Broadcast Law Blog

Broadcast Law Blog

Tag Archives: public file

It’s Official: Online Posting of TV Public File Required Beginning August 2nd; FCC Schedules More Demos of System

Posted in Public Interest Obligations/Localism
On Friday, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit followed the FCC’s lead in denying the NAB’s request for stay of the requirement for TV stations to post their public inspection files online.  Accordingly, that rule goes into effect on Thursday, August 2, 2012. Effective that date, TV stations should post all new public file documents online in … Continue Reading

Does $10,000 Fine Make Sense for Small College Radio Station Missing Public File Documents?

Posted in FCC Fines
The FCC has once again proposed a $10,000 fine against a college radio station missing quarterly issues/program lists in the public inpsection file.  This time, the culprit is Rollins College, a small liberal arts college in Florida with 1700 students.  We know that $10,000 is the "base forfeiture" for failure to maintain a complete public … Continue Reading

Online Public File Requirement for TV Broadcasters Effective August 2, 2012

Posted in Public Interest Obligations/Localism
  The FCC has announced that the obligation for television broadcast stations to post their public inspection files online will become effective August 2, 2012, absent a stay requested by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), which has appealed the rule to the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. Absent a stay, the rule requires … Continue Reading

Recent Flurry of FCC Enforcement Actions Reminds Stations to Check Public Inspection Files and Take Annual Equipment Measurements

Posted in AM Radio, FCC Fines, License Renewal
The FCC has issued a flurry of fines against broadcast stations in the past week or two.  While a number of these fines were for the operation of unlicensed pirate radio stations, several of the fines were for public inspection file violations, stations broadcasting with excessive power or failing to reduce power at nighttime, or … Continue Reading

FCC Fines TV Station $10,000 for Requring Appointment to View Public Inspection File

Posted in FCC Fines
The FCC released a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture today, proposing a $10,000 fine against a public TV station in Los Angeles for requiring an appointment to view the station’s public inspection file. This case shows how seriously the FCC takes the requirement of open and unfettered access to a broadcast station’s public file.  An FCC agent visited … Continue Reading

Is Your Station Running the NAB Future of Television Spots? Are You Identifying Them As Issue Ads in Your Public File?

Posted in Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Political Broadcasting, Television
Many broadcasters, both television and radio, have been running the NAB spots on the Future of Television.  Those spots contain a description of the service available from local television stations and the new technologies that over-the-air television are in the process of deploying, and end with the suggestion that the Future of Broadcast Television lies in "technology … Continue Reading

Non-Functioning EAS, An Unavailable Public File and Open Tower Site Gates Result in FCC Fines of $5500 and $3500

Posted in Emergency Communications, FCC Fines, Tower Issues
Earlier this week, I posted a Top Ten list of legal issues that should keep a broadcast station operator up at night.  In two orders released today, the FCC found stations where these issues apparently had not been keeping their operators awake, as the FCC issued fines for numerous violations.  At one station, the FCC found that the EAS … Continue Reading

So Just What is an “Issue Ad” and Why Should I Care?

Posted in Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Political Broadcasting
In the last few weeks, I’ve been asked several times by broadcasters whether an ad should be considered an "issue ad."   Usually, the ad in question deals with some sort of faintly controversial issue, and the broadcaster seems torn about how to classify the ad.   In many ways, the answer is almost irrelevant as, other … Continue Reading

David Oxenford and FCC’s Bobby Baker Prepare Broadcasters for 2010 Elections with Webinar on Political Broadcasting Rules

Posted in Appearances, Political Broadcasting
On November 10, Davis Wright Tremaine’s David Oxenford and Bobby Baker, the head of the FCC’s Office of Political Broadcasting, conducted a webinar on the FCC’s political broadcasting rules and policies.  The webinar originated from Lansing, Michigan, before an audience of Michigan Broadcasters, and was webcast to broadcasters in 13 other states.  Topics discussed included reasonable access, … Continue Reading

Remember FCC Public File Obligations When Running Issue Advertising

Posted in Political Broadcasting
We’re not even in what most would consider election season – except for the two states with off-year governor’s contests and those other states with various state and municipal elections. Yet political ads are running on broadcast stations across the country.  Republican groups have announced plans to run ads attacking certain Democratic Congressmen who are perceived as vulnerable, while certain Democratic … Continue Reading

When is an FCC Fine Excessive? – The 2% Solution

Posted in Emergency Communications, FCC Fines, Noncommercial Broadcasting
In two recent FCC decisions, one dealing with a commercial operator and that other with a noncommercial licensee, the Commission’s staff addressed the issue of how large an FCC fine could be imposed on a broadcaster without that fine being subject to reduction because of the licensee’s inability to pay.  In the first case, a commercial station was … Continue Reading

FCC Releases New Version of the Public and Broadcasting and Sets Up Help Desk for Broadcast Complaints

Posted in General FCC, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
The Public and Broadcasting is a document first written by the FCC in the 1970s to tell the public about how the FCC regulates broadcast stations, and to tell the public how they can get involved in the regulatory process.  Broadcasters must maintain a copy of the manual in their public file, and make it … Continue Reading

What a Difference A Renewal Makes – FCC Admonishes Two Broadcasters for EEO Violations, Fines Would Have Followed if Renewals Had Not Recently Been Granted

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, FCC Fines, License Renewal
In two decisions released this week by the FCC, here and here, two large broadcast group owners were admonished for failures to comply with the FCC’s EEO rules. In both cases, failures to widely disseminate information about job openings in one market were discovered by the FCC in the course of random EEO audits that selected … Continue Reading

On-Air Broadcast Stations Employees Who Run for Elective Office – Equal Time for Local Candidates

Posted in Political Broadcasting
In the last few weeks, I’ve received several calls from broadcasters about on-air employees who have decided to run for local political office, and the equal time obligations that these decisions can create.  Initially, it is important to remember that equal opportunities apply to state and local candidates, as well as Federal candidates.  And the rules apply … Continue Reading

FCC Releases Rules for Enhanced TV Disclosure Requirements

Posted in Digital Television, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
The FCC has released the full text of its Order adopting enhanced disclosure requirements for broadcast television stations – requiring that they post their public files on their websites and that they quarterly file a new form, FCC Form 355, detailing their programming in minute detail, breaking it down by specific program categories, and certifying that … Continue Reading

FCC Releases Specifics of Localism Rulemaking – Proposing Lots of New Rules For Broadcasters

Posted in Emergency Communications, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
At its December meeting, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Localism.  At that meeting, while the Commissioners discussed the generalities of the proposals being made, the specifics of the proposals were unknown.  The full text of the NPRM has now been released, and it sets out the areas in which the Commission … Continue Reading

FCC Adopts Rules Requiring TV Stations to Keep Public File on Website – and Adopts New Requirements for Quantifying Public Interest Obligations

Posted in Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
The FCC today adopted new requirements for television broadcasters to quarterly file a report with the FCC quantifying their service to the public.  The order also requires that stations keep their public file on their website, if they have a website.  Broadcasters will also be required to broadcast twice each day a notice as to how … Continue Reading

FCC Meeting to Consider LPFM Reform, Public Interest Requirements for TV Stations, and Minority Ownership Proposals

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Translators and LPFM, Multiple Ownership Rules, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
The FCC has released the agenda for its Open Meeting to be held on Tuesday, November 27.  The agenda is full of issues of importance to broadcasters, and several items may resolve issues that may be troubling – including issues relating to low power FM stations (LPFM) and resolving a long outstanding proceeding concerning the possibility of mandatory public … Continue Reading

FCC Issues Rules on Digital Radio – With Some Surprises that Could Eventually Impact Analog Operations

Posted in AM Radio, Digital Radio, Emergency Communications, FM Radio, Multiple Ownership Rules, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
The FCC today issued the long-awaited text of its decision on Digital Audio radio – the so-called IBOC system.  As we have written, while adopted at its March meeting, the text of the decision has been missing in action.  With the release of the decision, which is available here, the effective date of the new … Continue Reading