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Ari Meltzer

Ari Meltzer

Ari Meltzer counsels clients on a variety of regulatory, transactional, government affairs, and litigation matters. He has particular experience advising businesses in the broadcast, cable, newspaper, and telecommunications industries regarding FCC, copyright, and trademark issues.

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Transitioning TV Stations Should Be Mindful of Notification Requirements

Posted in Broadcast Regulation
With the first phase of the post-incentive auction repack rapidly approaching, licensees of full power and Class A television stations should be mindful of upcoming deadlines for notifications to multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), medical facilities, and viewers.  The requirements apply both to stations that submitted a successful bid to change bands and to stations that… Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comment on Proposal to Streamline Assignment/Transfer of TV Satellite Stations

Posted in Broadcast Attribution, Broadcast Regulation
UPDATE 4/12/2018:  Comments are due on May 11, 2018 and reply comments are due on May 29, 2018. The FCC wants to know whether and how it should revise the process for applying to assign or transfer control of a television satellite station. Television satellite stations are full power television stations that retransmit some or… Continue Reading

LPTV, TV Translator, and FM Radio Stations to Benefit From New Repack Funding

Posted in Broadcast Regulation
On Friday, President Trump signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (H.R.1625), which includes an amended version of the Repack Airwaves Yielding Better Access for Users of Modern Services (RAY BAUM’S) Act of 2018 (H.R.4986), funding for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and funding for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). While the $1.3… Continue Reading

When the Commission Says Certified Mail, It Means Certified Mail

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, MVPD Regulation
As lawyers, we frequently receive questions along the lines of, “I know the rule says [x], but what if I do [y] instead?  That’s consistent with the spirit of the rule, right?”  We now have further proof that complying with the “spirit of the rule” may not be good enough.  In a recent decision, the… Continue Reading

President Trump’s “S&!%hole” Remark Shines New Light on FCC’s Ambiguous Policy on Profanity/Indecency

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, First Amendment
Broadcasters found themselves facing a conundrum on Thursday when President Trump, in a meeting with Congressional leaders about immigration, reportedly referred to Haiti and certain African countries as “shithole countries.”  24-hour cable networks immediately reported on the President’s comments, repeating the crass term and even including it on their lower-thirds.  Unlike their cable, newspaper, online… Continue Reading

FCC to Consider Sweeping Changes to Media Ownership Rules

Posted in Broadcast Attribution, Broadcast Regulation
Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) Chairman Ajit Pai is proposing some of the most dramatic changes to the Commission’s media ownership rules in decades. At its November 16 Open Meeting, the agency will consider an Order on Reconsideration that would: (i) eliminate the 42-year-old newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule; (ii) eliminate the radio/television cross-ownership rule; (iii)… Continue Reading

FCC Chairman Pai Calls on Apple to Activate FM Chips in iPhones

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Broadcast Technology
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, citing public safety concerns, has taken the unusual step of releasing a statement urging Apple to activate the FM radio chips already present in iPhone devices. In today’s statement, Chairman Pai explained that “[w]hen wireless networks go down during a natural disaster, smartphones with activated FM chips can allow Americans to… Continue Reading

Second Post-Auction Filing Window to Open October 2

Posted in Broadcast Regulation
Repacked television stations that have been waiting patiently for their turn to request an alternate post-auction channel or an expanded facility–your time is coming.  The second filing window for the post-Incentive Auction repack will open on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 and continue through Thursday, November 2, 2017. The second window is open to all television… Continue Reading

FCC Public Notice Asks What Media Regulations to Eliminate

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, MVPD Regulation
On May 18, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission adopted a Public Notice initiating a review of its rules applicable to television and radio broadcasters, cable operators, and satellite television providers. The stated purpose of the review is “to eliminate or modify regulations that are outdated, unnecessary or unduly burdensome.” In addition to seeking comment on… Continue Reading

FCC Proposes Elimination of Broadcast Main Studio Rule

Posted in Broadcast Regulation
Update 6/2/2017: Based on today’s publication in the Federal Register, comments are due on July 3, with reply comments due July 17. On May 18, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in which it proposed to eliminate the main studio rule for all services (including the associated minimum staffing… Continue Reading

FCC Chairman Proposes to Eliminate the Main Studio Rule . . . And Possibly More

Posted in Broadcast Regulation
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai formally unveiled two proposals on Thursday to remove outdated broadcast regulations.  First, the Commission released a draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would eliminate the main studio rule for all services (including the associated minimum staffing requirements).  Second, the Commission released a draft Public Notice seeking comment on media-related rules to modify… Continue Reading

What to Expect When You’re Expecting (to be repacked)

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Spectrum
The FCC’s confidential letters to television stations that did not submit successful bids to relinquish their spectrum in the reverse auction could arrive in broadcaster mailboxes any day now.  For some stations, this letter will confirm that it’s business as usual, and that they will continue to operate on the same channel after the auction.… Continue Reading

So Your Station Submitted a Successful Incentive Auction Bid, Now What?

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Spectrum
Now that television stations can openly discuss the results of their participation in the Incentive Auction, it is an appropriate time for all television stations to assess their market position and think about what comes next.  In this space, we will discuss how stations with various auction outcomes should approach their post-auction transaction.  Today, we… Continue Reading

FCC Review of 2016 EAS Test Identifies Improvements, Opportunities

Posted in Broadcast Regulation
The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau has released its initial findings from the 2016 nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System, which reflect improvements from the 2011 test but further opportunities to strengthen the EAS. On September 28, 2016, FEMA, the Commission, and the National Weather Service, conducted a nationwide test to assess… Continue Reading

FCC ALJ: Cost Savings Alone Not Enough to Justify Discriminatory Treatment of Non-Affiliated Networks

Posted in MVPD Regulation
The FCC’s administrative law judge (“ALJ”) has once again sided with a programmer in resolving a complaint under the Commission’s program carriage rules.  More than five years after GSN filed a program carriage complaint against Cablevision, ALJ Richard Sippel issued an initial decision finding that Cablevision improperly discriminated against GSN on the basis of its… Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comment on Updated Catalog of Post-Auction Reimbursement Expenses

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Spectrum
On October 13, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s Media Bureau released an update to the Catalog of Eligible Expenses (the “Catalog”) that it will use as a guide when processing requests for reimbursement from the TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund.  Comments on the proposed updates are due by November 14, 2016 and reply comments are due… Continue Reading

FCC Invites Broadcasters to Test Repack Reimbursement System

Posted in Broadcast Regulation
The FCC is providing broadcasters with an opportunity to test and provide feedback on the Incentive Auction Broadcaster Relocation Reimbursement System, which is the online form that the Commission will use to collect requests for reimbursement of repacking expenses (technically known as FCC Form 2100, Schedule 399). Beginning on October 4, 2016, broadcasters can access a test… 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