Posts Tagged ‘design’

Recordkeeping Rules for Third-Party Fundraising by Noncommercial Broadcasters to be Effective November 13, 2017

In July, we wrote about the effective date of the FCC’s new rules allowing non-CPB noncommercial stations to interrupt their normal programming to raise funds for third-party charitable and generic for zithromax non-profit organizations (we wrote here about the decision itself), for up to 1% of their total airtime. In July, we noted that the new rules on the recordkeeping requirements about these fundraising efforts had not yet gone into effect, as they needed to be approved by the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act. Yesterday’s Federal Register announced that this approval has been received, and the paperwork rules will go into effect on November 13. The new rules require on-air disclosures at the beginning and end of any fundraising appeal where the station tells its audience that the money is going to a third-party, not to the station. That announcement must be made at least hourly for longer fund-raising appeals.

Washington Issues for TV Broadcasters – Where Things Stand at the FCC

There is never a shortage of Washington issues for broadcasters to consider, and the rapid pace of change since the new administration took over in January has made it even more difficult to track where all the issues stand. While we try on this Blog to write about many of the DC issues for broadcasters, we can’t always address everything that is happening. Every few months, my partner David O’Connor and I update a list of the legal and regulatory issues facing TV broadcasters . That list of issues is published by TVNewsCheck and the latest version, published last week, is available on their website, here

FCC Issues Guidance for Broadcasters and Other Regulated Services in the Path of Hurricane Irma

The FCC has issued a series of public notices to broadcasters and other FCC regulated entities in the path of Hurricane Irma. General guidance was issued by the FCC, here , discussing how stations can get special temporary authority to operate with facilities different than those specified in their licenses by email or even by telephone during the emergency. This may be particularly important if stations towers or antennas are damaged by the storm and, to continue service, stations need to use alternate facilities. During the recent Texas Hurricane harvey, the FCC even issued some daytime only AM stations authority to temporarily operate with nighttime operations where they were providing emergency information. If STAs are needed, the public notice provides information about where to call or email The FCC has also activated its Disaster Information Reporting System for the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico , and is likely to extend it to portions of Florida in the near future

More on Media Deregulation – Chairman Pai Speaks to NAB Radio Show and Promises to Propose the Repeal of a Rule Each Month

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai spoke on Wednesday at the opening lunch at the NAB Radio Show in Austin, promising more moves to bring media regulation in line with the realities of the modern media marketplace. In his speech, the text of which is available here , the Chairman promised several actions including the following: A monthly Notice of Proposed Rulemaking suggesting a media rule change prompted by suggestions made in the Modernization of Media Regulation proceeding we wrote about here and here . The first proposal for deregulation coming for the September FCC meeting is a modest one, probably chosen as symbolic of the rules that are outdated and unnecessary – the proposal being to eliminate the rule that requires that a broadcaster have a hard copy of the FCC rules at their station. While not a rule that is ever enforced, it is still notable in that the proposal is being advanced only about a month after the end of the comment period on Media Modernization and illustrates a rule that clearly is unnecessary in a day when any broadcaster can access any FCC rule at any time via the Internet. The Chairman stated that he had reviewed the comments in the proceeding to abolish the rules requiring main studios for all broadcast stations, and he concluded that these rules were no longer necessary and would be presenting an Order to implement their abolition before the end of the year.

FCC Extends Filing Deadline for Biennial Ownership Reports Until March 2, 2018, But Will Require Reporting of Station Ownership as of October 1, 2017…

The FCC on Friday announced that they were extending the deadline for filing Biennial Ownership Reports by broadcasters from December 1 to March 2, 2018 to be sure that the new version of the form in the FCC’s LMS database will be up and ready to be used. The FCC will open the window for filing these ownership reports on December 1 (which was to be the deadline). However, the reports will still report on the ownership of each broadcast station as of October 1, 2017, meaning that station owners who sell their station between October 1 and the new deadline are being told by the FCC that they will need to file their own biennial reports – even if they no longer own any broadcast stations.

Remember FCC Rules on Underwriting Limitations – And that They Don’t Apply to Spots Bought By Nonprofit Entities

Last week, the FCC reached a consent decree with a noncommercial broadcaster, where the broadcaster paid an $8000 penalty for, among other things, running underwriting spots that were too promotional. While the consent decree and its implementing order provide no details on the underwriting violations by the broadcaster, we can assume that the broadcaster ran spots that somehow crossed the line – giving price information about a sponsor’s products, or including a call to action suggesting that listeners somehow patronize the sponsor, or making qualitative claims about the sponsor or its products or services. We have written about similar violations many times (see, for instance, our articles here , here , here , here  and here ) and I have conducted seminars for numerous noncommercial broadcasting organizations talking about specifics as to what is permitted in underwriting acknowledgements and what will get a noncommercial station into trouble (see for instance, the presentations mentioned here and here ).

More and More Actions on Pirate Radio – What is Next?

It seems like virtually every day, the FCC announces that it has sent numerous Notices to pirate radio operators warning them that their operations are illegal and that, if the operations do not cease, legal penalties may follow. Yesterday, the FCC released ten such Notices, including ones sent to operators of pirate radio stations themselves (see notices here and here ) and to the owners of buildings in which pirate radio operations have been tracked (see notices here and here ). These Notices have been common over the past several months, seemingly signaling a new focus on pirate radio operations by the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau

September Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Including Reg Fees, Nationwide EAS Test, Must-Carry Letters, Lowest Unit Rate, Translator and Repack…

Summer is coming to an end, but the legal obligations never take a vacation, and September brings another list of regulatory deadlines for broadcasters. While the month is one of those without the usual list of EEO Public File obligations or quarterly FCC filing obligations, there still are a number of other regulatory deadlines for which broadcasters need to be prepared. For commercial broadcasters, the September date that should be on everyone’s mind is the deadline for the payment of annual regulatory fees . As we wrote here , there is an FCC order circulating among the Commissioners that should be released any day, setting the amounts of the regulatory fees and the deadline for their payment

Reminder – ETRS Form One to be Filed by August 27 By All EAS Participants – Including Broadcasters – In Anticipation of September Nationwide EAS…

All EAS Participants – including all full-power broadcasters – must complete the 2017 ETRS Form One on or before August 28, 2017.  We wrote about this obligation here . The filing deadline was set for next week as the ETRS system is used so that stations can report on the results of nationwide EAS tests. With the next Nationwide EAS Test set for September 27 , the accounts and basic information for all EAS participants need to be in the system to allow for that reporting.

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Complaints Filed Against TV Stations for Public File Violations on Political Issue Ads

Earlier this week, the Campaign Legal Center and Issue One, two political “watchdog” organizations, filed FCC complaints against two Georgia TV stations, alleging violations of the rules that govern the documents that need to be placed into a station’s public inspection file regarding political “issue advertising” (see their press release here , with links to the complaints at the bottom of the release). FCC rules require that stations place into their public files information concerning any advertising dealing with controversial issues of public importance including the list of the sponsoring organization’s chief executive officers or directors. Section 315 of the Communications Act requires that, when those issues are “matters of national importance,” the station must put into their public file additional information similar to the information that they include in their file for candidate ads, including the specifics of the schedule for the ads including price information and an identification of the issue to which the ad is directed. The complaints allege that, while the stations included this additional information in their public file, the form that was in the public file stated that the sponsors of the ads did not consider the issues to be ads that addressed a matter of national importance, despite the fact that they addressed candidates involved in the recent highly contested election for an open Congressional seat in the Atlanta suburbs.

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‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ Sales Rise More Than 500%

Bonnie Tyler’s classic hit “Total Eclipse of the Heart” has soared in sales in the last week, according to Nielsen Music. Thanks to…

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