In a Public Notice released late Thursday, March 25, the FCC announced a temporary policy relating to lowest unit charge (“LUC” or “LUR”) obligations of stations that are airing (or will air) political candidate advertising during an LUC window during the COVID-19 pandemic. In short, in certain specifically defined circumstances explained in the attached memo, a station may offer commercial advertisers free ad time without affecting the LUC applicable to political candidates.
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Media Bureau Announces New Waiver Process for LMA and SSA Stations to Produce Additional News
The Media Bureau released a second Public Notice late Thursday in which it announced a temporary waiver process for television stations subject to Local Marketing Agreements (“LMAs”), Shared Services Agreements (“SSAs”), or similar arrangements in order to provide additional news coverage during the public health emergency related to COVID-19. Specifically, the Notice recognizes that LMA and SSA stations broadcasting expanded news coverage of COVID-19 and information of community concern could potentially violate the FCC’s local television ownership rule by exceeding limits on the amount of news one in-market station can provide to another in-market station. As such, the Commission in the Notice announces that, during the COVID-19 national emergency situation, stations may request temporary waivers of the local television ownership rule in order to permit brokering stations to provide more news coverage to brokered stations than is currently permitted by the local television ownership rule.
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