Broadcast Law Blog

Broadcast Law Blog

Tag Archives: Zapple Doctrine

FCC Repeals the Fairness Doctrine – Who Cares?

Posted in Fairness Doctrine, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
Yesterday, FCC Chairman Genachowski issued a press release stating that the FCC was abolishing the Fairness Doctrine as part of its clearing of its book of 83 obsolete media rules.  What should the reaction of broadcasters be now that the Fairness Doctrine has been officially abolished?  Probably, a collective yawn.  In 1987 – almost 25 years ago … Continue Reading

Colbert Super PAC Ad Rejected by Iowa TV Station – Can They Do That?

Posted in Political Broadcasting
Advertising from Stephen Colbert’s Super PAC was rejected by Des Moines television station WOI-TV, based on its belief that these commercials would be confusing to Iowa voters.  Colbert, the host of Comedy Central’s the Colbert Report, has formed his own Political Action Committee to run ads during the upcoming Presidential election.  The first ads ran in Iowa this past … Continue Reading

Recommendations from the Future of Media Report: End Localism Proceeding, Require More Online Public File Disclosures of Programming Information, Abolish Fairness Doctrine

Posted in Fairness Doctrine, FM Translators and LPFM, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
The FCC today heard from its Future of Media task force, when its head, Steven Waldman presented a summary of its contents at its monthly meeting.  At the same time, the task force issued its 475 page report - which spends most of its time talking about the history of media and the current media … 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

What is the Impact on Broadcasters of Supreme Court Decision that Corporations Can Buy Political Ads? More Money, More Ad Challenges and the Return of the Zapple Doctrine

Posted in Fairness Doctrine, Political Broadcasting
The Supreme Court Decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, freeing corporations to use their corporate funds to take explicit positions on political campaigns, has been mostly analyzed by broadcast trade publications as a good thing – creating one more class of potential buyers for broadcaster’s advertising time during the political season – which seems … Continue Reading

No Candidate, No Fairness Doctrine and No Equal Time

Posted in Fairness Doctrine, Political Broadcasting
The New York Times ran an article about how certain African-American radio hosts were acting as cheerleaders for the Obama campaign, and contrasting that to past elections where talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh gave a boost to Republican candidates on their programs.  How is it that these programs can take political positions without triggering requirements that … 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