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Category Archives: Political Broadcasting

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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

FCC to Demonstrate New Online Public File Interface on June 13, 2016; New Rules Effective June 24, 2016

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Political Broadcasting
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that it will hold a public demonstration of the expanded Online Public Inspection File (OPIF), which will replace the current Broadcast Public Inspection File (BPIF) and which television and radio stations, cable systems, and satellite television and radio systems will be required to use for their online public files. … Continue Reading

The New Online Public File Rules Go Into Effect on June 24, 2016

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Political Broadcasting
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has announced that its new online public file rules, adopted in January of this year, will go into effect on June 24, 2016. Beginning on June 24, 2016, the following entities must place all new public file material into the online public file database: Commercial Radio Stations located… Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comment on Use of “Last-In-First-Out” Method for Selling Political Ads

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Political Broadcasting
The FCC’s Media Bureau issued a Public Notice today seeking comment on a petition for declaratory ruling urging the Commission to prohibit stations’ use of the Last-In-First-Out (or “LIFO”) method of selling preemptible advertising time to political candidates or, if not prohibited, to require that stations using the LIFO method always give political candidates preemption… Continue Reading

FCC Issues Proposed Rules for Radio, Cable, and DBS Online Public File

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, MVPD Regulation, Political Broadcasting
Wasting little time after an August Public Notice, the FCC issued an NPRM today proposing to require broadcast radio stations, satellite radio operators, and cable and DBS operators to post their public inspection files to the FCC’s online database. Today the online public file requirements apply only to broadcast television stations, however, the FCC “now… Continue Reading

GAO Report Explains Sponsorship Identification Rules for Issue Ads Aired by Television and Radio Stations and Reaffirms Death of Fairness Doctrine

Posted in Advertising Issues, Broadcast Regulation, Copyright, First Amendment, GAO Reports, Political Broadcasting, Program Content, Spectrum
The General Accountability Office (“GAO”) has issued a report regarding the disclosure requirements that apply to, and broadcaster practices concerning, content that affects broadcasters’ interests and may be intended to influence Congress.  The GAO report responds to a request of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who has supported legislation requiring radio stations to pay performance royalties… Continue Reading

What Broadcasters Don’t Know About Political Advertisers Can’t Hurt Them (At Least With the FCC)

Posted in Advertising Issues, Broadcast Regulation, First Amendment, Political Broadcasting
Broadcasters are not required to affirmatively investigate the identity of entities purchasing political advertising time, the FCC’s Media Bureau has reaffirmed.  In a letter dismissing complaints against two television stations, FCC political chief Bobby Baker stated that, “unless furnished with credible, unrefuted evidence that a sponsor is acting at the direction of a third party,… Continue Reading

Online Political File Requirement Expands To All Television Stations On July 1, 2014

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Political Broadcasting
Broadcast television stations currently exempt from the FCC’s online political file requirement should prepare to upload political file information to the FCC’s online public file website beginning on July 1, 2014.  A Public Notice from the FCC’s Media Bureau reminded television stations outside of the top 50 markets or not associated with the top four… Continue Reading

Political Advertising 101: A Refresher Course for Very Busy People

Posted in Advertising Issues, Broadcast Regulation, Political Broadcasting
With campaign spending essentially unlimited, 2014 is certain to be another record-breaking year for political advertising sales.  Before the election season gets too hectic (if it isn’t already), we strongly recommend that all station staff handling political buys and/or maintaining the political file take some time to brush up on the key rules governing political… Continue Reading