Broadcast Law Blog

Broadcast Law Blog

Tag Archives: Section 315

Sportscaster Running for Mayor In Chicago Suburb Taken Off the Air – Illustrating that the Equal Opportunities Rule Applies to State and Local Candidates

Posted in Political Broadcasting
A recent article in the Chicago Tribune demonstrates that the FCC’s Equal Opportunities requirements, as embodied in Section 315 of the Communications Act, apply to candidates for state and local elective office as well as to those for Federal office. We have written before about this obligation of stations to provide Equal Opportunities (sometimes referred to as … 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

Why Broadcasters Have To Air Political Attack Ads Even If They Don’t Want To

Posted in Political Broadcasting
With the Florida broadcast airwaves overrun with political ads in the last few days - the great majority of them attack ads – many ask why do broadcasters keep running those ads?  Of course, there are revenue considerations.  But as the attacks get nastier, and perhaps even go against the interest of the station owners themselves, … 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

FCC Declares Anderson Cooper’s Daytime Talk Show to Be Exempt From Equal Opportunities – What’s The Impact on Your Local Talk Programs?

Posted in Political Broadcasting
The FCC issued a declaratory ruling this week finding that Anderson Cooper’s new talk show appeared to be a bona fide news interview program exempt from equal opportunities under the FCC’s political broadcasting rules interpreting the mandate of Section 315 of the Communications Act. This ruling is another in a series of rulings by the FCC making … Continue Reading

Donald Trump May Declare Presidential Candidacy on The Apprentice – FCC Legal Issues?

Posted in Political Broadcasting
This past week’s political news seemed to be all about Donald Trump and his possible run for the Presidency – and his plans to announce his intent to run on the season finale of The Apprentice.  When, a week ago, we wrote about the President declaring his candidacy, there was little interest in our post, and there seemed … 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

Remember that Political Ads By State and Local Candidates Need to Have Candidate’s Recognizable Voice or Picture to Be a Use

Posted in Political Broadcasting
While most of the FCC’s political broadcasting rules have remain unchanged for almost 20 years, each year there are a few new wrinkles that arise, and seemingly a few misconceptions that make the rounds among advertising agencies that work with political candidates.  One such misconception that seems to be circulating this year is that an ad … 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

Leaving the Air to Run For Office – What to Do With The Broadcaster Who Becomes a Candidate

Posted in Political Broadcasting
As we enter the 2010 election season, questions are beginning to arise about broadcast station on-air employees who decide to run for political office, and what a station needs to do about such employees to avoid issues under the FCC political broadcasting rules.  For instance, in Arizona, talk show host (and former Congressman) JD Hayworth … Continue Reading

FCC Asks for Comment on MusicFirst’s Petition Against Broadcasters for On-Air Activities Opposing Radio Performance Royalty

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Fairness Doctrine, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations
The FCC today asked for public comments on the petition of the MusicFirst Coalition asking the Commission to take action against broadcast stations who did not fairly address on air the proposed sound recording public performance royalty for terrestrial radio.  The Petition, about which we wrote here, alleges, with very few specifics, that some radio stations have … Continue Reading

Health Policy Ads on Broadcast Stations – Remember Your Public File Obligations

Posted in Advertising Issues, Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Political Broadcasting
A story in today’s Wall Street Journal discusses the significant amount of money being spent on television advertising for and against pending proposals for health care reform.  As we have written before, broadcasters are required to keep in their public file information about advertising dealing with Federal issues - records as detailed as those kept for political candidates.  … Continue Reading

Fairness Doctrine Back in the News (Part 1) – What’s It all About?

Posted in Fairness Doctrine, Political Broadcasting
Since the election of President Obama and the Democratic majority in both houses of Congress, the fears of the return of the Fairness Doctrine have been highlighted on talk radio, online, by emails and in conversations throughout the broadcast industry.  Even though President Obama had stated that he was not in favor of its return, … Continue Reading