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Category Archives: General FCC

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July Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – New Captioning Obligations, Online Political File for Small TV Stations, Issues Programs List and Children’s Television Reports, and More

Posted in Children's Programming and Advertising, FCC Fees, General FCC, Internet Radio, Internet Video, License Renewal, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Multiple Ownership Rules, On Line Media, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
July brings a number of new regulatory dates for broadcasters – including the effective dates of two new compliance obligations for small market TV stations, as well as numerous routine regulatory filing dates.  July 10 brings one deadline for all broadcast stations – it is the date by which your Quarterly Issues Programs lists, setting … 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

Odds and Ends – CALM Act Revisions, New Effective Date for Higher FCC Application Fees, and a Case Exploring the Reach of the FCC Character Policies

Posted in Digital Television, FCC Fees, General FCC, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
In the last few weeks, while I was on vacation and otherwise occupied, there have been many big developments in the broadcasting and music industries that I’ll try to write about separately – including the release of the FCC’s Order setting up the first official outline of the television incentive auction process and the Department … Continue Reading

FCC Reminds Small Market TV That Political File Goes Online As of July 1, No FCC Review of the Obligations Seems Imminent

Posted in General FCC, Political Broadcasting, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
The FCC on Friday issued a reminder to all TV stations that, as of July 1, they will have to upload all of their new political broadcasting documents to their online public files.  Up to this point, only stations affiliated with the Top 4 networks in the Top 50 markets had to worry about putting … 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

Radio Station Being Silent Too Long Brings FCC Sanction – How Long Can a Broadcast Station Be off the Air Before It Causes Trouble at License Renewal Time?

Posted in FCC Fines, General FCC, License Renewal, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
In a decision released yesterday, the FCC proposed to fine a station and gave it a short-term license renewal as the station could not demonstrate that it had served the needs and interests of its community.  Why?  Because the station had been silent for much of the renewal term – only turning on for a short time … Continue Reading

What’s Up in Washington For Broadcasters in 2014? — Part 2, Issues beyond the FCC Including Ad Taxes, Music Royalties, Privacy Reforms, and More

Posted in Advertising Issues, Broadcast Performance Royalty, Cable Carriage, General FCC, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Internet Video, Music Rights, On Line Media, Privacy
We recently wrote about FCC issues that will be facing broadcasters in this new year.  While broadcasters will no doubt be busy keeping track of what the FCC is up to, they also need to have their eyes on other government agencies, as there are numerous issues that may come from Congress and the other … Continue Reading

January Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters and Webcasters – Children’s Television Reports, Quarterly Issues Programs List, Webcaster Elections and Minimum Fees, the Return of Lowest Unit Rates and More!

Posted in AM Radio, Children's Programming and Advertising, General FCC, Internet Radio, Internet Video, Music Rights, Noncommercial Broadcasting, On Line Media, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
A new month in a new year, and a number of new regulatory dates are upon us for broadcasters – and important dates for webcasters also fall in this month.  So now that the holidays are quickly becoming just a foggy memory, it is time to sharply focus on those regulatory obligations that you have … Continue Reading

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

Posted in AM Radio, Broadband Report, Cable Carriage, Digital Television, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, 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

December Regulatory Deadlines For Broadcasters – Renewals, Ownership Reports, CALM Act, and TV Form 317

Posted in Digital Television, General FCC, License Renewal, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Television
While we were sidetracked by the government shutdown in posting reminders about regulatory deadlines for broadcasters during the last two months, it’s about time to put that behind us, and to resume our monthly practice. While everyone may be looking forward to the holidays, they need to remember that December does bring a number of regulatory obligations for broadcasters … 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

Odds and Ends – Divestiture Trusts, Shared Services Agreements and Determinations of Significantly Viewed Stations

Posted in Assignments and Transfers, Cable Carriage, General FCC, Multiple Ownership Rules, Television, Uncategorized
Sometimes the FCC decisions come out in a flurry, often with little nuggets of importance in each one.  Rather than trying to write about each one, we’ll from time to time, just try to highlight those nuggets for your consideration.  At the end of last week, three decisions came out with just such nuggets – … Continue Reading

While Our Blog Was Getting A Makeover, Did You See Our Stories on the New FCC Chairman, Foreign Ownership of Broadcast Stations, AM Revitalization, Orson Welles and the Hoax Rule and More?

Posted in Advertising Issues, AM Radio, Broadband Report, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
There have been many Washington developments for broadcasters in the last week – and while it was all occurring, our Blog was undergoing a makeover, so some of the articles that we published in the last week may have been missed.  Perhaps the biggest news was the confirmation and swearing in of the new FCC … Continue Reading

Tom Wheeler Confirmed As FCC Chair – What Broadcast Issues Will the New FCC be Addressing?

Posted in Broadband Report, Broadcast Auctions, Digital Television, General FCC, Indecency, Programming Regulations, Uncategorized
At long last, it appears that we will soon have a complete FCC, as the Senate has approved the nomination of Tom Wheeler to be the next FCC Chairman, and Michael O’Rielly for the other vacancy on the FCC.  The nomination of Mr. Wheeler had been held up by Senator Ted Cruz on grounds that he … Continue Reading

Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds 75 Years Later – What Would the FCC Do Now?

Posted in General FCC, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
This is the 75th anniversary of the Mercury Players broadcast of the Orson Welles production of the War of the Worlds – a radio broadcast that seemingly scared many Americans into thinking that the country was under attack by Martians, that my home state of New Jersey had been overrun, and that the rest of 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 Extends LPFM Filing Window, New Dates for LPFM Webinar and Changes in LPFM Protections to FM Translator Inputs

Posted in FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC
The deadline for filing applications in the LPFM window has been extended as a result of the Federal government shutdown – with the new filing deadline being November 14 at 6 PM Eastern Time.  The FCC filing system is open now, so parties can go ahead prepare and actually submit their applications now. But as, during … Continue Reading

More Information on FCC’s Reopening and Filing Deadlines After the Federal Government Shutdown – and More to Come

Posted in General FCC
The FCC issued further guidance on FCC filing deadlines for regulatory submissions that were due during the 16 day Federal shutdown. The FCC has essentially given most applicants and filers a 16 day extension of time to file anything that was due during the shutdown. They note, however, that there are certain deadlines that they cannot arbitrarily … Continue Reading

FCC Back at Work – But Deadlines for Many Filings Still Suspended

Posted in FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC
The government shutdown is over, most FCC staffers are supposed to be back at their desks, but not everything is operating as normal yet today. The Commission has published a notice saying that most filing deadlines that fall on or before October 21 remain suspended, and parties with such deadlines should refrain from filing anything with such … 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

September Regulatory Deadlines for Broadcasters – “Reg” Fees and Renewal Notices, With More Action to Come In October

Posted in General FCC
September is one of the few months without a due date for the standard regulatory filings – no renewals, EEO public file reports, and no Quarterly Issues Programs Lists or Children’s Television Reports. Instead, the big filing this month is one that applies to all commercial broadcasters (and most entities regulated by the FCC in other … Continue Reading