Reminder – FCC Political Rules Apply to Off-Year Elections for Vacant Congressional Seats, and for State and Local Offices

By | May 4th, 2017|Legal News|

In odd years like 2017, most broadcasting stations don’t think about the FCC’s political broadcasting rules. But they should – both for special elections to fill open seats in Congress, and for state and local political offices.  Recently, I have received a number of calls about elections to fill seats in Congress that were vacated by… Continue Reading

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April Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Quarterly Issues Programs Lists and Children’s Television Reports and Much More

By | March 31st, 2016|Legal News|

April brings the whole panoply of routine regulatory dates – from the need to prepare EEO Public File and Noncommercial Ownership Reports in some states, to Quarterly Issues Programs lists for all full-power broadcast stations and Quarterly Children’s Television Programming Reports for all TV stations.  So let’s look at some of the specific dates that… Continue Reading

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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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Updated Political Broadcasting Guide – Questions and Answers about Broadcasters’ Obligations During this Election Season

By | March 21st, 2016|Legal News|

To help broadcasters sort out the confusing rules about political advertising, we have updated our Political Broadcasting Guide for Broadcasters (note that the URL for the updated version has not changed from prior versions, so your bookmarks should continue to work). The revised guide is much the same as the one that we published two… Continue Reading

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Online Public Inspection File for Radio Still in the Future – Practical Impact Still a Few Months Away

By | March 1st, 2016|Legal News|

In the last day or two, some broadcast trade press reports may have given the impression that the FCC’s new online public file rules for radio may now be “effective,” suggesting that Top 50 market stations with 5 or more full-time employees need to start uploading their new political documents into the file (the first… Continue Reading

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Online Public Inspection File for Radio Still in the Future – Practical Impact Still a Few Months Away

By | March 1st, 2016|Legal News|

In the last day or two, some broadcast trade press reports may have given the impression that the FCC’s new online public file rules for radio may now be “effective,” suggesting that Top 50 market stations with 5 or more full-time employees need to start uploading their new political documents into the file (the first… Continue Reading

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Ted Cruz Demands Takedown of PAC Ad Attacking His Voting Record – Issues that Broadcast Stations Need to Consider When Threatened by Candidate Wanting an Ad Pulled

By | February 17th, 2016|Legal News|

According to Politico, Ted Cruz’ campaign has demanded that TV stations pull certain PAC ads which he claims distort his voting record on immigration issues. This kind of claim from a political candidate about the unfairness of attack ads is common. Here, Cruz’ representatives apparently don’t threaten lawsuits against the stations for running the ads,… Continue Reading

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FCC Releases Order on Online Public Inspection File – Answering Questions about Compliance with Radio’s New Obligations

By | February 2nd, 2016|Legal News|

Last week, we wrote about the FCC’s decision to require that radio stations move their public inspection files online.  Stations with 5 or more full-time employees that are located in Top 50 markets need to make the transition to the online file later this year once the FCC gets its new rules approved by the… Continue Reading

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February Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters

By | February 1st, 2016|Legal News|

It’s February, and we’re back to the normal cycle of FCC filings. Due to be placed in the public files of radio and TV stations with 5 or more full-time employees are EEO Public Inspection File Reports for radio and TV stations in the following states: Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York,… Continue Reading

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