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Category Archives: Noncommercial Broadcasting

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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

Court of Appeals Upholds Communications Act Ban on Commercial and Political Advertising on Public TV Stations – Significant Analysis of the Standards for First Amendment Review of all Broadcast Regulation

Posted in Advertising Issues, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Political Broadcasting
Section 399b of the Communications Act bans advertising for for-profit companies, as well as political and issue advertising, on noncommercial radio and television stations.  While Congress over 20 years ago loosened some restrictions on fundraising by allowing paid ads by nonprofit groups on noncommercial stations, and permitting commercial entities to provide some minimal information about … 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

No Relief on LPTV/TV Translator Digital Conversion Deadline – 2015 Deadline for End of Analog Operations Upheld on Reconsideration

Posted in Digital Television, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Television
The FCC denied reconsideration on the last phase of the digital television transition – requiring that all LPTV stations and TV translators cease analog operations and be operating digitally by September 1, 2015. See our summary of the original ruling on the digital conversion of LPTV and TV translator stations here. In denying reconsideration, the FCC determined … 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

June FCC Obligations for Broadcasters – Renewals, EEO, FM Translator and Auction Filings, and Comments on Regulatory Fees, Indecency, and Incentive Auction Band Plan

Posted in Broadband Report, Broadcast Auctions, FCC Fees, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Indecency, License Renewal, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Television
As is the case with most months, June brings a number of FCC deadlines for broadcasters, both standard regulatory filings and comment deadlines in important regulatory proceedings. The regular filing deadlines include license renewal applications due on June 3 (as June 1 is a Saturday) for Commercial and Noncommercial Full-Power and Class A Television Stations, TV … Continue Reading

FCC Adopts More Lenient Standards on Certain Fines to Student Run Noncommercial Broadcast Stations

Posted in FCC Fines, Noncommercial Broadcasting
Fines against noncommercial stations may that are primarily student run may not be as harsh as they have been in the past under a ruling issued by the FCC’s Media Bureau earlier this week. The new policy came about as part of a consent decree entered into by an Iowa college-owned broadcaster whose student-run station had … Continue Reading

$3000 Fine Against Noncommercial Station for Underwriting Violations – With Discussion of PSAs as Public Interest Programming and Cigarette Ads in Classic Radio Program

Posted in Noncommercial Broadcasting, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
In a decision granting the license renewal of a noncommercial radio station, the FCC’s Media Bureau addressed a number of interesting issues – including the requirements for noncommercial underwriting announcements, whether PSAs meet a station’s public service obligations, and the ability of stations to run cigarette ads in historical radio programs from early radio days. These issues all came up … Continue Reading

FCC Processing of Translator Applications from 2003 Moves Ahead – Window for Opting Out of Noncommercial Status to Participate in the Auction

Posted in Appearances, FM Translators and LPFM, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Noncommercial Broadcasting
Another radio topic sure to be discussed at the NAB convention this week is the ongoing story of the thousands of FM applications translators still pending at the FCC from the 2003 FM translator window. While this has been a topic at many of the NAB Conventions in the last 10 years, it looks like the end is … Continue Reading

Noncommercial Radio Operator Fined $10,000 for Not Providing Immediate Access to Public File – FCC Provides A Good Primer on the Public File Rules for All Radio Broadcasters

Posted in FCC Fines, Noncommercial Broadcasting
The FCC proposed that a noncommercial broadcaster be fined $10,000 for its failure to allow a visitor unquestioned and immediate access to the public inspection files for 6 noncommercial radio stations operated from the same main studio. Though the delay in allowing access was only a few hours long, that delay, together with questions asked of the person … 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

More Patent Issues for Media Companies – Mission Abstract Data Patent Asserted in Law Suits Against 4 Radio Broadcasters, and a New Patent Claim Raised Against Podcasters, Including Public Broadcasters

Posted in Intellectual Property, Noncommercial Broadcasting, On Line Media, Website Issues
In the digital world, it seems that everything is reinvented, and someone claims that they have a patent on that reinvention. In the last few weeks, we have seen news about patent claims asserted against radio broadcasters for their digital music storage systems, against public broadcasters for podcasts, and even against companies trying to comply with … 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

Will the 9th Circuit Overrule Holding That Noncommercial Broadcasters Can Run Political Ads?

Posted in Noncommercial Broadcasting, Political Broadcasting
Several months ago, a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals created shockwaves throughout the noncommercial broadcasting community by holding that the Communications Act’s prohibitions against the sale of advertising time by noncommercial stations was unconstitutional when applied to political advertising. That decision may be short-lived, as the full Court of Appeals, in reviewing the … Continue Reading

FCC Announces Simplified Waiver Process for Noncommercial Station Fundraising Appeals for Hurricane Sandy Relief

Posted in Noncommercial Broadcasting
Hurricane Sandy (or "Superstorm Sandy as it now seems to be called) has resulted in an outpouring of support from broadcasters across the nation, looking for ways to raise funds for those that have been affected by the storm and its aftermath. Noncommercial broadcasters who are interested in joining in the fundraising efforts were aided by a … Continue Reading

Early October Regulatory Requirements – Quarterly Issues Programs Lists, Children’s TV Reports, Captioning of Internet Programs, Noncommercial Ownership Reports, EEO and Renewal Obligations

Posted in Children's Programming and Advertising, EEO Compliance/Diversity, General FCC, Internet Video, Noncommercial Broadcasting
October is a very important month in the regulatory world, and broadcasters need to be aware of the regulatory deadlines that have already arisen this month, or which will come up in the next few days. This week, TV Newscheck published our latest summary of the state of many of the most significant legal issues facing … Continue Reading

FCC Proposes to Liberalize Rules Against Noncommercial Stations Fundraising For Third-Party Non-Profit Groups

Posted in Noncommercial Broadcasting
The FCC has adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking suggesting, with significant limitations, a liberalization of its rules that prohibit noncommercial broadcasters from raising funds for an entity other than the station itself if the fundraising suspends or alters normal programming of the station. As we’ve written before, the FCC prohibits noncommercial broadcasters from raising funds … Continue Reading

Court of Appeals Strikes Down Communications Act Ban on Political and Issue Advertising on Noncommercial Broadcasting Stations – Analyzing the Issues

Posted in Noncommercial Broadcasting, Political Broadcasting
The Communications Act’s ban on noncommercial broadcast stations running political and issue advertising was struck down as unconstitutional by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  While the Court upheld the prohibition on commercial advertising for products and services, the majority of the Court felt that the ban on political advertising could not be … Continue Reading

On the Schedule for the April 27 FCC Meeting: Television Public Interest Obligations, TV Channel Sharing and Third-Party Fundraising by Noncommercial Broadcasters

Posted in Broadband Report, Digital Television, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
Three broadcast items are tentatively scheduled for the next FCC meeting, to be held on April 27, according to the tentative agenda released today.  In one expected action, though perhaps moving more quickly than many thought possible, the FCC has indicated that it will adopt an Order in its proceeding requiring TV broadcasters to place … Continue Reading

December 1 Deadline for Biennial Ownership Reports Begins A Busy Regulatory Month for Broadcasters

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Digital Radio, FCC Fees, General FCC, License Renewal, Noncommercial Broadcasting
All commercial broadcasters (AM/FM/TV and even LPTV) have to file their Biennial Ownership Reports on December 1, beginning a very busy month in the broadcaster’s regulatory world.  December 1 is also the deadline for noncommercial ownership reports to be filed by noncommercial radio stations in Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, and noncommercial television … Continue Reading