Video, License Renewal, On Line Media, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
With regulatory fees behind us, October brings a number of the routine quarterly regulatory filing dates.  October 10 for all broadcast stations, commercial and noncommercial, is the date by which your Quarterly Issues Programs lists, setting out the most important issues that faced your community in the last quarter and the programs that you broadcast… Continue Reading

Pandora Files First Petition for Declaratory Ruling Under FCC’s Liberalized Foreign Ownership Rules for Broadcast Stations

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, General FCC, Internet Radio, Multiple Ownership Rules, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
In November, the FCC changed its policy regarding the foreign ownership of broadcast stations.  In its decision, about which we wrote here, it agreed to entertain applications seeking “alien ownership” exceeding the 25% limit for foreign ownership of broadcast stations that had previously been in place.  In the modern communications era, with its diversity of… Continue Reading

FCC Extends Comment Deadline in Multiple Ownership Proceeding and Issues Updated Statistics on Minority Ownership of Broadcast Stations

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, Multiple Ownership Rules, Television
The FCC has extended the time for filing comments in its ownership proceeding.  While comments on the new Quadrennial Review of the ownership rules had been set to be filed by July 7 (see our article here), the Commission has now extended the deadline until August 6 at the request of the Coalition for Smaller Market… Continue Reading

Another Round of EEO Audits of Radio Stations Announced by the FCC

Posted in AM Radio, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio
The FCC yesterday issued a Public Notice announcing a new round of EEO audits.  Letters to about 180 radio stations went out asking for evidence of their compliance with the FCC’s EEO rules.  The Commission has pledged to audit 5% of all broadcast stations and cable systems each year to assure their compliance with the… Continue Reading

2014 Broadcasters’ Legal Calendar – and March FCC Regulatory Dates of Importance

Posted in AM Radio, EEO Compliance/Diversity, General FCC, License Renewal, Multiple Ownership Rules
March is one of those few months on the FCC’s regulatory calendar where there are few routine filing deadlines.  While stations that filed their renewal applications in February need to continue to run their post-filing announcements, and those that are going to file renewals in April (the end of the renewal cycle for radio stations) should… Continue Reading

Two $20,000 FCC Fines for EEO Violations Demonstrate the Importance of Notifications of Job Openings to Community Groups

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, FCC Fines
In two decisions released this week, the FCC proposed to fine two broadcast groups $20,000 each for EEO violations.  In recent years, when the FCC releases fines for broadcast EEO violations, they seem to be trying to emphasize a point as to some aspect of the EEO rules by releasing multiple decisions at the same… Continue Reading

FCC Allows More Than 25% Foreign Ownership of Broadcast Stations – Instructions for Investors are to Be Developed

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, General FCC, Multiple Ownership Rules, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
Last week, the FCC issued a declaratory ruling concluding that its long-standing policies on foreign ownership of broadcast stations were misunderstood – “clarifying” its policy to make clear that, if alien ownership exceeds 25% of the holding company of a licensee, it may in fact be permissible.  The Commission decided to adopt a case-by-case approach… Continue Reading

Odds and Ends: Extension of Biennial Ownership Report Deadline, $110,000 Penalty for Indecency, Deadline for UHF Discount Comments, and Closing of the LPFM Window

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, FCC Fines, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Indecency, Multiple Ownership Rules, Programming Regulations, Television
Last week brought a number of Washington developments that we’ll write about in more detail soon, including the FCC’s decision to relax the limitations on foreign ownership of broadcast stations.  But there were also a number of other actions that bear mention – including the decision released late Friday to extend the deadline for the… Continue Reading

FCC to Consider Allowing Increased Foreign Ownership of Broadcast Stations at Its November Meeting

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, General FCC, Multiple Ownership Rules, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
At its November 14 meeting, the FCC is tentatively scheduled to consider the relaxation of its limits on the ownership of broadcast stations by foreign entities or citizens.  Under the current “alien ownership” limitations, US citizens or entities must own 80% of a broadcast licensee, or 75% of a licensee’s parent company.  In the broadcast… Continue Reading

FCC Announces Biennial Ownership Report Filing Window is Open – Reports to be filed by December 2 By All Commercial Broadcasters

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, General FCC, Noncommercial Broadcasting
Every two years, broadcasters are to file Biennial Ownership Reports on Form 323 to detail the ownership of the companies that hold FCC licenses. Since 2009, all commercial broadcasters across the country are to file such reports in the same window of time. Theoretically, these reports are supposed to be filed between October 1 and November 1… Continue Reading

Filing Deadline for FCC Form 323 Biennial Ownership Reports Extended Until December 2 – Why the Delay?

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, General FCC, Noncommercial Broadcasting
The FCC has just announced that the Form 323 Biennial Ownership Reports for commercial broadcasters, due to be filed on or before November 1 of this year, will now be due instead by December 2. This is the third straight time that the obligation to file these reports has been extended, due to the complexity and… Continue Reading

August FCC Regulatory Deadlines for Broadcasters – Including Renewals; EEO; Comments on Indecency, the Online Public File and Cross-Ownership

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, FCC Fees, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Indecency, License Renewal, Multiple Ownership Rules, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Political Broadcasting, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Website Issues
Another month is upon us, along with all of the FCC regulatory obligations that accompany it. August brings a host of license renewal obligations, along with EEO public file obligations in a number of states, as well as noncommercial Biennial Ownership Report filings in several states. We also expect that the FCC will notify stations of the… Continue Reading