Broadcast Law Blog

Broadcast Law Blog

Tag Archives: rules

EEO Review, Public File Issues, Contest Rules, and License Renewal DIscussed in Seminars at Joint Convention of Oregon and Washington State Broadcast Associations

Posted in Appearances, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FCC Fines, General FCC, License Renewal
The nuts and bolts of legal issues for broadcasters were highlighted in two sessions in which I participated at last week’s joint convention of the Oregon and Washington State Broadcasters Associations, held in Stephenson, Washington, on the Columbia River that divides the two states.  Initially, I conducted a seminar for broadcasters providing a refresher on their EEO… Continue Reading

Closed Captioning Update: New Complaint Rules Now Effective; Contact Information Due by March 22, 2010

Posted in Emergency Communications, Programming Regulations, Television
On Friday, Feb. 19, 2010, two important new closed captioning rules were published in the Federal Register and went into effect. The new rules require immediate attention by video programming distributors — including broadcast television stations — to ensure that they respond promptly to viewer complaints regarding closed captioning issues, and to ensure that they timely… Continue Reading

Broadcast Station Reminder: FCC Ownership Reports due Feb. 1 for Noncommercial Stations in Select States

Posted in General FCC, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Television
A reminder that by February 1 noncommercial radio stations in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, and New York, and noncommercial television stations in Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma must prepare and file electronically a biennial Ownership Report with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) using the current noncommercial FCC Form 323-E. Please note, this filing date applies… Continue Reading

Broadcast Station Reminder: EEO Public File Reports and Form 397 EEO Mid-Term Reports due by Feb. 1st for Stations in Select States

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity
February 1st marks the deadline for two FCC EEO requirements.  First, by February 1st, radio and television stations located in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York and Oklahoma must prepare their Annual EEO Public File Reports. Specifically, stations or Station Employment Units (SEUs) in those states with five or more full time employees… Continue Reading

FCC Continues Review of Media Ownership Rules with Workshop on Financial Issues

Posted in Multiple Ownership Rules
The Commission has announced the next in its series of media ownership workshops, this one to address financial issues facing the media industry.  The workshop, part of the Commission’s 2010 quadrennial review of its ownership rules, will be held on January 12, 2010 at the FCC, and will address, in the FCC’s words:  "the current financial and economic… Continue Reading

On-line Recruitment Not Sufficient EEO Outreach for the FCC

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity
In three cases released last week, the FCC made clear that its EEO rules, requiring wide dissemination of information about job opportunities at broadcast stations (and cable systems), are not satisfied by solely posting of information about openings on websites.  Instead, the Commission required that additional outreach efforts be undertaken in order to assure that the… Continue Reading

Selling Stories In a Broadcast Station’s News Programs – Remember the Sponsorship Identification

Posted in Payola and Sponsorship Identification
A recent stir was created when a Midwestern television company was reported to have signed a contract with a state government agency, promising to market the agency and its programs throughout the state.  This promotion was to include a segment in the company’s televised news promoting the effects of the work of the agency.  Questions were immediately… Continue Reading

FCC to Revisit Newspaper-Broadcast Cross Ownership Restrictions – Maybe the Rule Will Die Before the Newspaper Does

Posted in Multiple Ownership Rules
A few weeks ago, we wrote about just how outmoded the FCC’s prohibitions on the cross ownership of newspapers and broadcast stations were in an era when newspapers seem to be going out of business at an alarming rate.   We quoted a DC trade press reporter who had mused that the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rule could well… Continue Reading

FCC Launches New Round of EEO Audits – Highlights the Requirment for Posting Annual Report on Station’s Website

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity
The FCC today released another Public Notice announcing the random audit of the EEO performance of a number of broadcast stations – listing both radio and television stations that have to respond, with stations spread throughout the country.  The FCC has promised to annually audit 5% of all broadcast licensees to assess their compliance with the FCC’s EEO rules.  These… Continue Reading

More Fines for Stations That Broadcast Telephone Conversations Without Prior Permission – Permission After “Hello” Is Too Late

Posted in FCC Fines
The FCC today issued two fines to stations who violated the FCC’s rule against airing phone calls for which permission had not been received before the call was either taped for broadcast or aired live.  We’ve written about other fines for the violation of this rule, Section 73.1206, many times (see here, here, and here). … Continue Reading

DWT Advisory on DTV Transition Process for New June 12 Deadline Is Now Available

Posted in Digital Television, Television
Yesterday, we briefly wrote about the FCC’s release of a notice summarizing the process that television stations need to follow as they transition to digital under the newly extended DTV conversion date.  In yesterday’s post, we promised a more detailed memo summarizing the requirements that the FCC has set out.  That advisory is now available here. … Continue Reading

FCC Issues Instructions for Stations to Deal With the Extension of the DTV Conversion Deadline

Posted in Digital Television, Television
With the extension of the DTV transition deadline now passed by Congress, it’s the FCC’s turn to implement the extension and set the way in which television stations will deal with the new June 12 date for the termination of analog television.  To start to implement that extension, the FCC today issued a public notice setting out the… Continue Reading

House Passes DTV Delay Bill – Now on the President to Sign, and the FCC to Implement

Posted in Digital Television, Television
The House of Representatives, after a fairly contentious debate, today passed the Bill extending the termination date for analog service by full-power TV stations, extending the Digital Television deadline until June 12.  By that date, all full-power stations will need to complete the transition to digital so that, on June 13, there will be no more analog… Continue Reading

Reminder: Equal Time and Lowest Unit Rate Rules Apply to State and Municipal Elections

Posted in Political Broadcasting
While it seems like we just finished the election season, it seems like there is always an election somewhere.  We are still getting calls about municipal and other state and local elections that are underway.  And broadcasters need to remember that these elections, like the Federal elections that we’ve just been through, are subject to the… Continue Reading

Fairness Doctrine Back in the News (Part 1) – What’s It all About?

Posted in Fairness Doctrine, Political Broadcasting
Since the election of President Obama and the Democratic majority in both houses of Congress, the fears of the return of the Fairness Doctrine have been highlighted on talk radio, online, by emails and in conversations throughout the broadcast industry.  Even though President Obama had stated that he was not in favor of its return,… Continue Reading

FCC Fines Multiple Broadcast Stations for EEO Violations – Fines Up to $20,000 Imposed

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, FCC Fines
Just after Christmas, the FCC gave a number of broadcasters the equivalent of coal in their stocking – fining six different licensees for violations of the FCC’s EEO rules.  The fines issued that day ranged between $7,000 and $20,000, and included penalties issued to major broadcasting companies including Fox and Cumulus.  Also included were fines… Continue Reading

FCC Fines Tower Owner for Failure to Monitor Lighting – When Automatic Monitoring Equipment Did Not Give Notice Of Problem

Posted in FCC Fines, Tower Issues
The FCC last week issued an order fining a broadcast  tower owner $2000 for failure to monitor the lights on its tower.  The FCC requires that a tower owner either monitor the tower by visual inspection or by a properly installed automatic monitoring system, at least once every 24 hours.  In this case, the tower owner… Continue Reading

Class A TVs Have Children’s Programming Obligations Too – FCC Fines Stations that Forgot

Posted in Children's Programming and Advertising, FCC Fines, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
In several decisions released on Friday (here, here and here), the FCC fined Class A TV stations for not meeting their obligations under the Children’s Television Rules to notify their viewers about the location of their public file containing information about the educational and informational programming they broadcast directed to children, and for failure to… Continue Reading

Detroit Newspapers Cut Back on Publishing and Home Delivery – What’s the Impact on FCC Ownership Regulation?

Posted in Multiple Ownership Rules, On Line Media
Yesterday, the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit Morning News, which operate their publication and distribution operations through a joint operating agreement, announced that they will cut back on the physical publication of their papers – publishing full editions delivered to homes only three days a week.  On other days, the papers will publish an… Continue Reading

Joe Scarborough Drops the F-Word On Morning Joe – Lucky it Was on Cable

Posted in FCC Fines, Indecency
On Monday’s edition of Morning Joe on MSNBC, host Joe Scarborough, while recounting a story about Obama Chief of Staff designate Rahm Emanuel, dropped the "F-bomb" – seemingly without even realizing that he did it.  He genuinely looked shocked after being told that he had not used the euphemisms that we’re using here, and apologized… Continue Reading