Broadcast Law Blog

Broadcast Law Blog

Monthly Archives: September 2009

FCC Plans Public Workshops to be Held in Connection with Its Review of Broadcast Ownership Rules

Posted in Multiple Ownership Rules
In a Public Notice issued yesterday, the FCC announced that it would do a series of open "workshops" in connection with its review of the broadcast multiple ownership rules – the rules that restrict the number of radio or television stations which one party can own and which restrict the cross-ownership of radio and TV stations… Continue Reading

FCC Reminder About January 1, 2010 Obligation to Close Caption Spanish Language Programming, and To Deliver Emergency Information So that it is Accessible to the Hearing Impaired

Posted in Emergency Communications, Television
The FCC recently issued two reminders about television programmer’s obligations to members of their audience who are hearing impaired.  The first notice made clear that stations must caption 100% of their "new, non-exempt" Spanish language programming as of January 1, 2010.  The second notice was to remind broadcasters that, when providing emergency information, they must make that information… Continue Reading

Broadcast Indecency Can’t Hide – A Candidate for Governor, a TV Newscaster, Saturday Night Live and the Clothing Malfunction

Posted in FCC Fines, Indecency
In the past several weeks, broadcast indecency has been back in the news – seemingly almost on a daily basis.  First, there was the story about Bob McDonnell, the Republican candidate for Virginia governor who, seemingly inadvertently, dropped the f-bomb, perhaps as a result of tripping over his tongue during a news interview on a news radio station… Continue Reading

Lots of Leftovers as FM Auction Comes to a Close

Posted in FM Radio
The FCC’s auction of 122 FM radio licenses came to a close last week with nearly a third of the licenses — 37 to be precise — remaining unsold at the closing hammer.  The outcome of the auction, which raised a net total of just $5.25 million on the sale of 85 licenses, may be… Continue Reading

FCC Inspections – Transmission Site Fines for Overpower Operation, Unlocked Tower Fences, and Improper STL Operations

Posted in AM Radio, FCC Fines, Tower Issues
Last week, we wrote about the FCC fining stations for a number of violations found at the studios of some broadcast stations.  In these same cases, the FCC also found a number of technical violations at the tower sites of some of the same stations.  Issues for which fines were issued included the failure to… Continue Reading

FCC Says It Will Stay Out of Programming Decisions – On Same Day MusicFirst Petition Comments Were Due

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
Last week, the FCC released a decision denying objections to the sale of the NY Times-owned radio station in New York City – objections based on the fears of certain listeners that the sale would mean the loss of the station’s classical music service.  In rejecting the petitions, the FCC relied on the long-standing policy of the FCC… Continue Reading

FCC Inspections – Fines for Violations of Rules on Main Studio, EAS, and Public File

Posted in Emergency Communications, FCC Fines, Tower Issues
Last week, the FCC issued several fines to broadcasters for failure to observe some basic FCC rules.  As there many FCC rules to observe, broadcasters should use the misfortune of others who have suffered from these fines as a way to check their own operations to make sure that they meet all of the required Commission standards.  In the recent… Continue Reading

Operating Broadcast Stations in an Emergency – AM Operations at Night, STAs and Other Issues

Posted in AM Radio, Emergency Communications, Tower Issues
The threat from the recent fires to the tower farm on Mount Wilson from which many of the radio and television stations serving the Los Angeles area operate highlight the need for broadcasters to have an emergency plan in the event that some local catastrophe affects their tower site.  The fact that this fire comes near to the anniversary… Continue Reading

David Oxenford Updates Kansas Broadcasters on Washington Legal Issues

Posted in Appearances, Broadcast Performance Royalty, Multiple Ownership Rules, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
David Oxenford provided a legal update on Washington issues to the Kansas Association of Broadcasters Annual Convention in Topeka on October 19, 2009.  His presentation – What Broadcasters Need to Know About What to Expect from Washington in 2009-2010 – discussed issues including the proposed broadcast performance royalty, localism and multiple ownership proceedings at the FCC, LPFM changes, and advertising and sponsorship… Continue Reading

Beginning Oct. 1st AM Radio Comes to the FM Dial

Posted in AM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM
With today’s Federal Register publication of the FCC’s recent Order amending the rules governing FM Translator stations, the date is officially set at October 1st for when AM stations can begin to rebroadcast their signals on FM translators.   Beginning October 1st, the long-standing prohibition on rebroadcasting AM radio on FM translators is off the books and translators are free to… Continue Reading