Does the FCC Use the Online Public File to Spot Rule Violations? $20,000 Fine to TV Station for Late-Filed Children’s Television Reports Suggests it Does

By | March 30th, 2016|Legal News|

In a Notice of Apparent Liability released yesterday, the FCC proposed to fine a TV station $20,000 for being late in the filing of 4 years of Quarterly Children’s Television Programming Reports (FCC Form 398). While the penalty is consistent with the size of penalties that the FCC has been imposing for similar violations in… Continue Reading

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The Murky State of Rules on Broadcast Advertising of Marijuana Products in States Which Have Legalized its Sale or Use

By | February 20th, 2016|Legal News|

  Broadcasters, like other federally regulated industries, continue to be leery about advertising for marijuana, even in states where cannabis dispensaries have been legalized for medical or even recreational use.  This week, the NY Times ran an article about companies trying to provide ways for dispensaries to use electronic payment systems, as federally regulated banks… Continue Reading

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On Its 20th Anniversary, Looking Back at How the Telecommunications Act of 1996 Changed the Broadcast Regulatory Landscape

By | February 10th, 2016|Legal News|

In Washington DC this week, many in the communications world are commemorating the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Five years ago, we noted the changes that the Act made in the broadcast regulatory world – changes that are still being debated 20 years later. To show how little things… Continue Reading

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The Care and Feeding of the Broadcast Public Inspection File – Requirements and Retention Periods, A Presentation on the Issues

By | October 29th, 2015|Legal News|

The FCC requires each full-power broadcast station, commercial and noncommercial, to maintain a public inspection file.  Even though this is a longstanding FCC requirement, there are always questions about what goes into the file, and how long those materials must be retained.  The week before last, I conducted a webinar for about 20 state broadcast… Continue Reading

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The Limits on FCC Leniency on Fines for Noncommercial Broadcast Stations

By | October 13th, 2015|Legal News|

In a decision released last Friday, the FCC made clear how far it is willing to go in extending to noncommercial stations leniency for fines for violations of its rules. As we have written before, the FCC changed its policy in a case in which we were involved so as to mitigate harsh penalties for… Continue Reading

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October Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Many Routine Filings for All Broadcasters, Incentive Auction Actions, and More

By | September 28th, 2015|Legal News|

October is one of those months where the regulatory stars align, when not only do broadcasters in many states have EEO Public File report obligations, but also Quarterly Issues Programs Lists need to be placed in the public files of all commercial and noncommercial stations, and Quarterly Children’s Television Reports need to be filed at… Continue Reading

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August Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – While Incentive Auction Dominates the News, Other Dates to Watch

By | August 5th, 2015|Legal News|

With tomorrow’s FCC meeting to detail dates and procedures for the TV incentive auction dominating the headlines, there are other August regulatory dates that should not be overlooked. While we never can get to all of the relevant dates in our monthly highlight article, here are a few items worth your consideration. For one, we… Continue Reading

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$90,000 Payment to FCC by TV Owner for Claiming Reruns of One-Time Programs as Meeting “CORE” Children’s Educational and Informational Programming Requirement

By | July 19th, 2015|Legal News|

On Friday, the FCC announced a consent decree for violations of the requirements that TV stations provide at least three weekly hours of CORE programming addressing the educational and informational needs of children. The operator of eight TV and Class A TV stations in the southeast US agreed to make a $90,000 “voluntary contribution” to… Continue Reading

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FCC Asks for Comments on Petition for Rulemaking that Would Tie TV License Renewals to Restrictions on Blackouts after the Expiration of Retransmission Consent Agreements

By | July 16th, 2015|Legal News|

The FCC issued a public notice seeking comment on a Petition for Rulemaking filed by cable operator Mediacom asking for the FCC to require TV stations, in their license renewal applications, to certify that the licensee will not block any multichannel video programming distributor (i.e. cable or satellite TV) from carrying the signal of the station… Continue Reading

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