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.

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.

FCC March Open Meeting Goes Virtual

If TV news anchors, reporters and producers can do it, so can the federal agency that oversees it. The FCC will conduct, for the first time, an Open Meeting in a fully virtual, digital manner in lieu of a session held at its Southwest D.C. office building. Because of these special circumstances, three Media Bureau items on the agenda are expected to be voted on circulation prior to the meeting.

Kudos Comes As White House Renominates O’Rielly For New FCC Term

Mike O'Rielly, defender of Radio from unlicensed "pirate" operators and one of the industry's biggest champions on Capitol Hill, has been renominated by President Trump for a new term on the FCC. This led colleagues and the head of the NAB to laud O'Rielly and thank the White House for making the decision.

FCC Order Axes ‘Obsolete’ Public File Requirements

The Commission on Wednesday (3/18) adopted an Order making revisions to parts 73 and 76 of the Commission's rules. This eliminates what the FCC has considered to be obsolete transitional public file requirement language in its regulations.

Pai Commends Radio, TV For Coronavirus Response … and DISH Deals

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on Monday held a conference call yesterday with TV and radio broadcasters, and broadcaster trade associations, to thank broadcasters for their efforts to educate the American people about the coronavirus pandemic and discuss additional ways that broadcasters can help Americans stay safe and informed during the coronavirus outbreak. 

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