Posts Tagged ‘internet’

    What to Do With the On-Air Employee Who Becomes a Candidate for Elective Office?

    It seems like about this time as we begin to near the end of the year that broadcasters contemplate their future. And it seems like that brings many to contemplate moving from behind the microphone to being in front of it – by running for public office. Perhaps because next year will likely be a very active one with Congressional elections and elections in many states, I have had a number of calls from broadcasters in the last few weeks asking what they should do with the on-air employee who is contemplating making that move by jumping into politics. We have written about this issue many times before, including coverage of when well-known local or national personalities have contemplated runs for office – see our stories here , here and here . In 2010, we wrote an article that provided a discussion of this issue, which remains valid today, and which I edited and reposted in 2016 here . An updated version of that article is below

    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

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

    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wrote about Chairman Pai’s promise to start the process of modernizing media regulation by abolishing a simple but outdated rule – one requiring that each broadcast station have a physical copy of the FCC rules on the station premises.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 that change in the rules. That draft will be considered at the FCC meeting later this month (on September 26), after which a final copy of the NPRM will be released, and later published in the Federal Register setting formal comment dates. It is a very small step toward the modernization of media regulation sought by the Chairman, but a step nevertheless.  

    FCC Regulatory Fees Due By September 26

    The FCC late yesterday released an Order setting the amount of FY2017 Annual Regulatory fees, along with a public notice setting September 26 as the deadline for those fees. Reg fees may be paid now through September 26. If not paid by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on that date, penalties of 25% will be assessed. In addition, applications by any licensee that has not paid its fees may be held by the Commission without action until the fees are paid, and can even end up resulting in a license cancellation in cases where the failure is a long-term unresolved issue. The public notice also makes clear that fees can only be paid by electronic transfer of funds.

    Effective Date for Elimination of Last Remnant of Rule on Keeping Correspondence in Broadcast Public Inspection File

    Earlier this year, the FCC eliminated the requirement that broadcasters maintain, in their public inspection files, copies of letters from the public about station operations (see our article summarizing that action here ). One aspect of that rule change did not become immediately effective, as it was subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act, was the elimination of the requirement that television broadcasters report, in their license renewal applications, about letters complaining about violent television programming. The elimination of that requirement is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register tomorrow , and that will trigger the effective date of that part of the rule change – making that total elimination of all obligations to retain letters from the public in the public inspection file.

    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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