May 20, 2024

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This Week in Regulation for Broadcasters: April 9, 2022 to April 15, 2022

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Listed here are some of the regulatory developments of importance to broadcasters from the previous 7 days, with links to the place you can go to uncover a lot more details as to how these actions may have an impact on your functions.

  • A record of “ex parte” presentations designed to the FCC (disclosures of displays manufactured to FCC conclusion makers outside the house of a proceeding’s formal comment submitting interval) was introduced this 7 days, and it included a summary of meetings amongst NAB leaders and FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel and Commissioner Geoffrey Starks (and users of their staffs) on many pending issues. At these conferences, the NAB asked the FCC to do much more to support the Television set industry’s changeover to ATSC 3., together with completing its ATSC 3. multicast continuing (which we summarized on our Broadcast Legislation Website, in this article). It also questioned that the FCC abandon its rulemaking that would make it possible for FM boosters to originate constrained quantities of programming via “zonecasting” know-how.  (Go through much more on “zonecasting,” here).  A further ask for was that the Fee wrap up its 2018 Quadrennial Overview of broadcast possession guidelines, even if the FCC does not soon have its fifth Commissioner in put (as the nomination of Gigi Sohn remains pending in the Senate with the timing of motion uncertain).  As we observed in just one of our recent weekly summaries here, the NAB in February built a created presentation to the FCC arguing that the history designed in the 2018 Quadrennial Assessment justified sizeable rest in the radio possession policies.  Lastly, the NAB reported that, while it does not oppose reinstatement of FCC Form 395-B for selection of marketplace-wide work knowledge, the Commission to start with requirements to have concrete plans for the analysis of this kind of knowledge to make meaningful insights into employment in the broadcast industry (see our short article below for far more on this pending EEO proposal).  (NAB Ex Parte)
  • Nearly each individual 7 days, the FCC announces consent decrees with radio station licensees above community file and political file violations learned by the license renewal system, and this 7 days was no distinctive. If your radio station submitted its license renewal software and had paperwork missing from its general public file or uploaded required documents late, check with your station’s advisors about the potential for a consent decree.  Some Tv set stations have been given fines for similar violations.  Both of those styles of radio consent decrees involve increased administrative, recordkeeping, and reporting obligations.  (Community File Consent Decree Illustration) (Political File Consent Decree Illustration).
  • The FCC continues to consider channel adjustments for Television stations, notably proposals to make it possible for a station to transfer from a VHF channel to a UHF one simply because of the UHF band’s perceived superiority for digital providers. The FCC Media Bureau’s Online video Division launched requests for comments on two these proposals this week.
    • The initially considers substituting channel 35 for channel 11 in Hampton, Virginia for station WVEC. The request notes that viewers have complained about reception problems with WVEC which do not exist for the other community stations which transmit on UHF channels in the sector. (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking)
    • Augusta, Maine, PBS station WCBB asked for that UHF channel 20 be substituted for its present-day VHF channel 10. To refute issues about predictions of a loss of provider from the channel transform, the applicant confirmed that all but 144 folks would obtain service from other PBS stations, including other stations owned by the licensee of the Maine PBS station.  (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking)

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