Broadcast Law Blog

Broadcast Law Blog

Tag Archives: reasonable access

Answering Your Questions on the FCC’s Political Broadcasting Rules – A Guide to Political Broadcasting from Candidates and Issue Advertisers

Posted in Advertising Issues, Political Broadcasting
An active political broadcasting season is already upon us, with things more likely to get even more hectic between now and November.  Are you ready to handle all of the FCC’s political broadcasting obligations?  We’ve prepared an updated Guide to the FCC’s political broadcasting rules in a question and answer format, and it is available … Continue Reading

Reminder – Most FCC Political Rules Apply to Off-Year Elections for State and Local Offices

Posted in Political Broadcasting
In odd years like 2013, most broadcasting stations don’t think about the FCC’s political broadcasting rules. But they should – both for special elections to fill open seats in Congress, and for state and local political offices. This week, the news has been full of stories about next week’s special election for Congress in South Carolina, pitting … Continue Reading

FCC Finds Randall Terry Entitled to Reasonable Access to Buy Time on DC TV Station – and Defines the Geographic Scope of Access Obligations for Political Candidates

Posted in Political Broadcasting
The FCC today acted on a reasonable access complaint by Randall Terry against a Washington DC television station, ordering the station to sell commercial time to his campaign as he is on the ballot as a legally qualified candidate for President in the state of West Virginia. The decision was based on the Commission’s finding that a portion … Continue Reading

Political Broadcasting Refresher Part 3 – Reasonable Access – How Much Advertising Time Must Be Sold to Candidates?

Posted in Political Broadcasting
In recent days, we’ve been writing about political broadcasting topics in anticipation of the November election. We provided a refresher on the basics of lowest unit charges on Monday, and equal opportunities on Wednesday.  Today, we’ll look at reasonable access – how much time must stations sell to political candidates (or give to them if they would rather meet … Continue Reading

FCC Decides That Randall Terry Not Entitled to Run Graphic Anti-Abortion TV Ads in the Super Bowl For His “Presidential Campaign” – But Questions Remain

Posted in Political Broadcasting
In an 11th hour decision released at about 5 PM on the Friday before the Super Bowl,the FCC decided that TV station WMAQ-TV in Chicago was justified in denying Randall Terry’s request to buy advertising time in the Super Bowl.  As we’ve written before, Mr. Terry is claiming that he is a candidate for the … Continue Reading

Graphic Abortion Ads In Iowa By Presidential Candidate – And A Seminar on FCC Political Broadcasting Rules

Posted in Political Broadcasting
With the Iowa primary approaching, political ads are increasing on the local Iowa TV stations.  While the national press may have been focused on some of the recent Rick Perry ads about the end of "don’t ask, don’t tell" and its connection to the celebration of Christmas in the public schools, there has been an even more controversial ad … Continue Reading

Remember Lowest Unit Charge Windows for Local Political Races and Upcoming Presidential Primaries and Caucuses

Posted in Political Broadcasting
Broadcast stations must charge political candidates the lowest unit rate that they charge any commercial advertiser for a comparable advertising spot during the 45 days before a primary and the 60 days before a general election.  Broadcasters need to remember that this applies to state and local races, as well as Federal campaigns, so those … Continue Reading

Political Broadcasting Reminder – State and Local Candidates Subject to Lowest Unit Charge, No Censorship and Equal Opportunities Rules

Posted in Political Broadcasting
In the waning days before the mid-term election, we have received many questions about the applicability of the political broadcasting rules to state and local candidates.  In particular, we have seen a number of letters from attorneys representing candidates who are running for state and local offices (everything from Governor to county commissioner or school board … Continue Reading

The Impact of the Proposed DISCLOSE Campaign Reform Act on Broadcasters and Cable Operators – Lowest Unit Rates and Reasonable Access for Political Parties, On Line Political File, FCC Audits and More

Posted in Political Broadcasting
In reaction to the Citizens United Supreme Court decision invalidating restrictions on corporate spending on advertising and other messages explicitly endorsing or attacking political candidates (about which we wrote here), new legislation, called the DISCLOSE Act,  has just been introduced in both houses of Congress seeking to mitigate the perceived impact of the Court’s decision.  While … Continue Reading

David Oxenford Conducts Webinar for Kansas Association of Broadcasters on FCC Political Broadcasting Rules

Posted in Appearances, Political Broadcasting
David Oxenford today conducted a webinar for the Kansas Association of Broadcasters on the rules for political advertising.  In addition to the elections for the US House of Representatives, Kansas has a race to fill a vacant US Senate seat, as well as elections for Governor and a whole host of state and local offices. … Continue Reading

Looking Into the Crystal Ball – What Can Broadcasters Expect from Washington in 2010?

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Digital Radio, Digital Television, Fairness Doctrine, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Indecency, Intellectual Property, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Multiple Ownership Rules, Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
Another year is upon us, and it’s time for predictions as to what Washington may have in store for broadcasters in 2010.  Each year, when we look at what might be coming, we are amazed at the number of issues that could affect the industry – often issues that are the same year to year … Continue Reading

The 2010 Political Season Starts Early – Texas Association of Broadcasters Webinar on Political Broadcasting

Posted in Appearances, Political Broadcasting
The 2010 political broadcasting season is almost upon us, with Texas leading the way.  With the first 2010 primaries on March 2, candidates in Texas are already in windows during which they need to file the paperwork to qualify for a place on the primary ballot.  Once they qualify for that ballot spot, they become "legally qualified candidates" in … 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

Reminder: Equal Time and Lowest Unit Rate Rules Apply to State and Municipal Elections

Posted in Political Broadcasting
While it seems like we just finished the election season, it seems like there is always an election somewhere.  We are still getting calls about municipal and other state and local elections that are underway.  And broadcasters need to remember that these elections, like the Federal elections that we’ve just been through, are subject to the … Continue Reading

Broadcasters Prohibited From Censoring a Candidate’s Ad

Posted in Political Broadcasting
As we enter the waning days of this election season, where some candidates get more desperate and the attack ads get sharper, broadcasters are often faced with requests that they pull an ad created by a candidate.  Claims are made that the ad contains untrue claims about an opponent or that the ad contains copyrighted material used without permission.  … Continue Reading

Obama Buys A Half Hour of Time on Broadcast Networks – What FCC Legal Issues are Involved?

Posted in Political Broadcasting
Press Reports (such as this one) have stated that the Obama campaign has purchased half-hour blocks of time on at least NBC and CBS to broadcast a political infomercial to be aired at 8 PM Eastern time on October 29.  Some reports indicate that other broadcast and cable networks will also be broadcasting the same program.  … Continue Reading

Independent Groups Start Running Presidential Attack Ads – What Are the Legal Implications for Broadcasters?

Posted in Political Broadcasting
The American Issues Project has recently started running a controversial new television ad attacking Barrack Obama for his connections to former Weather Underground figure William Ayers.  The text of the ad is reported here.  While reportedly some cable outlets (including Fox News) have refused to air the ad, numerous broadcast stations are also wondering what the … Continue Reading

The Politcal Broadcasting Implications of An Olympic Ad Buy

Posted in Political Broadcasting
According to press reports, the Obama campaign is contemplating an ad schedule during the upcoming Summer Olympics.  This raises the question of what political broadcasting rules would apply to such a buy.  The Olympics run from August 8 through 24, before the lowest unit rate window for political candidates.  Thus, the Obama campaign is not entitled to … 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

The Run-Up to Super Tuesday – Rush, the Super Bowl, Union Ads and an Hour on the Hallmark Channel

Posted in Political Broadcasting
In the last few days before the Super Tuesday series of presidential primaries, efforts are being made across the political spectrum to convince voters to vote for or against the remaining candidates.  With Obama buying Super Bowl ads in many markets, Clinton planning a one-hour program on the Hallmark Channel the night before the primaries, … Continue Reading

Understanding Political Broadcasting – Questions and Answers About the Law, Rules and Policy Governing Broadcasters In an Election Year

Posted in Political Broadcasting
The FCC’s political broadcasting rules can seem impenetrable and ever-changing, yet the same basic rules have been in place for well over a decade, with only minimal changes in the sponsorship identification and public file requirements mandated by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002. With a little attention, memorization, and a guide to the rules, … Continue Reading