Broadcast Law Blog

Broadcast Law Blog

Monthly Archives: February 2007

Congress to Review the State of Radio

Posted in Digital Radio, Internet Radio, Multiple Ownership Rules
At the NAB Broadcast Leadership Conference in Washington today, Congressman Ed Markey, Chairman of the House of Representatives Telecommunications and Internet Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee, announced that the subcommittee would hold hearings on the state of radio.  These hearings would examine not only over-the-air radio, but also Internet radio, HD radio, satellite radio… Continue Reading

A $24 Million Lesson on Children’s Educational Programming

Posted in Children's Programming and Advertising
$24 Million is enough to get anyone’s attention – and a fine in that amount should wake up all television broadcasters who have grown complacent about the FCC’s enforcement of its regulations requiring television stations to broadcast three hours of weekly educational and informational programming directed to children.  According to a report in the New York Times, the… Continue Reading

What’s An FCC Commissioner Like You Doing In a Place Like This?

Posted in Multiple Ownership Rules
While the FCC Commissioners are in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania today holding the third of the Commission’s promised six field hearings on multiple ownership, an interesting story was published yesterday, announcing an unofficial "town meeting" of consolidation critics in Columbus, Ohio on March 7.  While these unofficial meetings have become a staple of the broadcast landscape, they traditionally feature one… Continue Reading

XM and Sirius – The Issues Beyond the Issues

Posted in Cable Carriage, Digital Radio, Internet Radio, Multiple Ownership Rules, Programming Regulations
By now, everyone knows that XM and Sirius have announced plans to merge into a single nationwide satellite radio service provider.  This plan is, of course, subject to approval of the FCC.  The NAB has announced plans to oppose the merger, and Congress today scheduled hearings on the matter, to be held next week.  The obvious issues to be… Continue Reading

The Campaign Starts – Are You Ready?

Posted in Political Broadcasting
Today’s New York Times carried an article announcing that the Mitt Romney campaign is planning to run advertising spots for his Presidential campaign in five states – at least 10 months before the first contest for delegates to the Republican presidential nominating convention.  With this first purchase of political time in what promises to be a very… Continue Reading

Violence and Viagra – More Content Regulation on the Way?

Posted in Advertising Issues, Programming Regulations
Two interesting stories in major national newspapers highlight the attention that the content of broadcast programming is receiving from regulators – both at the FCC and in Congress.  One story, in the Washington Post, reveals a draft FCC report suggesting that the FCC could regulate violent programming in the same way that it regulates indecent programming,… Continue Reading

Radio on TV

Posted in Internet Video, On Line Media
Yesterday’s New York Times featured an article on radio’s increasing use of Internet video to promote their on-air programs, to extend their brand, and to increase the connection with their listeners.  This is another manifestation of the theme we wrote about earlier this week in connection with this year’s RAB Convention, where the emphasis was… Continue Reading

EEO Audits and Fines Continue

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity
The FCC today released a Public Notice announcing that it had sent EEO audit letters to approximately 150 radio and television stations around the country.  The Public Notice contains a list of the stations being audited.  In its Order adopting the current EEO rules, the FCC promised to audit about 5% of all stations each… Continue Reading

Fun With Low Power FM

Posted in FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC
Two recent FCC cases set confusing and perhaps dangerous precedents for the use of Low Power FM stations.  In one case, the FCC allowed a pirate operator that they had shut down for an illegal operation to then resume operations under Special Temporary Authority (apparently following Congressional intervention).  In another case, where protests were lodged… Continue Reading

The RAB Convention – Not Your Father’s Radio Sales Convention

Posted in Advertising Issues, Digital Radio, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Internet Video, On Line Media
I’ve just returned from this year’s Radio Advertising Bureau convention in Dallas.  In reflecting on the convention, and in discussing it with many who were in attendance, the consensus was that this was not your Father’s RAB convention.  I was surprised by how little discussion there was of traditional radio at the conference.  The sessions weren’t the typical… Continue Reading

Editorials Oppose Return of the Fairness Doctrine

Posted in Fairness Doctrine, Political Broadcasting
Last week, we wrote about the potential return of the Fairness Doctrine, reminding broadcasters what the doctrine had really meant – free commercials to groups that wanted to respond to purchased ads addressing controversial issues of public importance, and few if any editorials or controversial programming that took a position on issues, as that would also have meant… Continue Reading