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Wayne D. Johnsen

Wayne D. Johnsen

Wayne Johnsen represents cable operators, broadcasters, programmers, and financial institutions in a variety of regulatory, corporate, and transactional matters.  Wayne has extensive experience assisting clients with broadcast licensing and radio and television regulation, must carry, program access, cable franchising, FCC ownership rules and policies, and foreign ownership issues.

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FCC Considers Prohibiting Unconditional MFNs and Unreasonable ADMs

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, MVPD Regulation
At its September 29, 2016 open meeting, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in which it proposes rules prohibiting “certain practices some multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) use in their negotiations for carriage of video programming” that the Commission believes “may impede competition, diversity, and innovation in… Continue Reading

FCC Meeting Update: Foreign Investment Rules and Independent Programming Proposal, But No Set Top Box Rules

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, MVPD Regulation
At its September 29, 2016 open meeting, the FCC adopted rules to make it easier for broadcasters to seek approval for foreign ownership, reformed the methodology for publicly traded broadcasters and common carriers to assess compliance with the statutory foreign ownership limits, and proposed rules it believes will strengthen the position of independent programmers in negotiations with… Continue Reading

Upon Review, No Changes to “Totality of the Circumstances” Test for Retransmission Consent

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, MVPD Regulation
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced in a blog post today that the Commission will not be modifying its rules implementing the good faith requirement for retransmission consent negotiations. Under Section 325 of the Communications Act, a multichannel video programming distributor may not retransmit a broadcast television signal without the broadcaster’s consent.  The statute requires broadcasters… Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comment on Proposals to Update “Totality of the Circumstances” Test for Retransmission Consent Negotiations

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, MVPD Regulation
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) is seeking comment on whether to update the standards that it considers for determining whether parties have negotiated in good faith for retransmission consent of a broadcast signal.  Comments will be due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register; reply comments will be due 30 days later.… Continue Reading

FCC Grants Pandora Relief from the Communications Act’s 25% Foreign Ownership Limit, Signals Intent to Consider Revising Broadcast Foreign Ownership Compliance Mechanisms in the Future and Provides Limited Guidance Regarding Compliance in the Meantime

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Foreign Ownership, Transactions
As we predicted last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has acted on the request by Internet streaming music provider Pandora for permission to exceed the 25% benchmark for foreign investment in broadcast licensee parent companies imposed by Section 310(b)(4) of the Communications Act. In the Pandora Ruling, the FCC authorized foreign investors… Continue Reading

FCC Could Decide Soon Whether Pandora Can Exceed Foreign Ownership Limit

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Foreign Ownership
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is poised to decide whether Internet streaming music provider Pandora can exceed the Commission’s foreign ownership limit in its acquisition of a South Dakota radio station.  As we previously wrote, in June 2014, Pandora filed a Petition for Declaratory Ruling requesting authority to exceed the 25% benchmark for foreign investment… Continue Reading

Does FCC Repeal of Sports Blackout Rules Flag Trouble Ahead For Retrans Policy?

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Copyright, MVPD Regulation
The FCC has retired its sports blackout rules.  At its September 30, 2014 meeting, the FCC unanimously adopted an Order repealing the rules, which prohibit cable and satellite providers from carrying a sports event that is blacked out on a local broadcast station.  The rules are most often associated with the National Football League, which… Continue Reading

MVPD Faces $2.25 Million Forfeiture For Retransmitting Broadcast Stations Without Obtaining Consent

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, MVPD Regulation
The FCC has issued a $2.25 million forfeiture against Houston multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) TV Max and its affiliates for continuing to retransmit six broadcast television stations after their agreements had expired.  The Forfeiture Order follows a June 2013 Notice of Apparent Liability, in which the Commission proposed the forfeiture. Prior to January 1,… Continue Reading

Aereo Internet Television Service Shut Down in Tenth Circuit

Posted in Copyright, MVPD Regulation, Online Video
A Utah district court has issued an injunction halting Aereo’s operations in the Tenth Circuit until the U.S. Supreme Court tackles the copyright infringement issue later this spring in ABC v. Aereo.  The court also denied Aereo’s motion to transfer the case to a New York court, where it was successful in defeating the plaintiff… Continue Reading

FCC to Consider Changes to Sports Blackout Rule

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, MVPD Regulation
In the final hours of her final workday as Acting FCC Chairwoman, Mignon Clyburn announced that she has circulated a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to eliminate the long-standing sports blackout rules.  First adopted in 1975, the sports blackout rules prevent a cable operator from providing the live sporting event from a distant station… Continue Reading