Broadcast Law Blog

Broadcast Law Blog

Category Archives: FM Radio

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FCC Fines Station $7000 for Violation of Main Studio Rule – Good Reminder on Broadcast Main Studio Requirements

Posted in AM Radio, FCC Fines, FM Radio, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
The FCC issued a Forfeiture Order this week, fining a station $7000 for violations of the main studio rule. The facts of the case were set out in a Notice of Apparent Liability issued back in February, where the licensee had claimed that its studio was in a location that was shared with another broadcaster … Continue Reading

Typo in Geographic Coordinates Can Sink FCC Radio Application

Posted in AM Radio, Broadcast Auctions, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, Noncommercial Broadcasting
In a case decided last week, the FCC decided to clarify its policies on typos in FCC applications for radio stations.  While one might not think that a typo is such a big idea, in connection with FCC application filing windows, when multiple applicants may be seeking the same frequency or channel in the same … Continue Reading

The End of the Mattoon Waiver? – FCC Decisions Confirming Its Use Only for the Rebroadcast of AM Stations and Prohibiting Intermediate Site Changes

Posted in AM Radio, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM
In 2011, licensees of FM translators who wanted to move those translators to areas where there was a need for their service thought that the FCC had done a great thing by authorizing the use of the “Mattoon” waiver (see our article here).  The Mattoon waiver allowed the processing of an FCC application to move … Continue Reading

FCC Proposes To Amend Rules Governing Broadcast Contests – Suggests Allowing Disclosure of Material Terms of the Contest on the Internet

Posted in AM Radio, FCC Fines, FM Radio, General FCC, Programming Regulations, Website Issues
The FCC on Friday proposed to amend its rules governing contests conducted by broadcast stations by allowing the required disclosure of the material terms of the contest on the Internet, as an option for broadcasters in lieu of the current requirement that these disclosures be made by broadcasting them on-the-air a reasonable number of times.  … Continue Reading

Formal Proceedings to Begin to Revise Rules for Broadcasters’ On-Air Contests and Expand the Online Public File Obligations to Radio, Cable and Satellite

Posted in AM Radio, Cable Carriage, FCC Fines, FM Radio, General FCC, Political Broadcasting, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television, Website Issues
Since our note Friday about November regulatory dates for broadcasters, it’s become clear that the FCC will be acting on two more matters of interest to broadcasters – particularly radio broadcasters though each have some implications for TV as well.  First, as we hinted at the end of our article on Friday (the rumors that … Continue Reading

TV Music Licensing Committee Settles Antitrust Action with SESAC over Music Licensing Rates and Terms – Radio Watches and Wonders if It Can Get a Similar Deal

Posted in AM Radio, Broadcast Performance Royalty, FM Radio, Intellectual Property, Music Rights, Television
SESAC is the one major performing rights organization whose rates have not, until now, been subject to judicial review as part of an antitrust consent decree.  Perhaps because of that fact, broadcast stations have often complained about the rates they charge for the music that they license, as there is currently no cap on what … Continue Reading

FCC Proposals for Preserving LPTV and TV Translator Service after the Incentive Auction, Plus Proposals for Preservation of the Franken FM and an End to Analog Tuner Requirements

Posted in Digital Television, FM Radio, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
Late last week, the FCC advanced a number of proposals on how it will deal with LPTV stations and TV translators after the incentive auction and the repacking of the TV spectrum into whatever channels are left after part of the TV band is repurposed for wireless uses.  The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking raises a … Continue Reading

FCC Announces Tentative Winners for 111 Groups of Mutually Exclusive LPFM Applications – FM Broadcasters Have 30 Days to Raise Interference Objections

Posted in FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM
Another set of mutually exclusive LPFM applications have been reviewed and tentative point system winners (or applicants headed for shared time arrangements where they remained tied after the FCC’s “point system” analysis) have been determined by the FCC.  These determinations involve 111 mutually exclusive groups of LPFM applicants, mostly east of the Mississippi.  We wrote … Continue Reading

FCC Regulatory Fees Due On or Before September 23 – What’s New for This Year’s Fees?

Posted in AM Radio, FCC Fees, FM Radio, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
Right as everyone was preparing to leave town for the long weekend, the FCC issued its Report and Order on the regulatory fees for 2014, and also issued a Public Notice setting the deadline for paying those fees as 11:59 PM on September 23.  For broadcasters, the FCC also issued a Mass Media Fee Filing … Continue Reading

September Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Regulatory Fees, Lowest Unit Rates, and Comments on Multiple Ownership, Online Public File for Radio and MVPDs, Music Licensing and Class C4 FM Stations

Posted in FCC Fees, FM Radio, Internet Radio, License Renewal, Multiple Ownership Rules, Music Rights, Political Broadcasting
September is one of those few months of the year where there are no regular FCC filing deadlines – no quarterly issues programs lists, no children’s television reports, no annual EEO public file reports, and no ownership reports or renewal deadlines.  For TV stations that recently filed a renewal, or which are about to file … Continue Reading

FCC Extends Dates for Comments on Proposal to Create a Class C4 FM Station – What Does This Proposal Seek?

Posted in FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM
The FCC yesterday issued a public notice extending the time for comments on a Petition for Rulemaking seeking, among other things, to create a Class C4 FM station with maximum power levels at about 12 kW, twice the power of the least powerful class of FM stations – Class A stations that are limited to … Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comments on Expanding Online Public File Obligations to Radio and to Cable and Satellite Television Operators

Posted in AM Radio, Cable Carriage, FM Radio, General FCC, Political Broadcasting, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Website Issues
The FCC has asked for public comment on whether it should extend the online public inspection file obligation to radio, and also whether it should adopt an online public file obligation for cable television and satellite television operators.  The latter proposal originates in a recent petition by the Sunlight Foundation and two other public interest … Continue Reading

August Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Renewals and EEO, and Comments on Multiple Ownership, Music Rights, New Class of FM, and Much More

Posted in FCC Fees, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, License Renewal, Multiple Ownership Rules, Music Rights, Television
Time flies, and more regulatory requirements and comment deadlines in regulatory proceedings are upon us in the month of August.  The regular regulatory deadlines include license renewal for TV and LPTV stations in California, and EEO Public Inspection File yearly reports for stations in California, Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Wisconsin.  Noncommercial TV stations … Continue Reading

More LPFM Applications for Broadcasters to Review to Assess Potential Interference Issues, and New Petition to Deny Deadlines

Posted in AM Radio, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, Noncommercial Broadcasting
We wrote last week about the FCC’s determination of which applicants are to be preferred in several groups of mutually exclusive applications for new Low Power FM stations.  We warned full-power FM broadcasters to review the preferred applicants as broadcasters have 30 days from last week’s public notice to file petitions to deny against such … Continue Reading

FCC Applies Point System to Resolve Conflicts Between Mutually Exclusive LPFM Applications – Sets Deadlines for Petitions to Deny and Amendments to Applications

Posted in FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM
More LPFMs are on the way, and broadcasters have 30 days to file any objections to the coming new stations.  In an order just released by the FCC, the FCC applied its “point system” to select the winning applicant in groups of mutually exclusive applications filed in the recent LPFM window in Western states (as … 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

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

FCC Application Fees Going Up By 8% – Effective June 6, 2014

Posted in AM Radio, FCC Fees, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
On June 6, FCC application fees are going up by 8%.  The new fees were published in the Federal Register yesterday, here.  This Federal Register publication sets out all of the new fees.  To make sure that your applications are processed on a timely basis, be sure to pay the proper higher fees, starting on … Continue Reading

Activating the FM Chip in Mobile Phones – As Blackberry Steps Up, a Policy and Product Review

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Emergency Communications, FM Radio, Internet Radio, On Line Media
This blog usually covers legal and policy issues, not product reviews.  And this article will at least try to relate policy decisions to a product review, but mostly it’s to share a cool new feature on my phone.  To explain, I am one of those holdouts still using a Blackberry.  In dealing with new media … Continue Reading

The Text of the FCC’s Order on JSAs and Other Broadcast Ownership Issues is Released – Part One, Hidden Nuggets on TV and Radio Market Definitions

Posted in FM Radio, Multiple Ownership Rules, Television
The text of the FCC’s decision on the attribution of Joint Sales Agreements for multiple ownership purposes, and the termination of the 2010 Quadrennial Review of the ownership rules and the start of the 2014 Quadrennial Review, has now been released by the FCC.  In a slim 211 pages of text, plus another 24 pages … Continue Reading

What’s Up in Washington For Broadcasters in 2014? — Part 1, FCC Issues

Posted in AM Radio, Cable Carriage, Digital Television, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Indecency, Internet Video, Multiple Ownership Rules, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television, Uncategorized
It is the beginning of another year – and a time to look ahead to look ahead at what broadcasters should expect from Washington in the coming year.  With so many issues on the table, we’ll divide the issues into two parts – talking about FCC issues today, and issues from Capitol Hill and elsewhere … Continue Reading

FCC Announces MX Groups for LPFM Applications – Amendments Possible, So Full-Power FMs Should be Watchful

Posted in FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM
The FCC this week announced groups of mutually exclusive (“MX”) LPFM applications, i.e. those groups where applications are for the same or adjacent channels where the grant of one application in the group would preclude other applications in that same group.  The Public Notice is here, and the list of MX groups is here.  The … Continue Reading

FCC Processing of LPFM Applications Continues – FM Broadcasters Beware of Potential Interference Issues

Posted in FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM
The LPFM applications are in, and counted, and the FCC is actively processing them.  A recent public notice from the FCC about the processing of these applications puts FM broadcasters on notice that they should be checking what was filed in their market areas to make sure that there are no interference issues for their … Continue Reading

Challenge to Radio Station Purchase Helps Define FCC Radio Ownership Limits in Arbitron Markets

Posted in FM Radio, Multiple Ownership Rules
With the FCC closed because of the Federal government shutdown so no new decisions will be coming out for the time being, we get to look at some of the issues and decisions that we didn’t get a chance to write about when they first came out.  One of the cases we overlooked raised the question of … Continue Reading