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Category Archives: Noncommercial Broadcasting

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Comment Dates Set on Proposed Rule Changes for Reviewing New Noncommercial and LPFM Applications

Posted in FM Translators and LPFM, Noncommercial Broadcasting
As we wrote here, the FCC recently adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to consider changes to its rules dealing with applications for new noncommercial educational stations and LPFM stations. The FCC plans to publish that Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register tomorrow, making comments due May 20, 2019, with replies due on… Continue Reading

FCC Adopts Order to Eliminate the EEO Mid-Term Report and Starts Rulemaking Proceeding to Review Proceedings on Grants of New Noncommercial and LPFM Stations

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Translators and LPFM, License Renewal, Noncommercial Broadcasting
The FCC at its meeting yesterday adopted the two broadcast items that it was expected to consider (see our article on the agenda here) – one agreeing to eliminate the FCC Form 397 EEO Mid-Term Report and a second starting a proceeding to reexamine certain aspects of the criteria used to select the applications to be… 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

FCC to Examine the Process for Awarding Construction Permits for New NCE and LPFM Stations – And Some of the Rules that Apply Once a New Noncommercial CP is Awarded

Posted in FM Translators and LPFM, Noncommercial Broadcasting
As we wrote on Friday, the government shutdown affects many aspects of FCC operations – and could affect the ability of the FCC to hold its regular monthly meeting, now scheduled for January 30. With the FCC likely shut down for most of this week, just before closing, the FCC released its agenda for the… Continue Reading

No Cost of Living Change in Webcasting Royalties for 2019 – Rate Proceeding for 2021-2026 about to Begin

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, Noncommercial Broadcasting
Last week, the Copyright Royalty Board announced its calculations for whether there would be a cost of living increase in the 2019 rates that Internet radio stations pay to SoundExchange for the public performance of sound recordings. In its initial release on the subject, the CRB’s announcement indicated that commercial webcasters would continue to pay… Continue Reading

FCC Grants 39 Radio Stations 60 Days to Complete Online Public File Conversion – Reminder to All Other Broadcasters that their Conversion Should be Complete

Posted in AM Radio, FCC Fines, FM Radio, License Renewal, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
The FCC yesterday issued an order granting 39 radio stations (almost all stations with very small staffs or those affected by recent hurricanes or otherwise non-operational) 60 days to comply with the requirement that all full-power radio stations complete the transition to the online public file by this past March 1. We wrote about this… Continue Reading

FCC LMS Filing System Off-Line for Maintenance For Parts of This Weekend – Making Biennial Ownership Report Filings More Difficult

Posted in AM Radio, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, General FCC, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Television
Note, for all of you who are trying to complete your Biennial Ownership Reports that are due for commercial and noncommercial stations on March 2 (see our post here about the March 2 filing date), the FCC yesterday posted a notice on the log-in screen for its LMS electronic database, in which the ownership reports are filed, that it will be off-line for… Continue Reading

With the March 1 Deadline Looming, What Should Radio Stations Be Doing to Prepare Their Online Public File? – Five Questions About Station Obligations

Posted in AM Radio, FM Radio, General FCC, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Website Issues
On a day when the rest of the country is thinking about chocolate and Champagne, many radio stations need to be considering the FCC requirement that their public inspection file be made available online in a system hosted by the FCC. From the calls I have received in the last few days, it appears that,… Continue Reading

GMR to Extend Commercial Radio Interim Licenses Until September 30, 2018

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Intellectual Property, Music Rights, Noncommercial Broadcasting
On Friday, the Radio Music License Committee issued a press release that states that Global Music Rights (“GMR”), the new performing rights organization that collects royalties for the public performance of songs written by a number of popular songwriters (including Bruce Springsteen, members of the Eagles, Pharrell Williams and others) has agreed to extend their… Continue Reading

Five Fines of $10,000 or More Proposed for Radio Stations Missing Quarterly Issues Programs Lists in their Public File – New Concerns for Stations as Public File Goes Online and License Renewal Approaches

Posted in AM Radio, FCC Fines, FM Radio, License Renewal, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
The FCC’s Audio Division yesterday issued “Notices of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture” to five radio stations; all owned by Cumulus Licensing. Each of these notices proposed a fine (called a “forfeiture” in FCC-speak) of either $10,000 (here) or $12,000 (here, here, here and here), all for violations of the FCC public file rules. All of… Continue Reading

FCC Reaches Consent Decree with Noncommercial Broadcaster Imposing Largest Fine Ever Issued for Underwriting Violations – $115,000

Posted in Advertising Issues, FCC Fines, Noncommercial Broadcasting
Noncommercial broadcast stations are licensed to be just that – noncommercial. These stations can run “underwriting announcements” acknowledging commercial businesses that provide financial support to the stations, but such announcements must meet strict guidelines – including restrictions on “calls to action,” prohibitions on statements about prices or discounts, and requirements that no qualitative claim about… Continue Reading

February Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Including EEO, Online Public File, Biennial Ownership Reports, ATSC 3.0 and FM Translator Comments, Effective Dates of Ownership Rule Changes

Posted in AM Radio, Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Multiple Ownership Rules, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Television
We are already a full month into the New Year, and the regulatory issues for broadcasters keep on coming. February brings the usual requirements for Annual EEO Public File Reports, which should be placed into the public inspection files (those public files being online for TV stations, big clusters of radio stations in Top 50… Continue Reading

CRB Sets Rates for Public Performance Royalties for Noncommercial Broadcast Stations for Over-the-Air Broadcasting – Rejects GMR Claim for Royalties

Posted in Intellectual Property, Music Rights, Noncommercial Broadcasting
The Copyright Royalty Board on Friday published in the Federal Register its decision setting the royalty rates that noncommercial broadcasters will pay to the performing rights organizations for the public performance of musical compositions in over-the-air broadcasting during the period 2018-2022.  The rates reflect settlements between ASCAP, BMI and SESAC and various organizations representing noncommercial… Continue Reading

Comment Dates Set on Unresolved Issues for Next Generation TV ATSC 3.0 Transition – Comments Due By February 20

Posted in Digital Television, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Television
When the FCC adopted its Report and Order authorizing the “next generation TV” standard ATSC 3.0, it did not resolve all issues, instead leaving a few for further public comment. Notice of the issues raised in the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published in the Federal Register just before Christmas, setting February 20 as… Continue Reading

SoundExchange Royalties Going Up for Webcasters in 2018

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, Noncommercial Broadcasting
The Copyright Royalty Board yesterday announced in the Federal Register, here, that the sound recording royalty rates paid to SoundExchange will be increasing next year.  In December 2015, when the CRB set the current royalty rates that apply from January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2020 (see our articles here and here), the CRB noted that… Continue Reading

Current Version of FCC Form 323 Ownership Report to Be Retired November 27 In Anticipation of New Report for Broadcaster’s Biennial Ownership Filings

Posted in AM Radio, FM Radio, General FCC, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Television
The FCC on Thursday issued a Public Notice announcing that, at the end of the day on November 27, 2017, the current versions of FCC Forms 323 and 323E will be retired. These forms will be replaced in the near future by a new version of the ownership report in the FCC’s LMS database. If you… Continue Reading

Two Updates – Effective Date of Noncommercial Fundraising and EAS Form 3 Filing

Posted in Emergency Communications, Noncommercial Broadcasting
We wanted to remind you about two recent regulatory dates in case you have overlooked them. A number of trade press articles reminded broadcasters that yesterday was the due date for the filing of Form 3 of the ETRS reporting system, reporting on the results of this year’s Nationwide EAS tests. If you did not… Continue Reading

FCC Announces Information Session on Revised Biennial Ownership Reports

Posted in AM Radio, FM Radio, General FCC, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Television
The FCC yesterday released a Public Notice announcing that it will be holding an information session on November 28, 2017 at 1 PM Eastern Time to familiarize broadcasters with the new Biennial Ownership Report forms. This information session can be viewed live online and will also be archived for viewing after the session (archive to… Continue Reading

Recordkeeping Rules for Third-Party Fundraising by Noncommercial Broadcasters to be Effective November 13, 2017

Posted in Noncommercial Broadcasting
In July, we wrote about the effective date of the FCC’s new rules allowing non-CPB noncommercial stations to interrupt their normal programming to raise funds for third-party charitable and non-profit organizations (we wrote here about the decision itself), for up to 1% of their total airtime. In July, we noted that the new rules on… Continue Reading

FCC Extends Filing Deadline for Biennial Ownership Reports Until March 2, 2018, But Will Require Reporting of Station Ownership as of October 1, 2017 Even By Those Who Sold Stations

Posted in AM Radio, Assignments and Transfers, FM Radio, General FCC, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Television
The FCC on Friday announced that they were extending the deadline for filing Biennial Ownership Reports by broadcasters from December 1 to March 2, 2018 to be sure that the new version of the form in the FCC’s LMS database will be up and ready to be used. The FCC will open the window for… Continue Reading

Remember FCC Rules on Underwriting Limitations – And that They Don’t Apply to Spots Bought By Nonprofit Entities

Posted in Advertising Issues, Noncommercial Broadcasting
Last week, the FCC reached a consent decree with a noncommercial broadcaster, where the broadcaster paid an $8000 penalty for, among other things, running underwriting spots that were too promotional. While the consent decree and its implementing order provide no details on the underwriting violations by the broadcaster, we can assume that the broadcaster ran… Continue Reading

Changes in FCC Rules on Third-Party Fundraising By Noncommercial Stations Effective Now – Except for the New Disclosure and Paperwork Obligations

Posted in Noncommercial Broadcasting
At its April meeting, the FCC voted to allow noncommercial stations not affiliated with NPR or CPB to raise funds for third-party nonprofit organizations, even where such fundraising appeals interrupted normal programming, as long as the licensee did not devote more than 1% of its yearly airtime to such appeals. We wrote here about the… Continue Reading