When the President Uses a Profanity, What Can Broadcast News Do?

By | January 12th, 2018|Legal News|

Yesterday, the President reportedly used the word “shithole” to describe certain countries whose immigrants were seemingly less favored than others. This predictably caused outrage in many quarters – and left the electronic media, especially broadcast TV in a quandary. Do they broadcast the purportedly used term, or do they use some euphemism so that “shit,”...… Continue Reading

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Proposed $13,376,200 Fine Illustrates FCC Concern over Sponsorship Identification Issues

By | December 22nd, 2017|Legal News|

The FCC, apparently not in a holiday mood, yesterday released a Notice of Apparent Liability proposing a $13,376,200 fine against Sinclair Broadcast group for alleged violations of the sponsorship identification requirements of Section 317 of the Communications Act and Section 73.1212 of the FCC rules. The FCC alleges that program segments contained in news broadcasts...… Continue Reading

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FCC Still Enforcing EEO Rules For Broadcasters – $20,000 Fine for Stations that Did Not Document EEO Outreach

By | December 12th, 2017|Legal News|

A Notice of Apparent Liability released yesterday shows that the FCC is still enforcing its EEO rules even though those rules have been somewhat relaxed to reflect modern recruiting practices. As we wrote here, the FCC now allows a station to recruit to fill employment vacancies solely by using online sources. But, as we warned...… Continue Reading

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FCC Makes Clear By $1,500,000 Penalty, and Cancellation of Station Licenses, that Sequential Minor Change Applications with Temporary Construction of Facilities to Move LPTV Stations Great Distances Not Allowed

By | November 7th, 2017|Legal News|

Last week, the FCC issued an Order and Consent Decree agreeing to end an investigation of a big operator of LPTV stations that had allegedly applied for new LPTV stations in a 2009 FCC filing window where applications were restricted to rural areas, obtained construction permits for those stations, and, through a series of minor...… Continue Reading

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FCC Reminder to Video Programming Distributors – Including Broadcasters – on Accessibility Obligations

By | October 2nd, 2017|Legal News|

With the recent hurricanes and last night’s tragedy in Las Vegas, the FCC Public Notice issued last week reminding all video programmers of the importance of making emergency information accessible to all viewers seems very timely. The public notice serves as a good refresher on all of the obligations of video programmers designed to make...… Continue Reading

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October Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Quarterly Issues Programs and Children’s Television Reports, EEO Obligations, Repacking Reports and More

By | October 1st, 2017|Legal News|

The beginning of a calendar quarter always brings numerous regulatory obligations, and October is one of those months with a particularly full set of obligations. All full-power broadcasters, commercial and noncommercial, must complete their Quarterly Issues Programs Lists and place these reports into their public inspection files by October 10. These reports are the FCC’s...… Continue Reading

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FCC Proposes $144,344 Fine on Pirate Radio Operator and His Landlord

By | September 27th, 2017|Legal News|

Yesterday, the FCC adopted a Notice of Apparent Liability proposing to fine three individuals $144,344 for operating a pirate radio station in North Miami, Florida.  One individual is alleged to have programed and operated the station while the other two are a husband and wife who owned the property from which the station transmitted. The...… Continue Reading

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Update: FCC Adopted Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Eliminate the Requirement that Licensees Maintain Paper Copy of the Rules

By | September 27th, 2017|Legal News|

At its meeting yesterday, as promised, the FCC adopted a notice of proposed rulemaking to eliminate the rule that certain classes of FCC licensees maintain a paper copy of the FCC rules. We wrote about the draft NPRM here, which the FCC substantially adopted. Under current rules, licensees of LPTV, TV and FM translator, and...… Continue Reading

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FCC Issues Draft Proposal To Revoke Rule Requiring Physical Copy of FCC Rules at All Broadcast Stations

By | September 8th, 2017|Legal News|

We yesterday wrote about Chairman Pai’s promise to start the process of modernizing media regulation by abolishing a simple but outdated rule – one requiring that each broadcast station have a physical copy of the FCC rules on the station premises. Yesterday, the FCC released a draft of their Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to implement...… Continue Reading

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