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Category Archives: General FCC

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US Attorneys and FCC Combine to Shut Down Pirate Radio Station

Posted in FCC Fines, FM Radio, General FCC, Programming Regulations
The FCC yesterday issued a News Release about an unusual action taken by the US Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts entering into a consent decree with a pirate radio operator, where the operator agreed to surrender all of its operating equipment to the FCC, and to stop broadcasting illegally.  If the operator is again caught operating… Continue Reading

June Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – License Renewal, EEO Reports, Reg Fee Comments, Ownership Appeal Argument and More

Posted in Cable Carriage, Children's Programming and Advertising, Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, Emergency Communications, FCC Fines, FM Radio, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, License Renewal, Multiple Ownership Rules, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
The license renewal cycle, about which we have been warning broadcasters for at least the last year (see, for instance, our posts here, here and here), is now upon us. June 3 is the filing deadline for license renewals for radio stations in Maryland, DC, Virginia and West Virginia. Radio stations (including FM translators and… Continue Reading

Video Looking at the Basics of the Online Public Inspection File and Quarterly Issues Programs Lists

Posted in FCC Fines, General FCC, License Renewal, On Line Media, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Uncategorized
Looking for a brief explanation of the online public inspection file and Quarterly Issues Programs List, and how they will be viewed in connection with the upcoming license renewal cycle – including the potential fines for violations of the rules? The Indiana Broadcasters has just released this video of me discussing those issues available here.… Continue Reading

FCC to Hold Public Forum on ENT Captioning of Live TV Programming Tomorrow, May 10

Posted in Emergency Communications, General FCC, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
The FCC tomorrow will hold a public forum on Electronic Newsroom Technique (ENT) of captioning live TV programming tomorrow from 1 PM to 4:45 PM Eastern Time (see the agenda here). The forum will be available for viewing online (go to the FCC webpage here for information about connecting). This forum may provide a good… Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comments on Univision Request to Exceed 50% Foreign Ownership

Posted in General FCC, Multiple Ownership Rules, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
The FCC this week released a Public Notice soliciting comments on the request of Univision, which owns US radio and TV stations, to have foreign ownership that exceeds 50%. As we wrote here, the FCC previously permitted foreign ownership of up to 49% of the company. With a restructuring of its investors, the company is… Continue Reading

May Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – License Renewal Activities and Lots of Comment Dates

Posted in AM Radio, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FCC Fees, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, License Renewal, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Multiple Ownership Rules, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Television
With the June 3 filing deadline fast approaching for license renewals for radio stations in Maryland, DC, Virginia and West Virginia, stations (including FM translators and LPFMs) licensed to any community in any of those states should be beginning to prepare their applications. As we wrote here, the FCC forms should be available next week,… Continue Reading

Regulatory Issues from the NAB Convention: License Renewals, ATSC 3.0, Translator Interference, Ownership Rules, and Children’s TV

Posted in Children's Programming and Advertising, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, License Renewal, Multiple Ownership Rules, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
Questions about regulations from Washington don’t disappear just because you are spending time in Las Vegas, and this week’s NAB Convention brought discussion of many such issues. We’ll write about the discussion of antitrust issues that occurred during several sessions at the Convention in another post. But, today, we will report on news about more… Continue Reading

April Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Radio License Renewal, Quarterly Issues Programs Lists and Children’s Television Reports, Repacking and EEO Dates, and Comments on the Quadrennial Review

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, License Renewal, Multiple Ownership Rules, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
April, as we wrote last month, begins the start of the radio license renewal process, with stations in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia having to run on the 1st and 16th of the month public notices of the planned filing of their license renewals at the beginning of June.  As we… Continue Reading

April Fool’s Day is Monday – Don’t Let the Joke Be on You by Forgetting the FCC’s Hoax Rule

Posted in Emergency Communications, FCC Fines, General FCC
It’s that time again.  If you are planning any on-air pranks on Monday for April Fools’ Day, think twice.  As we do every year about this time, we need to play our role as attorneys and ruin the fun by repeating our reminder that broadcasters need to be careful with any on-air pranks, jokes or other… Continue Reading

March Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Preparing for License Renewal Tops the List

Posted in Cable Carriage, Children's Programming and Advertising, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, License Renewal, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
March is one of those unusual months in the broadcast regulatory cycle, where there are no routine EEO public file obligations, and no quarterly filing obligations or other regularly scheduled regulatory deadlines.  That means that my tardiness in publishing this article before the start of the month did not miss anything important.  But, starting next… Continue Reading

PIRATE Act Passes House of Representatives Imposing Fines of $100,000 a Day on Unlicensed Radio Operators – Now on to the Senate

Posted in FCC Fines, FM Radio, General FCC
The PIRATE Act, imposing Federal penalties on pirate radio station operators, was passed last week by the US House of Representatives and referred to the US Senate for consideration. We wrote about versions of this bill introduced in prior Congressional sessions here and here. This bill, among other things, would impose penalties of up to… Continue Reading

A Call to Regulate E-Cig Advertising – What is the FCC’s Role in Regulating Advertising For the Vices?

Posted in Advertising Issues, Children's Programming and Advertising, FCC Fines, General FCC, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
In recent months, there have been many calls to regulate e-cigs, and potentially to regulate the marketing of all sorts of vaping products, including a call last week by an FCC Commissioner in an op-ed article in USA Today.  As we wrote several months ago, these suggestions have been based in the fear that increased… Continue Reading

Elimination of Requirement for Broadcasters to File Contracts and Agreements with the FCC Becomes Effective

Posted in General FCC
Back in October, the FCC eliminated the requirement that broadcasters file contracts and organizational documents with the Commission. See our post here for more details. That change became effective on January 22, 2019, as noted in an FCC Public Notice released earlier this week. This change was part of the Modernization of Media Regulation initiative,… Continue Reading

Elimination of Requirement that Broadcasters Post Their Licenses Becomes Effective

Posted in AM Radio, FCC Fines, FM Radio, General FCC, Television
As we wrote here, at the FCC’s December meeting, the FCC was scheduled to adopt an order eliminating the requirement that broadcasters post a physical copy of their licenses and other instruments of authorization at their control points or transmitter sites. In fact, the Commission adopted that order before the meeting, and it today published… Continue Reading

Important Dates for Broadcasters in 2019 – A Broadcaster’s Calendar

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, General FCC, License Renewal, Political Broadcasting, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
While the shutdown of the Federal government delayed FCC activities in January, with the government back in business (hopefully for the long term), we have put together a Calendar of Important Dates for Broadcasters for 2019, available here. The calendar highlights normal regulatory dates like those for Annual EEO Public Inspection File Reports, Quarterly Issues… Continue Reading

Update on Updating the Public Inspection File Post-Shutdown

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, General FCC, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
Yesterday, we published an article talking about an FCC public notice extending all filing deadlines that fell between January 8 and February 7 (except those dealing with auctions and other activities of the FCC unaffected by the government shutdown) to February 8. The article also mentioned that the FCC gave stations that had not been… Continue Reading

FCC Further Extends Deadlines for Filings Due During the Shutdown – Including Quarterly Issues Programs Lists – and Moves Up Monthly Meeting

Posted in AM Radio, EEO Compliance/Diversity, General FCC, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
Yesterday, we wrote about upcoming deadlines for broadcasters, and noted that the FCC was going to be releasing an order providing further details on the deadlines for pleadings and other documents that were due during the government shutdown.  That Public Notice was released on Tuesday, and further postponed many filing deadlines which fell during the… Continue Reading

February Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – EEO Reports, Webcasting Proceeding, FCC Meeting and Other Issues

Posted in AM Radio, Broadcast Auctions, Children's Programming and Advertising, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Multiple Ownership Rules, Music Rights, Noncommercial Broadcasting
With the reopening of the Federal government (at least for the moment), regulatory deadlines should begin to flow in a more normal course.  All of those January dates that we wrote about here have been extended by an FCC Public Notice released yesterday until at least Wednesday, January 30 (except for the deadlines associated with… Continue Reading

FCC May Hold January Open Meeting By Conference Call, Without the “Meat”

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Noncommercial Broadcasting
The government shutdown continues to create a confusing situation for government agencies faced with statutory obligations that are difficult to honor without a working federal bureaucracy. The FCC by law is required to hold a monthly public meeting but, when the bulk of its employees are furloughed, it is difficult to meaningfully adhere to that… Continue Reading

January Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – The Shutdown Does Not Put Everything on Hold

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Children's Programming and Advertising, EEO Compliance/Diversity, General FCC, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Website Issues
We typically publish our article about upcoming regulatory dates before the beginning of each month, but this month, the looming FCC shutdown and determining its effect on filing deadlines pushed back our schedule. As we wrote on Friday, the effect of the shutdown is now becoming clear – and it has the potential to put… Continue Reading

FCC Shuts Down Because of Government Funding Impasse – What Does It Mean for Broadcasters?

Posted in Assignments and Transfers, Broadcast Auctions, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Political Broadcasting
Do you have a deal to buy a new station or a planned technical modification that needs FCC approval? Well, it looks like those plans may have to wait as the budget controversy in Washington has shut down the FCC. But what does the shut-down really mean for broadcasters? The FCC clarified some of the… Continue Reading