Here are some of the regulatory developments of significance to broadcasters from the past week, with links to where you can go to find more information as to how these actions may affect your operations.

  • FEMA and the FCC announced that this year’s Nationwide EAS Test is scheduled for October 4, 2023 (with a back-up

The FCC’s Media Bureau this week issued a Public Notice announcing the rules for filing applications for new Low Power FM stations during a filing window that will open on November 1 and close on November 8, 2023 at 6 PM EST.  As part of that announcement of the rules for the preparation and processing of applications to be submitted in the filing window, the Media Bureau stated that a freeze on the filing of applications for changes in the facilities of FM translators and existing LPFM stations would go into effect on September 1, 2023.  Thus, if you are planning any technical changes to any FM translator, or any change in an existing LPFM, file before midnight EST on August 31, 2023 to avoid processing delays.  The freeze will be in effect at least until the end of the LPFM filing window on November 8, 2023. 

The freeze is meant to provide a stable database so that applicants in the LPFM window can accurately determine where there are available channels, and where there are stations or applications that need to be protected from interference.  The Public Notice emphasizes that LPFM applications must protect all existing FM stations, all FM translators and LPFMs, and all translator and LPFM applications filed and accepted by the FCC by the end of August before the freeze goes into effect.Continue Reading Looking at the Rules for the November Window for Filing for New LPFM Stations – and the September 1 Freeze on Changes in Existing FM Translator and LPFM Facilities

Here are some of the regulatory developments of significance to broadcasters from the past week, with links to where you can go to find more information as to how these actions may affect your operations.

Here are some of the regulatory developments of significance to broadcasters from the past week, with links to where you can go to find more information as to how these actions may affect your operations.

  • The FCC has requested comments on NAB’s petition asking the Commission to grant a two-year extension of the May 26,

Here are some of the regulatory developments of significance to broadcasters from the past week, with links to where you can go to find more information as to how these actions may affect your operations.

  • FCC Commissioner Simington issued a statement supporting a recent letter from former FEMA leaders to the Department of Transportation highlighting

Here are some of the regulatory developments of significance to broadcasters from the past week, with links to where you can go to find more information as to how these actions may affect your operations.

  • The Senate Commerce Committee announced that it will hold a hearing on February 14 on the long-delayed nomination of Gigi

Here are some of the regulatory developments of significance to broadcasters from the past week, with links to where you can go to find more information as to how these actions may affect your operations.

  • The FCC issued a Public Notice extending the deadlines for all filings in the FCC’s LMS or online public file

Here are some of the regulatory developments of significance to broadcasters from the past week, with links to where you can go to find more information as to how these actions may affect your operations.

  • By a Public Notice issued on December 15, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau told broadcasters to submit

In a very busy week, here are some of the regulatory developments of significance to broadcasters from the past week, with links to where you can go to find more information as to how these actions may affect your operations.

  • The Federal Trade Commission and seven state Attorneys General announced a settlement with Google LLC and iHeart Media, Inc. over allegations that iHeart radio stations aired thousands of deceptive endorsements for Google Pixel 4 phones by radio personalities who had never used the phone.  The FTC’s complaint alleges that in 2019, Google hired iHeart and 11 other radio broadcast companies to have their on-air personalities record and broadcast endorsements of the Pixel 4 phone, but did not provide the on-air personalities with the phone that they were endorsing.  Google provided scripts for the on-air personalities to record, which included lines such as “It’s my favorite phone camera out there” and “I’ve been taking studio-like photos of everything,” despite these DJs never having used the phone.  The deceptive endorsements aired over 28,000 times across ten major markets from October 2019 to March 2020.  As part of the settlement, subject to approval by the courts, Google will pay approximately $9 million and iHeart will pay approximately $400,000 to the states that were part of the agreement.  The settlement also imposes substantial paperwork and administrative burdens by requiring both companies to submit annual compliance reports for a period of years (10 years in the case of iHeart), and create and retain financial and other records (in the case of iHeart, the records must be created for a period of ten years and retained for five years).
    • This case is a reminder that stations must ensure that their on-air talent have at least some familiarity with any product they endorse, particularly where on-air scripts suggest that they have actually used the product.  Stations should not assume that talent know the relevant rules – they more likely will just read whatever is handed to them without understanding the potential legal risk for the station, which, as demonstrated in this case, could be significant.

Continue Reading This Week in Regulation for Broadcasters: November 26 to December 2 , 2022