Comment, Reply Dates Set For Program Carriage FNPRM

On March 31, the FCC complied with “physical distancing” needs to help combat the spread of COVID-19 by affirmatively granting a proposal to seek comment on proposed changes to its rules governing the resolution of program carriage disputes between video programming vendors and MVPDs. Now, it has announced when Comments and Reply Comments are due.

Ex-FEMA Admin Supports Radio Geo-Targeting

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator from 2009-2017 has written to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai in support of the proposed rule change that would permit radio broadcasters to broadcast geo-targeted programming, including emergency alerts in times of regional and local crises.

House Members Ask Colleagues To Support Local Media Fund Push

A bipartisan quartet of House Members have called on their colleagues to ask President Trump to give local media a boost. Local advertising is crux to their proposal.
Easter

An Easter, Pesach FCC Waiver Resolves COVID-19 Quandry

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced those who would normally attend a Passover seder or Easter Sunday religious services to maintain physical distancing.  Some television stations have stepped in, with broadcasts of holiday activities in lieu of live in-person attendance. Concern as to whether such broadcasts would run afoul of "KidVid" rules have been erased.
U.S. Congress

Congress Asked To Include ‘Local News’ In Next COVID-19 Stimulus

PEN America, Common Cause, and Free Press Action on Wednesday sent a letter to House and Senate leadership on behalf of nearly 50 organizations urging Congressional leaders to include "the local news industry" in the next proposed coronavirus stimulus package. Here's exactly what the advocacy groups -- and a former FCC Commissioner working with them -- seek.

FCC Comment Period Opens On ‘Geo-Targeting’ Petition

The FCC is now accepting comments in regard to a petition filed on March 13 by Chicago-based GeoBroadcast Solutions that seeks a rule change permitting radio broadcasters to air "geo-targeted programming" — including emergency alerts, news, and advertising — on a voluntary basis.

Other Music Licensing Issues Radio Still Faces

The judge presiding over the royalty litigation between BMI and the Radio Music Licensing Committee (RMLC) on March 23 approved a settlement between these parties. But, as Wilkinson Barker Knauer partner David Oxenford notes, the settlement of this case still leaves many other music royalty issues for commercial radio broadcasters.

Benner On Washington: ‘The Legal Virus Related To Broadcasting’

While the world deals with the coronavirus pandemic, columnist Ken Benner takes a break from his self-imposed quarantine to discuss another "virus" he believes has enriched many D.C. technocrats. "Most of what concerns me and a few thousand others involved with broadcasting is readily available in the Code of Federal Regulations, parts 70-79," Benner says.

FCC Also Wants Say On Program Carriage Dispute Resolution

The FCC on Tuesday complied with "physical distancing" needs to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus. Ahead of a virtual March Open Meeting, its Commissioners and Chairman Ajit Pai affirmatively granted a proposal to seek comment on proposed changes to its rules governing the resolution of program carriage disputes between video programming vendors and MVPDs.

FCC Seeks to Amend DTS Rules to Facilitate ATSC 3.0

The FCC has adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on proposed technical rule changes to facilitate the use of the next generation television broadcast standard, also known as ATSC 3.0. The proposed rules would permit greater flexibility for broadcasters to use distributed transmission systems (DTS) as they deploy ATSC 3.0 in their networks.
Kids

Children’s TV Programming Report Deadline Delayed

Before the novel coronavirus unleashed its wrath on the U.S., impacting nearly everything on a timetable, FCC Form 2100, Schedule H was expected to be filed no later than March 30. Scratch that date from your task list. The new due date is a while away.

D.C. TV News Teams Say They’re #BetterTogether

A promotional effort designed to get TV viewers in the Washington, D.C., market to consume local television news is getting attention. The "Better Together" initiative has seen traditionally ultra-competitive TV news organizations abandon their battles, with all coming together to help defeat the novel coronavirus through a unified information campaign.

Initial Repack Reimbursements Heading To LPTVs, TV Translators

Low power television and TV translator stations will soon be getting reimbursement checks from the FCC with respect to bills incurred for post-spectrum auction repack needs. An initial allocation of funds from the TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund was given the green light.

ACA Connects Opts To Cancel Annual D.C. Summit

The annual public policy summit held in the Nation's Capital by ACA Connects, formerly the American Cable Association, has been scrubbed for 2020 as a result of the continued COVID-19 pandemic.

APTS Thanks Senate, Trump For Emergency Public Broadcasting Dollars

America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) has applauded the U.S. Senate for its approval on Wednesday of emergency funding for public broadcasting in the "third Coronavirus package," paving the way for millions of dollars to head toward noncommercial, educational radio and TV stations.

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