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Kathryne Dickerson

Kathryne Dickerson

Kate Dickerson counsels broadcast, newspaper, and telecommunications clients on a variety of regulatory, transactional, and litigation matters.

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FTC Issues Enforcement Policy Statement Clarifying Verifiable Parental Consent Requirement for Audio Files

Posted in FTC
On October 20, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission issued an Enforcement Policy Statement regarding the applicability of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) to the collection and use of children’s voice recordings, such as those collected when a child uses an internet-enabled device to perform a search via voice commands.  The Enforcement Statement clarifies… Continue Reading

FCC Draft Order Would Authorize Voluntary Transition to ATSC 3.0

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Broadcast Technology
On October 26, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission released a draft Report & Order (“Draft Order”) that would allow television broadcasters to use the Next Gen TV standard (a/k/a ATSC 3.0) on a voluntary, market-driven basis.  The Draft Order will be voted on at the Commission’s November 16th Open Meeting.  Below, we summarize the key… Continue Reading

FCC Votes to Eliminate Main Studio Rule

Posted in Broadcast Regulation
At its October 24, 2017 Open Meeting, the FCC voted to eliminate its 78-year-old main studio rule, requiring each radio and television station to maintain a main studio located in or near its community of license.  Commissioners voted along party lines, with Chairman Pai and Commissioners O’Rielly and Carr voting in favor of eliminating the rule… Continue Reading

Bill Would Expand Reporting and Disclosure Requirements for Online Political Ads

Posted in Advertising Issues, Broadcast Regulation, Political Broadcasting
On October 19, 2017, Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota introduced a bill, co-sponsored by Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and John McCain (R-AZ), aimed at regulating online political advertising.  The bill, dubbed the “Honest Ads Act,” would require online platforms to identify the purchasers of certain political ads, maintain a “public file” containing specific information… Continue Reading

Effective Date Announced for Recordkeeping Requirements for Non-CPB NCEs Conducting Third Party Fundraising

Posted in Broadcast Regulation
Effective November 13, 2017, NCE stations must comply with the recordkeeping requirements established by the new rule that allows them to conduct limited on-air fundraising activities that interrupt regular programming to benefit third-party non-profit organizations. Specifically, non-CPB NCE stations that conduct third-party fundraising must place in their public files, on a quarterly basis, the following… Continue Reading

Reminder: 2017 Must-Carry and Retransmission Consent Elections

Posted in Broadcast Regulation
On or before October 1, 2017, each full-power commercial television station must make an election between must carry and  retransmission consent. In addition, although noncommercial television stations do not have retransmission consent rights, they must send carriage notices to DBS (and other satellite operators) on or before October 1, 2017 in order to obtain (or maintain) carriage on… Continue Reading

FCC Releases Orders Eliminating FRN/RUFRN Requirement for NCEs and Allowing NCEs More Flexibility to Conduct Third Party Fundraising

Posted in Broadcast Regulation
On April 20, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission released the final text of two items adopted at the Commission’s April Open Meeting that reduce regulatory burdens on noncommercial educational (NCE) broadcasters. The first item is an Order on Reconsideration (Recon Order) that allows NCE filers to utilize so-called “Special Use” FRNs (SUFRNs) when filling out… Continue Reading

FCC Releases Draft Orders that Would Eliminate FRN/RUFRN Requirement for NCEs and Allow NCEs More Flexibility to Conduct Third Party Fundraising

Posted in Broadcast Attribution, Broadcast Regulation
On March 30, 2017, the FCC or Commission released two draft items that, if adopted at the Commission’s April Open Meeting, would reduce regulatory burdens on noncommercial educational (NCE) broadcasters. FCC Form 323-E and Permissive Use of SUFRNs The first item is a draft Order on Reconsideration (Draft Recon Order) that would roll-back a requirement… 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

Commission Releases Circulation Version of ATSC 3.0 NPRM

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Broadcast Technology
On February 2, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission released the proposed text of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Circulation NPRM) in the Next Gen TV (a/k/a ATSC 3.0) proceeding in which the agency proposes to authorize television broadcasters to use the Next Gen TV transmission standard on a voluntary, market-driven basis, while continuing to deliver… Continue Reading

FCC Eliminates Public File Requirement for Letters/Emails from the Public

Posted in Broadcast Attribution
On January 31, 2017, the newly Republican-majority Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously to eliminate the requirement that commercial TV and radio stations retain in their public files copies of letters and emails from the public. (Non-commercial educational broadcasters are not required to do so.) Chairman Pai noted in a Statement accompanying the Report and Order… Continue Reading

FCC Commissioners Pai and O’Rielly Rebuke NCE FRN Decision

Posted in Broadcast Regulation
On January 4, 2017, the FCC’s two Republican Commissioners, Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly, issued a scathing statement against the Media Bureau’s decision, issued that same day, to deny petitions for reconsideration regarding FCC Registration Number (FRN) reporting requirements for non-commercial educational (NCE) broadcasters. Those requirements, imposed in January 2016 (the 2016 Order), oblige board… Continue Reading

FCC Suspends Biennial Ownership Reports for NCE Stations with February 1, April 1, June 1, August 1, or October 1 Filing Deadlines

Posted in Broadcast Regulation
The FCC has suspended the existing 2017 filing deadlines for non-commercial educational (NCE) stations’ biennial ownership reports. As a result, NCE licensees with biennial report filing deadlines on February 1, April 1, June 1, August 1, or October 1, 2017 are not required to file the existing form 323-E by those deadlines. Instead, NCE licensees will… Continue Reading

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 Bids Adieu to UHF Discount

Posted in Broadcast Regulation
They say all good things must come to an end, and for the FCC’s UHF discount, the end has arrived (pending the outcome of near-certain litigation).  Earlier today, the FCC issued a Report and Order eliminating its 30-year old policy of applying a 50% “discount” to market populations served by UHF stations when calculating compliance with the… Continue Reading

The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same… FCC Tweaks Broadcast Ownership Rules in 2014 Quadrennial Review Order

Posted in Broadcast Regulation
On August 25, 2016, the FCC released the text of a Second Report & Order that concludes both its 2010 and 2014 “quadrennial review” proceedings (the “2016 Order”). The Commission is required by statute to review its rules governing the ownership of broadcast radio and television stations every four years to determine whether they “are… Continue Reading

New Certification Requirement for TV Closed Captioning Not Yet Effective

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Captioning
On Tuesday, the FCC’s new TV closed captioning quality rules, which we discussed in detail here, were published in the Federal Register.  Fed Reg publication often signals that new rules are effective, or will be soon.  Such is not the case for the video programmer registration and captioning certification requirements, which are subject to approval… Continue Reading

Reminder: EAS-Related Registration and Filing Deadline

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Broadcast Technology
On Friday, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau issued a Public Notice reminding EAS Participants of mandatory filing deadlines related to an up-coming nationwide EAS test.  Specifically, EAS Participants must register with the EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS) and file Form One on or before August 26, 2016.  EAS Participants have until September… Continue Reading

New E-Cig Advertising Rules To Go Into Effect on August 8, 2016

Posted in Advertising Issues
On August 8, 2016, new rules issued by the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) will go into effect concerning radio, television and online advertisements for electronic cigarettes (“e-cigs”) and other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (including e-hookah, vape pens, advanced refillable personal vaporizers, and electronic pipes), regular size or large cigars, pipe tobacco, and certain other… Continue Reading

FCC Proposes Expanding Video Description Requirements

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, MVPD Regulation
UPDATE: The NPRM has been published in the Federal Register.  Comments are due on June 27, 2016; Reply Comments are due July 26, 2016. On April 1, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) seeking comment on whether to expand its video description requirements to cover additional networks, to increase… Continue Reading

FCC Allocates Responsibility for Closed Captioning Quality Between Video Programmers and Video Programming Distributors and Establishes Complaint Procedures

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Captioning
At its February 18, 2016 Open Meeting, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) adopted the Second Report & Order on Closed Captioning Quality (Order), which amends its closed captioning rules. Among other things, the Order allocates responsibility for the quality of closed captions between video programmers and video programming distributors (VPDs), makes video programmers’… Continue Reading

Modernized Contest Rule Now Effective

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Contests
With its publication in the Federal Register on February 12, 2016, the FCC’s modernized Contest Rule is now in effect. As we previously noted, the modernized Contest Rule gives radio and television stations the option to disclose material contest terms online, provided that they satisfy certain requirements. Specifically, stations choosing to disclose material contest terms online… Continue Reading

FCC Modernizes Contest Rules

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Contests
On September 17, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) unanimously approved a Report and Order (R&O) modernizing its Contest Rule.  As originally promulgated in 1976, the Contest Rule required broadcasters to periodically announce on-air the material terms of a licensee-conducted contest (material terms include how to enter, eligibility restrictions, entry deadline dates, prize… Continue Reading

FCC Issues Procedures Governing Competitive Bidding in First-Ever Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction; Sets March 29, 2016 Deadline for Television Stations to Submit Initial Bids

Posted in Broadcast Regulation
On August 11, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) released a Public Notice that sets forth the procedures that will govern competitive bidding in Auction 1000, the first-ever incentive auction of broadcast television spectrum.  As we mentioned previously, the Procedures PN establishes March 29, 2016 as the “date on which bidding will begin”… Continue Reading