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Category Archives: EEO Compliance/Diversity

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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

FCC Seeks More Comments on the Effect of Newspaper-Broadcast Cross Ownership on Minority Ownership of Broadcast Stations

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, Multiple Ownership Rules
It looks like the FCC’s long-delayed multiple ownership proceeding won’t be decided this summer. The FCC has asked for public comment on the report submitted by the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council ("MMTC") addressing the likely impact on minority ownership of broadcast stations of allowing more media cross-ownership. Moths ago, the FCC delayed the resolution of the proceeding … Continue Reading

A Change in the FCC’s Broadcast Foreign Ownership Rules In the Near Future?

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, General FCC, Multiple Ownership Rules, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
Two weeks ago, comments were filed in the Commission’s proceeding examining whether to adopt a more relaxed view of the foreign ownership provisions of the Communications Act (see our article about that proceeding here). While the Communications Act limits foreign ownership in communications licensees to 20% (or 25% of a licensee holding company), the Act also … Continue Reading

April FCC Obligations for Broadcasters – Renewals, EEO, Quarterly Issues Programs Lists, Captioning of Live or Near-Live Online Programming, FM Translator Filings, an FM Auction and Comments on Alien Ownership

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Internet Video, License Renewal, Noncommercial Broadcasting, On Line Media, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television, Website Issues
April is one of those months in which many FCC obligations are triggered for broadcasters. There are the normal obligations, like the Quarterly Issues Programs lists, that need to be in the public file of all broadcast stations, radio and TV, commercial and noncommercial, by April 10. Quarterly Children’s television reports are due to be submitted … Continue Reading

FCC Announces New Round of EEO Compliance Audits – Almost 300 Radio and Television Stations Targeted

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity
The first EEO audit of 2013 was announced by the FCC today - hitting about 200 radio stations and about 85 TV stations this time around (the list of stations to be audited is here). The Commission has pledged to audit 5% of all broadcast stations and cable systems each year to assure their compliance … Continue Reading

Further Delay in Multiple Ownership Proceeding as the FCC Awaits New Study on the Impact on Minority Ownership of Any Relaxation of the Cross-Interest Rules

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, Multiple Ownership Rules
We wrote in December about the delays in the FCC’s proceeding to consider whether changes should be made to its multiple ownership rules. The December delays were to allow for public comment on ownership information obtained from broadcasters in their Form 323 Ownership Reports. Specifically, the public was asked to comment on the what the ownership information … Continue Reading

FCC To Consider Allowing Alien Ownership of More Than 25% of Broadcast Licensees – Comments Due April 15

Posted in Assignments and Transfers, EEO Compliance/Diversity, General FCC, Multiple Ownership Rules, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
The limits on the ownership of broadcast stations by those who are not US citizens is being re-examined by the FCC according to a recent Public Notice. Under Section 310(b)(4) of the Communications Act, foreign ownership of a broadcast licensee is limited to 20% of the company’s stock, or no more than 25% of a parent … Continue Reading

FCC Issues Reminder that TV Stations Need to Complete Online Public File By February 4 – Upload Documents Including All Quarterly Issues Programs Lists and EEO Public File Reports Since the Last License Renewal Grant

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, License Renewal, On Line Media, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
The six months that the FCC gave to television stations to upload the contents of their paper public files to their new online public file seemed like a long time back in August, when the deadline was announced and the online public file rule became effective. But that deadline is upon us, and the FCC yesterday … Continue Reading

February Legal Deadlines for Broadcasters – Online Public File, Review of Incentive Auction Comments, Filing Deadline for FM Auction, and Lots of Renewals and EEO Public File Reports

Posted in Broadband Report, Broadcast Auctions, Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, General FCC, License Renewal, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
February is almost upon us, and it brings a host of regulatory obligations for broadcasters – as well as the filing deadline for those interested in pursuing new FM channels in an upcoming auction, and a number of opportunities to comment on important FCC proceedings. The week before last, TV NewsCheck published our latest quarterly … Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comments on Biennial Ownership Report – Seeking Social Security Numbers From All Attributable Owners – and Some Who Are Not

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, General FCC, Multiple Ownership Rules, Noncommercial Broadcasting
The FCC this week released a Public Notice announcing comment deadlines on rulemaking proposals relating to the FCC Biennial Ownership Reports. The first set of proposals deals with a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued earlier this month, proposing a series of changes to the process for filing these reports. The proposals include a requirement that the all persons with attributable interests … Continue Reading

Gazing Into the Crystal Ball – What Washington Has In Store For Broadcasters in 2013

Posted in Broadband Report, Broadcast Performance Royalty, Cable Carriage, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Indecency, Internet Radio, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Multiple Ownership Rules, Music Rights, On Line Media, Political Broadcasting, Privacy, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
Every year, about this time, I dust off the crystal ball to offer a look at the year ahead to see what Washington has in store for broadcasters. This year, like many in the recent past, Washington will consider important issues for both radio and TV, as well as issues affecting the growing on-line presence of … Continue Reading

The Care and Feeding of the Broadcaster’s Public Inspection File – An FCC Reminder and a Compliance Seminar

Posted in AM Radio, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, General FCC, On Line Media, Political Broadcasting, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
The care and feeding of the broadcaster’s public file is a hot topic once again. For many years, the public file was often overlooked, being visited most often by competing broadcasters looking for dirt on their cross-town rivals, or by college journalism students assigned a project by their professor requiring the review of local stations’ files. But, … Continue Reading