Tag Archives: FCC

FCC To Commence 2018 Quadrennial Review At December Open Meeting

Posted in Broadcast Attribution, Ownership Rules
The Federal Communications Commission has released the draft meeting agenda for its December 2018 open meeting, which includes a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) commencing the 2018 quadrennial review of certain of the agency’s broadcast ownership rules. This review will be the latest in a series conducted pursuant to the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which… Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comment on Key TCPA Issues

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Broadcast Technology, Telephone Consumer Protection Act
The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) has taken its first step in addressing several key issues under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) that were raised by the recent D.C. Circuit decision that resolved an appeal of the Commission’s 2015 Omnibus TCPA Order. Specifically, the D.C. Circuit’s March decision in ACA International v. FCC… Continue Reading

FCC Media Ownership Rule Changes Effective February 7, 2018; Comments Due March 9, 2018 on Proposals to Increase Broadcast Ownership Diversity

Posted in Broadcast Attribution, Broadcast Regulation, Ownership Rules
The FCC’s Order on Reconsideration (Order) adopting sweeping changes to the media ownership rules has been published in the Federal Register. This establishes February 7, 2018 as the effective date for all but one of the rule changes adopted in the Order. As previously explained, the Order (i) eliminates the 42-year-old newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule; (ii)… Continue Reading

FTC Sends (Another) Warning That Endorsers Must Disclose Connections to Products, Brands, or Services in Any Form of Media

Posted in Advertising Issues, Broadcast Regulation, Contests
When thinking about the regulations they must comply with, most broadcasters focus primarily, if not exclusively, upon the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). But there is at least one other federal agency that deserves attention, and that is the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This is particularly true when endorsements, contests, and other marketing activities are in… 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

New FCC Online Public File Requirements Approved by OMB; Effective Date Coming Soon

Posted in Broadcast Regulation
This morning, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the FCC’s new online public file requirements for radio stations, cable systems, DBS operators, and SDARS operators.  The rules are not yet effective, but will become effective on a rolling basis on the schedule below after an approval notice is published in the Federal Register. … 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

Pandora Requests FCC Permission to Exceed 25% Foreign Ownership Benchmark Under Section 310(b)(4), Providing First Test of FCC’s Case-by-Case Approach to Broadcast Foreign Investment

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Foreign Ownership, Music Licensing
Just over a year ago, Internet streaming music provider Pandora filed an application seeking FCC consent to acquire a South Dakota radio station, KXMZ(FM).  As we explained at the time, Pandora was motivated in part by a desire to qualify for lower royalties for public performances of musical works in the repertories of the American… Continue Reading

FCC Declares “Zapple Doctrine” Unenforceable; Affirms Broadcaster Discretion Regarding Programming Content

Posted in Broadcast Regulation
Time of death: 12:38 p.m., May 8, 2014. That is when the FCC’s Media Bureau officially declared the “Zapple Doctrine” dead. The “Zapple Doctrine” grew out of the Fairness Doctrine, which required licensees to present controversial issues of public importance in a manner that was, to borrow a phrase from Fox News, “fair and balanced.” … Continue Reading

What’s Next For Television Joint Sales Agreements, Shared Services Agreements, and Joint Retransmission Negotiations?

Posted in Broadcast Attribution, Broadcast Regulation
A fierce battle is shaping up in DC about relationships into which same-market broadcasters may enter.  In one corner are FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, the cable industry, and several “public interest” groups (although, as noted below, some have accused Chairman Wheeler of not going far enough).  In the other corner are the two Republican FCC… Continue Reading

Wiley’s Word: Media Ownership Review – First, Do No Harm

Posted in Broadcast Attribution, Broadcast Regulation
Based on my experience as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, and as a long-time Washington D.C. communications lawyer, I know something about media ownership regulations.  It was under my stewardship that, in 1975, the agency adopted rules prohibiting the common ownership of a newspaper and radio or television stations in the same market –… Continue Reading

FCC Chairman Wheeler Confirms: The FCC Will Not Regulate Broadcasters’ Speech, Through “Community Information Needs” Study or Otherwise

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, First Amendment, Program Content
In response to a December 2013 letter sent by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Wheeler has publicly confirmed that the FCC “has no intention of regulating the political or other speech of journalists or broadcasters.”  Chairman Wheeler’s letter response and an accompanying statement were issued in response… Continue Reading

The Auction Block: Options for Broadcasters in the TV Incentive Auction

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Spectrum
This is the first part in a multi-part series about what the forthcoming incentive auction of broadcast spectrum means for broadcasters. In one of the first major pronouncements of his Chairmanship, new FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler blogged that the incentive auction of broadcast spectrum will be delayed – from 2014 to mid-2015.  Most observers commended… Continue Reading

FCC Proposes End to Sports Blackout Rule

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Copyright
The FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Wednesday recommending an end to the sports blackout rules, which prevent cable and satellite providers from carrying professional sporting events when local broadcast stations are required to black out the events pursuant to contracts with the NFL and other leagues. The NFL blacks out the television broadcast… Continue Reading