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Category Archives: Multiple Ownership Rules

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Full Text of FCC Decision on Quadrennial Review of the Multiple Ownership Rules Released Today

Posted in AM Radio, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, Multiple Ownership Rules, Television
In the last few minutes, the FCC has released its order on the Quadrennial Review of its multiple ownership rules, about which we wrote last week. The decision is available here, and includes dissenting opinions from the two Republican commissioners and a concurring statement from Commissioner Clyburn. In total, the text is 199 pages long,… Continue Reading

Preparing for the FCC’s Soon to be Released Decision on Changes to its Multiple Ownership Rules

Posted in AM Radio, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, Multiple Ownership Rules, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
While the trade press has been full of reports that the FCC has voted on an order addressing the issues raised in its Quadrennial Review of its multiple ownership rules, and that the decision largely left those rules unchanged (including the broad ban on the cross-ownership of daily newspapers and broadcast stations), no final decision… Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comment on Another Request for Foreign Ownership of Broadcast Stations Above 25%

Posted in General FCC, Multiple Ownership Rules, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
Recently, we wrote about two cases seeking declaratory rulings from the FCC that non-US ownership of companies owning broadcast stations should be permitted even though that ownership would exceed the 25% standard that had been, until that last few years, the limit on such ownership. Last week, the FCC announced the filing of another such… Continue Reading

Sinclair Pays $9.4 Million to FCC to Settle Claims of Improper Joint Negotiation of Retransmission Consent Agreements

Posted in Cable Carriage, Multiple Ownership Rules, Television
Last week, the FCC announced a consent decree with Sinclair Broadcast Group where Sinclair agreed to pay $9.495 million to the FCC to settle claims that it negotiated retransmission consent agreements involving stations that it did not own with MVPDs (cable and satellite companies).  Sinclair did not admit any liability – but stated that it settled the… Continue Reading

Legal Issues for Broadcasters – Updates on Pending Matters

Posted in AM Radio, Appearances, Cable Carriage, Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, Emergency Communications, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Multiple Ownership Rules, Music Rights, Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
There are so many legal issues that facing broadcasters that it is sometimes difficult to keep up with them all. This Blog and many other activities that those at my firm engage in are meant to help our clients and other broadcasters keep up to date on all of the many regulatory challenges with which… Continue Reading

$700,000 to Be Paid By Media General to End Inquiry on its Attempts to Enforce a JSA – What are the Limits on the Enforceability of a Contractual Restriction on an FCC Licensee’s Sale of its Station?

Posted in Assignments and Transfers, FCC Fines, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Multiple Ownership Rules, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
The FCC yesterday announced a consent decree with Media General by which Media General agreed to pay a $700,000 “settlement payment” to the US Treasury to settle the investigation of its attempts to enforce the provisions of a Joint Sales Agreement with Schurz Communications.  Media General had tried to enforce the JSA when Schurz tried to… Continue Reading

Foreign Ownership of US Broadcast Stations Suddenly the Rage? – FCC Seeks Comments on Two Proposals for Alien Ownership to Exceed 25%, Including One for 100% Australian Ownership

Posted in AM Radio, Assignments and Transfers, FM Radio, General FCC, Multiple Ownership Rules, Television
In the last two days, the FCC has asked for public comment on two proposals for foreign ownership of US broadcast stations where that ownership would exceed 25% of the company – a limit that has for decades been seen as the upper end of ownership by foreign nationals.  While the FCC three years ago… Continue Reading

FCC Chairman Releases Summary of Media Ownership Reform Proposals – Little Change in Existing Ownership Rules, Reinstatement of JSA Ban

Posted in AM Radio, Assignments and Transfers, FM Radio, Multiple Ownership Rules, Television
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler this week released a “fact sheet” setting out a summary of the draft order now circulating among the FCC Commissioners for review and possible approval. This order, if adopted, would resolve the Quadrennial Review of the FCC’s ownership rules. As we wrote here, the US Court of Appeals for the Third… Continue Reading

Appeals Court Tells FCC to Finalize Multiple Ownership Review, Throws Out TV JSA Attribution, and Questions Newspaper-Broadcast Cross-Ownership Ban

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, Multiple Ownership Rules
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday issued an opinion faulting the FCC for not completing any required review of its broadcast ownership rules since the 2006 review was completed in 2007. These reviews of its ownership rules, now done as “Quadrennial Reviews” every four years, but previously required to be done biennially, have been… Continue Reading

FCC Announces June 24 Effective Date for Radio Online Public Inspection File and New System for TV Stations Online File, Plus a Reminder to Upload JSAs

Posted in AM Radio, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, General FCC, Multiple Ownership Rules, On Line Media, Political Broadcasting, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television, Website Issues
The FCC today issued a Public Notice that the obligation will begin on June 24 to start uploading documents to the online public file for radio stations in the Top 50 markets .   For Top 50 market commercial radio stations that are part of employment units with 5 or more full-time employees, the June 24… Continue Reading

April Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Quarterly Issues Programs Lists and Children’s Television Reports and Much More

Posted in AM Radio, Cable Carriage, Children's Programming and Advertising, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, General FCC, Multiple Ownership Rules, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
April brings the whole panoply of routine regulatory dates – from the need to prepare EEO Public File and Noncommercial Ownership Reports in some states, to Quarterly Issues Programs lists for all full-power broadcast stations and Quarterly Children’s Television Programming Reports for all TV stations.  So let’s look at some of the specific dates that… Continue Reading

On Its 20th Anniversary, Looking Back at How the Telecommunications Act of 1996 Changed the Broadcast Regulatory Landscape

Posted in General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, License Renewal, Multiple Ownership Rules, On Line Media, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
In Washington DC this week, many in the communications world are commemorating the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Five years ago, we noted the changes that the Act made in the broadcast regulatory world – changes that are still being debated 20 years later. To show how little things… Continue Reading

FCC Order on Biennial Ownership Requirements – All Broadcasters, Commercial and Noncommercial, Need to Start Collecting Information from Attributable Owners and Directors for Next Year’s Filing

Posted in AM Radio, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, General FCC, Multiple Ownership Rules, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Television
In an order released last month which has not received much attention, the FCC clarified its requirements for the filing of Biennial Ownership Reports. Much of the order deals with fixes to the report itself that will, for the most part, make the completion of the report administratively easier in terms of the physical data… Continue Reading

What Washington Has in Store for Broadcasters in 2016 – Looking at the Legal Issues that the FCC Will Be Considering in the New Year

Posted in Advertising Issues, AM Radio, Broadcast Auctions, Cable Carriage, EEO Compliance/Diversity, Emergency Communications, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Indecency, Internet Video, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Multiple Ownership Rules, Noncommercial Broadcasting, On Line Media, Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
It’s that time of the year when we need to dust off the crystal ball and make predictions about the legal issues that will impact the business of broadcasters in 2016.  While we try to look ahead to identify the issues that are on the agenda of the FCC and other government agencies, there are… Continue Reading

January Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Quarterly Issues Programs Lists and Children’s Television Reports, Incentive Auction, FM Translators for AM Stations, Webcasting Fees, LUR Windows and More

Posted in AM Radio, Broadcast Auctions, Cable Carriage, Children's Programming and Advertising, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Internet Radio, Internet Video, Multiple Ownership Rules, Music Rights, On Line Media, Political Broadcasting, Television, Website Issues
While January starts off with some regulatory deadlines that apply to all broadcasters – Quarterly Issues Programs lists must be placed in a station’s public file by the 10th of January – there are many other dates that come due this month, dates to which broadcasters need to pay careful attention. For TV stations, they… Continue Reading

FCC Fines Parties to an LMA $8000 Where Programmer Paid Too Many of Licensee’s Expenses

Posted in FM Radio, Multiple Ownership Rules
In a consent decree released earlier this week, the FCC fined the parties to a LMA for an FM radio station in Colorado $8000 because the FCC believed that the programmer paid too many of the licensee’s expenses directly. According to the decision, the programmer paid certain debts of the licensee directly, including the licensee’s… Continue Reading

Grandfathered JSAs Need Not Be Broken Up For Ten Years Pursuant to Congressional Omnibus Spending Bill

Posted in Digital Television, Multiple Ownership Rules, Television
As one of the many legislative changes that made their way into the Congressional Omnibus Spending Bill set to be voted out of Congress this week and signed by the President to keep the government operating for the next year, there is a provision authorizing TV stations to continue through September 30, 2025 operating with Joint Sales… Continue Reading

FCC Sets Comment Dates on Proposal to Relax Restrictions on Foreign Ownership in Companies Holding US Broadcast Station Licenses – What Is the FCC Proposing?

Posted in AM Radio, Assignments and Transfers, Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, Multiple Ownership Rules, Television
In Friday’s Federal Register, the FCC published a summary of the Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking looking to revise its policies regarding the ownership of broadcast stations by non-US citizens setting the date for comments on its proposal of December 21, with Reply Comments being due by January 20.  The FCC two years ago issued… Continue Reading

FCC Sets December 2 Deadline for Filing 2015 Biennial Ownership Reports for Commercial Broadcast Stations

Posted in AM Radio, Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, General FCC, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Multiple Ownership Rules, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
The FCC today released an Order setting December 2 as the date for the filing of FCC Form 323 Ownership Reports by commercial broadcast stations. All commercial broadcasters must submit this report. While the report is technically supposed to be filed by November 1 every other year, that date has routinely been extended as the… Continue Reading

Our Quarterly Review of the Legal and Regulatory Issues Facing TV Broadcasters

Posted in Digital Television, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Multiple Ownership Rules, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
Each quarter, my partner David O’Connor and I update a list of the legal and regulatory issues facing TV broadcasters. That list of issues is published by TVNewsCheck and is available on their website, here. Our latest update was published today, and provides a summary of the status of legal and regulatory issues ranging from… Continue Reading

NY Senator Chuck Schumer Supports TV JSA Waivers in Small Markets, Briefing Dates Set in Appeal of FCC JSA Decision

Posted in Multiple Ownership Rules, Television
Last year’s FCC decision to make Joint Sales Agreements between broadcast television stations attributable interests (meaning that they can only be done if stations are commonly owned) are back in the news – at least a little bit. Yesterday, at the NAB State Leadership Conference held here in Washington DC, NY Senator Chuck Schumer, a… Continue Reading

What Washington Has in Store for Broadcasters and Digital Media Companies in 2015 – Part 2 – Court Cases, Congressional Communications and Copyright Reform, and Other Issues

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Digital Radio, Digital Television, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Multiple Ownership Rules, Music Rights, On Line Media, Television
Last month, we wrote about the FCC issues facing broadcasters in 2015.  Today, we’ll look at decisions that may come in other venues that could affect broadcasters and media companies in the remaining 11 months of 2015.  There are many actions in courts, at government agencies and in Congress that could change law or policy… 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