Legal Memorandums - 2019

FCC Adopts Repack Reimbursement Rules for LPTV/TV Translator and FM Stations -- FCC EEO Oversight Moves to Enforcement Bureau

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FCC ADOPTS RULES GOVERNING REIMBURSEMENT PROGRAM FOR LPTV/TV TRANSLATOR STATIONS AND FM STATIONS DISPLACED BY REPACK The FCC voted at its open meeting today to approve a Report and Order that adopts rules for how (i) LPTV and TV translator stations and (ii) FM stations (i.e., full power FM, FM translator, and LPFM stations) will be reimbursed for costs they incur as a result of the post-incentive auction repacking of the 600 MHz spectrum band. This Order will affect hundreds, perhaps thousands, of facilities. According to the Order, more than 2,100 LPTV Stations filed displacement applications during the FCC’s Special Displacement Window, while nearly 500 FM Stations may feel operational effects as a result of repacked full power/Class A TV station construction activities. To learn more, please open the attached file. * * * FCC OFFICIALLY MOVES EEO OVERSIGHT TO THE ENFORCEMENT BUREAU Effective today, the FCC staffers who are responsible for enforcing the Commission’s equal employment opportunity (“EEO”) rules have officially been moved from the Media Bureau to the Enforcement Bureau. Chairman Pai has stated that he hopes this reorganization will improve the FCC’s enforcement of its EEO rules and strengthen the Commission’s commitment to fighting discrimination. More information is available in the attached file.  

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  • File Size: 778090
  • Added On: 3/15/2019

Comment Dates for Ownership Proceeding; GMR Interim License Extension Available to Radio Stations; FCC Seeks Comment on TV Ratings System

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COMMENT DATES ANNOUNCED FOR QUADRENNIAL REVIEW OF MEDIA OWNERSHIP RULES The FCC kicked off its 2018 Quadrennial Review of media ownership rules with the adoption of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in December 2018. The rules under review in the proceeding are (1) the Local Television Ownership Rule, (2) the Local Radio Ownership Rule, and (3) the Dual Network Rule. The Notice also seeks comment on a few proposals relevant to promoting diversity in the broadcast industry. Comments are due April 29, 2019, and reply comments are due May 29, 2019. To learn more, please open the attached file. * * * GMR (GLOBAL MUSIC RIGHTS) MAKES EXTENDED INTERIM LICENSE AVAILABLE TO RADIO STATIONS; STATIONS MUST TAKE ACTION BY MARCH 31, 2019 Performing rights organization Global Music Rights (“GMR”) is again offering an extension of its interim license. Commercial radio stations wishing to extend their interim license with GMR must take action by March 31, 2019. Please open the attached file to learn important information about how to take action. * * * FCC SEEKS COMMENT ON TV RATINGS SYSTEM In a February 26, 2019, Public Notice, the FCC is seeking comments on the television content rating system, which aims to provide parents both with timely information about the nature of upcoming video programming and with the technical tools necessary to easily block violent, sexual, or other objectionable programming. More information is available in the attached file.  

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  • File Type: pdf
  • File Size: 523218
  • Added On: 3/1/2019

Political Ad Disclaimers -- Mid-Term EEO Report Eliminated -- Native Advertising Reminder -- Drone Law Developments

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FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION SEEKS COMMENT ON CHANGING SIZE OF TV POLITICAL DISCLAIMERS Recent news out of the Federal Election Commission (“FEC”) ought to get broadcasters’ attention, as possible revisions that the FEC may make to its political advertising disclaimer rules could set up a conflict with the FCC’s political broadcasting rules, potentially leading to confusion. We learned this week that the FEC is seeking comment on whether to launch a proceeding that would consider changing the required size (or, really, the required vertical picture height) of disclaimers on television political advertisements. To learn more, please open the attached file. * * * FCC ELIMINATES MID-TERM EEO REPORT Broadcasters will soon have one less regulatory requirement to worry about. That’s because the Commission at its February open meeting adopted an Order eliminating the Mid-Term EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) report, known as the FCC Form 397 report. To learn more, please open the attached file. * * * FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION CONSENT ORDERS PROVIDE USEFUL REMINDER REGARDING NATIVE ADVERTISING Two consent orders approved recently by the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) serve as a salient reminder for broadcasters about the nature of native advertisements—and to be wary of where the line is drawn between creative advertising and consumer deception. That’s especially true for broadcasters who assist advertisers with the generation of content for non-broadcast platforms such as websites, apps, and social media. To learn more, please open the attached file. * * * DRONE DEVELOPMENTS: FAA REQUIRES EXTERNAL MARKING ON DRONES; COMMENT DEADLINE SET FOR DRONE FLIGHTS OVER PEOPLE Recent Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) activity is likely to impact broadcasters who utilize drones in the course of newsgathering, video production, and tower inspections—both in the short term, and potentially, in the long term as well: a new rule regarding external identification/marking of drones takes effect on February 25, 2019; and, the comment deadline has been set on the FAA’s potential relaxation of restrictions on various drone operations (including flights over people). To learn more, please open the attached file.  

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  • File Size: 518529
  • Added On: 2/15/2019

Video Description; TV Rescan Help Center; License Posting Requirement Eliminated

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FCC SEEKS COMMENT ON VIDEO DESCRIPTION FOR REPORT TO LAWMAKERS The FCC issued a Public Notice earlier this week seeking comments regarding recent developments in the video description marketplace as it prepares a report that must be submitted to Congress this coming October. The FCC is required by law to let Congress know whether it believes the current video description rules should be extended to additional markets. To learn more, please open the attached file. * * * REPACK UPDATE: COMMISSION CREATES CONSUMER HELP CENTER FOR TV RESCANNING ASSISTANCE The Commission recently announced that it is launching a special call center dedicated to helping viewers of repacked over-the-air TV stations rescan their TVs during the ongoing post-auction repack. To learn more, please open the attached file. * * * FCC ELIMINATES LICENSE POSTING REQUIREMENT Broadcasters can take down and recycle their physical station licenses. That’s because, effective February 8, 2019, the FCC has eliminated the requirement that a station’s physical license, and any other instruments of authorization, must be posted in a conspicuous place at the principal control point of the transmitter (typically by affixing them to the wall or putting them in a binder). To learn more, please open the attached file.  

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  • File Size: 519729
  • Added On: 2/7/2019

Four-Month Countdown: All Virginia Radio Stations Must File License Renewal Applications This Summer!

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FOUR-MONTH COUNTDOWN: ALL VIRGINIA RADIO STATIONS MUST FILE LICENSE RENEWAL APPLICATIONS THIS SUMMER! A mere four months from now—i.e., by June 1, 2019—all radio stations licensed to communities in Virginia will be required to file license renewal applications. Each station’s license renewal application (FCC Form 303-S) and Broadcast Equal Employment Opportunity Program Report (FCC Form 396) must be electronically filed with the FCC no later than June 1, 2019. Two months prior to the June 1 filing deadline, stations are required to commence their on-air pre-filing announcements, which will need to be repeated on a schedule dictated by the FCC’s rules (the content of the announcements is also dictated by the FCC’s rules). Thus, the license renewal process really gets underway on April 1. To learn more, please open the attached file.  

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  • File Size: 300240
  • Added On: 2/1/2019

FCC Further Extends Certain Deadlines -- Including OPIF Submissions for Fourth Quarter 2018 Materials

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FCC FURTHER EXTENDS CERTAIN DEADLINES IN WAKE OF REOPENING AFTER GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN; OPIF FILINGS IMPACTED The FCC is further revising—and extending—some of its filing and other deadlines in the wake of the partial government shutdown. In a Public Notice (“Notice”) released this afternoon, the Commission announced that it is further extending certain deadlines because parties did not have full access to some electronic systems and databases during the suspension of operations due the government shutdown. These new deadlines supersede and replace the previously extended deadlines that we told you about. The Notice provides a new deadline for Online Public Inspection File submissions that would have been due during the shutdown (including fourth quarter 2018 materials), among other revised deadlines. To learn more, please open the attached file.  

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  • File Size: 340727
  • Added On: 1/29/2019

OPIF Is Accessible; More to Come on Filing Deadlines When FCC Re-Opens Monday

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WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RE-OPENING, WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS FOR FCC DEADLINES? WE DON’T YET KNOW FOR CERTAIN, BUT WE EXPECT THE FCC TO TELL US MORE ON MONDAY While we welcome the development that the partial federal government shutdown has come to an end, it immediately brings to mind questions about the FCC implications for broadcast stations. When are the routine quarterly filings from 4Q 2018 due? Can stations begin filing routine license/license modification applications again? Can stations access their online public files (OPIF) again? Please open the attached PDF file to learn more about these developments.  

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  • File Size: 104014
  • Added On: 1/27/2019

FCC Details Impact of Government Shutdown on Commission Operations

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FCC FILING SYSTEMS WILL REMAIN FUNCTIONAL, TV REPACK DEADLINES WILL CONTINUE TO APPLY, AND OTHER DETAILS OF GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN IMPLICATIONS FOR FCC OPERATIONS AND FILINGS In a Public Notice (“Notice”) released this afternoon, the FCC details the impacts that the continuing, partial government shutdown will have on Commission operations. The Notice explains that the FCC will suspend most of its operations in the middle of the day on Thursday, January 3, 2019. The Notice discusses how the shutdown will impact FCC electronic filing and database systems; filing deadlines; fee payments; STAs; transaction shot clocks; and, crucially, incentive auction-related matters, among other things. For more information, please open the attached file.  

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  • File Size: 569842
  • Added On: 1/2/2019

VAB 2019 Regulatory Calendar for Virginia Broadcast Stations

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  • File Size: 280712
  • Added On: 1/7/2019

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