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Category Archives: Public Interest Obligations/Localism

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FCC Issues Reminder on Upcoming License Renewal Cycle: Begins with Radio in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia in June and Pre-Filing Public Notices on April 1

Posted in AM Radio, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, License Renewal, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
The FCC on Friday issued a Public Notice reminding radio stations that the license renewal cycle begins in June, when all stations in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia are due to electronically file their license renewal applications, along with the Broadcast Equal Employment Opportunity Report on Form 396 (the 396 being… Continue Reading

FCC Sends More Warnings to Radio Stations that Are Not Compliant with Online Inspection Public File Obligations – Quarterly Issues/Programs Lists are the Biggest Target

Posted in FCC Fines, License Renewal, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Website Issues
The FCC has once again started sending out email notices to broadcast stations that are not in compliance with their online public file obligations. This follows a set of notices sent in early December, where the FCC first warned specific stations that there were issues with their online public inspection files (see our article here).… 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

Countdown to Comments on Next Quadrennial Review of Media Ownership Begins – Part I, Local Radio Ownership

Posted in AM Radio, FM Radio, Multiple Ownership Rules, On Line Media, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the next Quadrennial Review of the FCC’s ownership rules was adopted in December and was published today in the Federal Register, starting the 60 day period for public comments. Comments on the NPRM will be due on April 29 with reply comments due on May 29. The FCC is… 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

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

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

Time Magazine Awards Journalists in Harm’s Way Person of the Year Award – What Are You Doing to Keep Your Broadcast Employee’s Safe?

Posted in Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Security
Yesterday, it was announced that Time Magazine had awarded its person of the year award to “the Guardians” – journalists around the world who risk their lives to bring us the news each day.  Most broadcasters don’t think of their on-air personnel as facing the same risks as journalists in war zones or facing imprisonment… Continue Reading

FCC Starts Warning Stations of Noncompliance with Online Public Inspection File Rules

Posted in FCC Fines, License Renewal, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
This morning, the FCC has started to email out notices to numerous radio stations throughout the country, notifying them that there are issues with their online public inspection files. The email notices do not reveal what the specific problem is – but instead simply say that there are issues and ask for notice of corrective… Continue Reading

The Importance of Assessing the Safety and Security of Broadcast Stations and Their Personnel

Posted in Appearances, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Security
A topic not much discussed among broadcasters, but one that should be paramount in the future planning of all broadcast companies, is insuring the security of their stations and the safety of their employees.  This is an issue on which all broadcasters should be focusing.  Last month, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association for the second time… Continue Reading

Just Seven Months to the Beginning of the License Renewal Cycle – Is Your Station Ready?

Posted in License Renewal, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
As we have written before, the next license renewal cycle begins on June 1, 2019, with radio stations in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia submitting their applications. Radio renewals proceed in with applications every other month from a state or group of states (the schedule is available on the FCC website… Continue Reading

December Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – EEO Reports, December FCC Meeting and Getting Ready for New Years’ Obligations

Posted in Children's Programming and Advertising, Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, General FCC, Multiple Ownership Rules, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
While the holidays may be upon us, there is no rest in the broadcast regulatory world. December 1 brings routine EEO public file report obligations for radio and television station employment units with 5 or more full-time employees for stations located in Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode… Continue Reading

FCC Reminder About Activation of the Online Public Inspection File – Potential Impact of Noncompliance at License Renewal Time

Posted in FCC Fines, General FCC, License Renewal, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Website Issues
By March 1 of 2018, all radio stations were to have activated their online public file. We wrote about how that activation should be done here, and answered other questions about the online public file for radio here. Yet, from my own review, and from what I have heard from engineers who conduct reviews of… Continue Reading

FCC Proposes Lessened Interference Protections for Class A “Clear Channel” AM Stations – What Does This Proposal Mean for AM Revitalization?

Posted in AM Radio, Emergency Communications, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
Late last week, the FCC issued a “Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” in its AM Revitalization Proceeding. The FCC has been taking steps over the last several years to attempt to restore AM radio to health. In last week’s Further Notice, the FCC followed up on ideas that it floated in 2016 in a… Continue Reading

October Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Quarterly Issues Programs Lists and Children’s Television Reports, EEO Public File Obligations, Nationwide EAS Test, Registration of C Band Earth Stations, and Comments in Numerous FCC Proceedings

Posted in Children's Programming and Advertising, EEO Compliance/Diversity, Emergency Communications, FCC Fines, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, License Renewal, Multiple Ownership Rules, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
October is one of the busiest months on the broadcast regulatory calendar, as it includes a confluence of routine EEO filing requirements, quarterly filing requirements for Children’s Television Reports, public file uploading for all stations for their Quarterly Issues Programs Lists, a Nationwide EAS test, and comment dates in many FCC proceedings. Make sure that… Continue Reading

FCC Decision Illustrates Details of the Application of FCC Foreign Ownership Approval Requirements

Posted in Multiple Ownership Rules, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
In a decision released yesterday, the FCC issued a “remedial declaratory ruling” finding the change in control of stock in a company that owned broadcast stations did not offend the public interest, and that the approval of foreign ownership in the company that controlled broadcast stations above 25% (but capped at 49%) that was issued… Continue Reading

FCC Approves Another Radio Station Acquisition by a Company that is 100% Foreign-Owned

Posted in Assignments and Transfers, FM Radio, Multiple Ownership Rules, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
The FCC yesterday issued a Declaratory Ruling approving the acquisition of an FM radio station in upstate New York by a company that is 100% controlled by two individuals, neither of whom is a US citizen. One is a UK citizen, the second a citizen of Poland. These individuals have lived in the US for… Continue Reading

What Does an FCC Designation for Hearing Mean?

Posted in Assignments and Transfers, Multiple Ownership Rules, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
In light of yesterday’s announcement that the FCC Chairman has proposed that portions of the acquisition by Sinclair Broadcast Group of the television stations owned by Tribune Media would be designated for hearing, one question that many have asked is, “What does designation for hearing mean?”  Several decades ago, the process of designating an application… Continue Reading

A Big Day at the FCC – Kids TV, EAS and C Band Proposals, Incubator and LPTV/FM Repacking Reimbursement Drafts, FM Translator Reconsideration, and NJ TV License Renewal Decision

Posted in Children's Programming and Advertising, Emergency Communications, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, License Renewal, Multiple Ownership Rules, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
There was lots of news out of the FCC yesterday that will give us issues to write about for weeks to come. Here are some highlights. At its open meeting, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on potentially reforming the children’s television rules – including a review as to whether the current requirement… Continue Reading

Reminder – Quarterly Issues Programs Lists Must Be Placed In Public File Today

Posted in FCC Fines, License Renewal, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
Last week, in our calendar of regulatory dates for broadcasters in July, we reminded broadcasters that their Quarterly Issues Programs lists needed to be placed in their public file by today, July 10. This quarterly requirement has been in place for over 30 years, but is still an obligation whose breach has led to more… Continue Reading

July Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Quarterly Issues Programs Lists and Children’s Television Reports, EAS Reform, LPFM and FM Translators, C Band Earth Stations and More

Posted in Children's Programming and Advertising, Emergency Communications, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, License Renewal, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
July brings the obligation for each full-power broadcaster to add a new Quarterly Issues Programs List to their online public inspection file. These reports, summarizing the issues facing each station’s community of license in the prior three months and the programs broadcast by the station to address those issues, must be added to the public… Continue Reading

Countdown to License Renewal – Recent FCC Decisions Highlight Some Issues to Consider

Posted in FCC Fines, License Renewal, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
We are less than one year away from the beginning of the next radio license renewal cycle. By June 1 of 2019, radio broadcasters with stations licensed to communities in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia must have their license renewal applications on file. Stations in certain southeastern states follow two months… Continue Reading