Updated Political Broadcasting Guide – Questions and Answers about Broadcasters’ Obligations During this Election Season

Broadcast Law Blog

To help broadcasters sort out the confusing rules about political advertising , we have updated our Political Broadcasting Guide for Broadcasters (note that the URL for the updated version has not changed from prior versions, so your bookmarks should continue to work). The revised guide is much the same as the one that we published two years ago, formatted as Questions and Answers to cover many of the issues that come up for broadcasters in a political season.

December Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – EEO Reports, December FCC Meeting and Getting Ready for New Years’ Obligations

Broadcast Law Blog

While the holidays may be upon us, there is no rest in the broadcast regulatory world. December 1 brings routine EEO public file report obligations for radio and television station employment units with 5 or more full-time employees for stations located in Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Vermont. See our post here for more on the EEO obligations.

A Broadcasters Calendar of Regulatory Obligations for 2017

Broadcast Law Blog

At the beginning of each year, we publish our broadcaster’s calendar of important dates – setting out the many dates for which broadcasters should be on alert as this year progresses. The Broadcasters Calendar for 2017 is available here. These dates just recently changed for noncommercial broadcasters as the FCC suspended its requirement that noncommercial stations file Biennial Ownership reports every other anniversary of their license renewal filing (see our post here ).

Important Dates for Broadcasters in 2019 – A Broadcaster’s Calendar

Broadcast Law Blog

While the shutdown of the Federal government delayed FCC activities in January, with the government back in business (hopefully for the long term), we have put together a Calendar of Important Dates for Broadcasters for 2019 , available here. While this is not a comprehensive list of all regulatory dates that a broadcaster can expect, and while there can be some changes in these dates as the year goes on, it does provide a start keeping you on top of your regulatory burdens.

FCC Adopts Change in Rules Eliminating Broadcasters’ Obligations to File Certain Contracts

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC yesterday adopted an Order eliminating the requirement that broadcasters file with the Commission copies of certain contracts, agreements and other documents relating to ownership and control – instead relying on the obligations to either upload the documents to a station’s online public file, or to place a list of the documents in the public file (with information listing the parties involved, and the dates of execution and of expiration).

Another EEO Audit – This Time for Cable – Reminds Broadcasters to Observe Their EEO Obligations

Broadcast Law Blog

Earlier this month, the FCC announced another of its regular EEO audits , though this time it’s just for cable systems and other MVPDs who, like broadcasters, have EEO obligations. The FCC will audit 5% of all broadcasters and cable companies each year to assess their EEO compliance, so be prepared in case you are next. Broadcasters were last audited in June (radio stations only – see our article here ), so their turn will come again.

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Understanding a Broadcaster’s Political Broadcasting Obligations Under FCC Rules – A Webinar Outlining the Requirements

Broadcast Law Blog

While many broadcasters’ thoughts are on holiday celebrations, the political process leading to the 2016 elections marches on. Last week, Bobby Baker, the head of the FCC’s Office of Political Programming and I conducted a webinar for broadcasters in 16 states on the legal issues that need to be considered in connection with the upcoming political season. For more information, check out our Political Broadcasting Guide , here.

FCC Releases Draft Order to Eliminate Broadcasters’ Obligations to File Contracts, Relying on Online Public File to Make Documents Available

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC this week released its draft order proposing to eliminate the requirement that broadcasters file certain contracts relating to ownership and control with the Commission. FCC Fines General FCC Multiple Ownership Rules Programming Regulations broadcast ownership report filing of broadcasters contracts joint sales agreement online public inspection file time brokerage agreements

Important Dates for Broadcasters in 2019 – A Broadcaster’s Calendar

Broadcast Law Blog

While the shutdown of the Federal government delayed FCC activities in January, with the government back in business (hopefully for the long term), we have put together a Calendar of Important Dates for Broadcasters for 2019 , available here. While this is not a comprehensive list of all regulatory dates that a broadcaster can expect, and while there can be some changes in these dates as the year goes on, it does provide a start keeping you on top of your regulatory burdens.

Summaries of the Legal Issues Facing Radio and TV Broadcasters – Staying on Top of Your Regulatory Obligations

Broadcast Law Blog

Each quarter, my partner David O’Connor and I update a list of the legal and regulatory issues facing TV broadcasters. If you are trying to keep on top of all the other legal and regulatory issues TV broadcasters should be considering this fall, or if you are looking for the current status of specific proceedings potentially impacting TV broadcasters, check out our most recent updated summary, here. Of course, there are issues that radio broadcasters face as well.

October Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Quarterly Issues Programs and Children’s Television Reports, EEO Obligations, Repacking Reports and More

Broadcast Law Blog

The beginning of a calendar quarter always brings numerous regulatory obligations, and October is one of those months with a particularly full set of obligations. All full-power broadcasters, commercial and noncommercial, must complete their Quarterly Issues Programs Lists and place these reports into their public inspection files by October 10. EEO obligations also arise for stations in a number of states. We wrote about that obligation here.

FCC Releases Draft Order to Eliminate Broadcasters’ Obligations to File Contracts, Relying on Online Public File to Make Documents Available

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC this week released its draft order proposing to eliminate the requirement that broadcasters file certain contracts relating to ownership and control with the Commission. FCC Fines General FCC Multiple Ownership Rules Programming Regulations broadcast ownership report filing of broadcasters contracts joint sales agreement online public inspection file time brokerage agreements

August Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – New Fees, EAS Registration Requirement, EEO Obligations and More

Broadcast Law Blog

As we enter the last full month of summer, when many are already looking forward to the return to the more normal routines of autumn, regulatory obligations for broadcasters don’t end. Even if you are trying to squeeze in that last-minute vacation before school begins or other Fall commitments arise, there are filing deadlines this month, as well as comment deadline in an FCC proceeding dealing with broadcasters’ public inspection file obligations.

FCC Proposes to Eliminate Public File Obligations – No More Letters from the Public for Broadcasters, No Cable Headend Information for Cable Systems?

Broadcast Law Blog

At its open meeting earlier this week, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing changes to the public file rules for both broadcasters and cable systems. For commercial broadcasters, the FCC proposed to eliminate the requirement that they include in their public file copies of letters and emails to the station concerning station operations. What do these proposals mean for broadcasters?

FCC Reminder to Video Programming Distributors – Including Broadcasters – on Accessibility Obligations

Broadcast Law Blog

The public notice serves as a good refresher on all of the obligations of video programmers designed to make emergency information available to members of the viewing audience who may have auditory or visual impairments that may make this information harder to receive. What are these obligations? See our articles here , here and here about this obligation. See our post here on this obligation.

5 Questions on the Meaning of the FCC’s Recent Ruling on Online Recruiting – How Does it Change a Broadcaster’s EEO Obligations?

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC recently issued a declaratory ruling (which we summarized here ) addressing the requirement that broadcasters widely disseminate information about all of their job openings in such a way as to reach all of the groups within their communities. The recent FCC decision stated that a broadcaster can now rely solely on online sources to meet the wide dissemination obligation. This decision does not end all other EEO obligations imposed by the FCC rules.

December Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Ownership and EEO Reports, Retransmission Consent and Foreign Ownership Rulemaking Comments, Incentive Auction and Accessibility Obligations

Broadcast Law Blog

December is one of those months when all commercial broadcasters have at least one FCC deadline, and there are also many other filing dates of which many broadcasters need to take note. For all commercial broadcasters, Biennial Ownership Reports are due on December 2. Hopefully, most broadcasters have already completed this filing obligation, as FCC electronic filing systems have been known to slow as a major deadline like this comes closer.

Beware of the Political File Obligations in this Hot Political Advertising Year

Broadcast Law Blog

In this “political” year with Congressional mid-term elections in November, including many hotly contested races for seats in the US House of Representatives and the Senate, as well as many state and local elections, I receive many questions from broadcasters across the country. Second, the file is to inform one candidate of what uses of broadcast stations his or her opponents are making.

October Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Quarterly Issues Programs Lists and Children’s Television Reports, EEO Public File Obligations, Nationwide EAS Test, Registration of C Band Earth Stations, and Comments in Numerous FCC Proceedings

Broadcast Law Blog

October is one of the busiest months on the broadcast regulatory calendar, as it includes a confluence of routine EEO filing requirements, quarterly filing requirements for Children’s Television Reports, public file uploading for all stations for their Quarterly Issues Programs Lists, a Nationwide EAS test, and comment dates in many FCC proceedings.

October Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Quarterly Issues Programs Lists and Children’s Television Reports, EEO Public File Obligations, Nationwide EAS Test, Registration of C Band Earth Stations, and Comments in Numerous FCC Proceedings

Broadcast Law Blog

October is one of the busiest months on the broadcast regulatory calendar, as it includes a confluence of routine EEO filing requirements, quarterly filing requirements for Children’s Television Reports, public file uploading for all stations for their Quarterly Issues Programs Lists, a Nationwide EAS test, and comment dates in many FCC proceedings.

July Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – New Captioning Obligations, Online Political File for Small TV Stations, Issues Programs List and Children’s Television Reports, and More

Broadcast Law Blog

July brings a number of new regulatory dates for broadcasters – including the effective dates of two new compliance obligations for small market TV stations, as well as numerous routine regulatory filing dates. Full power TV and Class A TV stations by January 10 also need to have filed with the FCC their FCC Form 398 Children’s Television Reports , addressing the educational and informational programming directed to children that they broadcast.

Comment Dates Set on FCC Proposal to Extend Online Public File Obligations to Radio, Cable, and Satellite

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC has finally had published in the Federal Register its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing to extend the online public file obligations to radio, satellite radio, cable operators and satellite TV providers. Seemingly, under the proposals advanced in the online public file proceeding, some of the new obligations could also end up applying to such video providers – who currently have no public file obligations whatsoever.

June Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – EEO Public File Reports and Form 397, CALM Act Compliance Obligations, Incentive Auction Actions, Comments on Reg Fees and LPFM Rules, and More

Broadcast Law Blog

June brings some standard obligations for broadcasters in a number of states with anniversaries of their license renewal filing, plus the return of an obligation that we have not seen in 4 years- the obligations of radio stations in certain states to file an FCC Form 397 Mid-Term EEO Report. First, let’s look at the standard recurring obligations. TV Stations also have CALM Act obligations that go into effect on June 4.

October Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Quarterly Issues Programs Lists and Children’s Television Reports, EEO Obligations, Noncommercial Biennial Ownership Reports, and Incentive Auction Comment Deadlines

Broadcast Law Blog

Another month has started – and it is one with regulatory dates for broadcasters. All broadcasters, commercial and noncommercial, have an obligation to complete their Quarterly Issues Programs lists and place them into their public inspection filed by October 10. See our article here on the obligation to submit Mid-Term EEO Reports. As in any month, there may be other deadlines that are faced by any broadcaster – so be aware of those that apply to you.

Formal Proceedings to Begin to Revise Rules for Broadcasters’ On-Air Contests and Expand the Online Public File Obligations to Radio, Cable and Satellite

Broadcast Law Blog

Since our note Friday about November regulatory dates for broadcasters , it’s become clear that the FCC will be acting on two more matters of interest to broadcasters – particularly radio broadcasters though each have some implications for TV as well. So it would seem likely that most radio companies will not be looking at implementing these obligations until the latter part of next year.

Beware of the Political File Obligations in this Hot Political Advertising Year

Broadcast Law Blog

In this “political” year with Congressional mid-term elections in November, including many hotly contested races for seats in the US House of Representatives and the Senate, as well as many state and local elections, I receive many questions from broadcasters across the country. Second, the file is to inform one candidate of what uses of broadcast stations his or her opponents are making.

FCC Approves For the First Time 100% Foreign Ownership of US Broadcast Stations

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC yesterday released its first decision approving 100% foreign ownership of a group of US broadcast stations. This comes after significant relaxation of the FCC’s interpretation of the foreign ownership limits which, less than 4 years ago, had been interpreted to effectively prohibit foreign ownership of more than 25% of a company controlling broadcast licensees (see our article here about the 2013 decision to relax the restrictive policy).

FCC Reminds Small Market TV That Political File Goes Online As of July 1, No FCC Review of the Obligations Seems Imminent

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC on Friday issued a reminder to all TV stations that, as of July 1, they will have to upload all of their new political broadcasting documents to their online public file s. Later this year, that obligation is extended to all TV stations. For more about the requirements for the political file, see our Guide to the FCC’s Political Broadcasting Rules, here. With an active political broadcasting season in store for many states, be prepared!

Legal Issues for Broadcasters – Updates on Pending Matters

Broadcast Law Blog

There are so many legal issues that facing broadcasters that it is sometimes difficult to keep up with them all. This Blog and many other activities that those at my firm engage in are meant to help our clients and other broadcasters keep up to date on all of the many regulatory challenges with which broadcasters must deal, while at the same time keeping up with their business operations. Of course, there are issues that radio broadcasters face as well.

FCC Releases Order on Online Public Inspection File – Answering Questions about Compliance with Radio’s New Obligations

Broadcast Law Blog

Our initial article about the decision was based on the FCC’s press release on the decision and comments made at the FCC meeting at which the obligation was adopted. The FCC has now released the full-text of the decision (available here) and that order contains many new nuggets of information about the new obligations about which stations need to be aware. Note that only commercial stations have an obligation to maintain these letters as part of their public file.

FCC Sends More Warnings to Radio Stations that Are Not Compliant with Online Inspection Public File Obligations – Quarterly Issues/Programs Lists are the Biggest Target

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC has once again started sending out email notices to broadcast stations that are not in compliance with their online public file obligations. The renewal obligation for radio moves across the country with stations in a few specific states filing every other month in this three-year renewal cycle (for more information see, for instance, our articles here and here ). FCC Fines License Renewal Programming Regulations Public Interest Obligations/Localism Website Issues

FCC Incubator Order Becomes Effective Just as Third Circuit Hears Arguments on 2017 Order Relaxing FCC Broadcast Ownership Rules

Broadcast Law Blog

The Office of Management and Budget, acting pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act, has just approved the FCC’s broadcast incubator program , about which we wrote here. That approval makes the program effective. The program permits an established broadcaster to provide assistance to a new broadcaster (generally, a qualified small business) to enter the radio broadcast industry.

Another EEO Audit Released – Looking at the FCC’s Current EEO Obligations

Broadcast Law Blog

These non-vacancy specific outreach efforts are designed to educate the community about broadcast employment positions and to train employees for more senior roles in broadcasting. The FCC has promised to randomly audit 5% of all broadcast stations each year. So this is a good time for broadcasters to review what is required by the FCC’s EEO rules.

A Presentation on the Obligations of Small Market TV Broadcasters to Begin To Upload Their Political Files into Their Online Public File as of July 1

Broadcast Law Blog

David O’Connor of my firm and I conducted a webinar for television broadcasters from 7 states last week, where we discussed this new obligation for smaller TV stations, and talked about what documents are supposed to go into the political file. As we wrote in April , the FCC has already reminded broadcasters of this new obligation as of July 1, and there does not appear to be any potential that the obligation will be changed between now and the July 1 effective date.

May Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Incentive Auction, ATSC 3.0 and Broadcast Deregulation

Broadcast Law Blog

But, just because there are none of these regular filings due, that does not mean that the month will be a quiet one for broadcasters on the regulatory front. What exactly this means is open to some question, as all TV stations can already offer some non-broadcast services through the excess capacity provided by their digital channel. The capacity to expand their offerings of non-broadcast services is one of the benefits for TV broadcasters advanced by advocates of the new ATSC 3.0

April FCC Obligations for Broadcasters - Renewals, EEO, Quarterly Issues Programs Lists, Captioning of Live or Near-Live Online Programming, FM Translator Filings, an FM Auction and Comments on Alien Ownership

Broadcast Law Blog

April is one of those months in which many FCC obligations are triggered for broadcasters. There are the normal obligations, like the Quarterly Issues Programs lists , that need to be in the public file of all broadcast stations, radio and TV, commercial and noncommercial, by April 10. And there are renewal obligations for stations in many states, as well as EEO Public File Reports that are due to be placed in station's public files and on their websites.

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Modernization of Media Regulation – What Rule Changes Should Broadcasters be Requesting?

Broadcast Law Blog

It is not every year that the FCC seriously asks broadcasters for suggestions as to what rules it should abolish or modify, but that is exactly what the FCC is doing in its Modernization of Media Regulation proceeding (about which we wrote here and here ). Comments due the week after next, on July 5, and broadcasters should accept the invitation and suggest rules that are ripe for repeal or amendment.

EEO Public File Reports Due By February 1 For Broadcasters in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, and Oklahoma - David Oxenford Conducts Webinar to Refresh Kansas Broadcasters on Their EEO Obligations

Broadcast Law Blog

February 1 is the deadline by which broadcast stations in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, and Oklahoma must place into their Public Inspection files their Annual EEO Public Inspection File Report. More information about Broadcasters' EEO obligations generally can be found in our Primer on the FCC's EEO Rules, here.

Hey, Alexa, How Are Your Affecting My Podcasting Music Royalty Obligations?

Broadcast Law Blog

Next Wednesday, July 25, I will be speaking at the Podcast Movement Conference in Philadelphia, as part of the Broadcasters Meet Podcasters Track , discussing legal issues that broadcasters need to consider as they move some of their content into podcasts. One of the topics that I will be discussing will be the music royalty obligations of podcasters who use music in their programs.

Davis Wright Tremaine 2009 Broadcast Calendar Now Available - A Broadcaster's Guide to the Regulatory Obligations for the New Year

Broadcast Law Blog

We wrote last week about the potential for changes in regulations that may be forthcoming but, like death and taxes, there are certain regulatory dates each year that broadcasters need to note and certain deadlines that must be met. Those dates are set out in our advisory - Important Dates For Broadcasters in 2009 - a calendar of the year's regulatory filings. So, to keep track of your regulatory obligations, check out our broadcaster's calendar, here.

January Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – The Shutdown Does Not Put Everything on Hold

Broadcast Law Blog

While these and other dates mentioned below may be put on hold, there are deadlines that broadcasters need to pay attention to that are unaffected by the Washington budget debate. As we wrote here , with the increase in digital performances of broadcast stations through Alexa and other smart speakers, it is more important than ever for broadcasters to secure a reasonable royalty rate for the streaming of their signals.

On the Schedule for the April 27 FCC Meeting: Television Public Interest Obligations, TV Channel Sharing and Third-Party Fundraising by Noncommercial Broadcasters

Broadcast Law Blog

Three broadcast items are tentatively scheduled for the next FCC meeting, to be held on April 27, according to the tentative agenda released today. In one expected action, though perhaps moving more quickly than many thought possible, the FCC has indicated that it will adopt a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on adopting a new form on which television broadcasters would detail their public interest programming and other programming that addresses community needs.

Time Magazine Awards Journalists in Harm’s Way Person of the Year Award – What Are You Doing to Keep Your Broadcast Employee’s Safe?

Broadcast Law Blog

Most broadcasters don’t think of their on-air personnel as facing the same risks as journalists in war zones or facing imprisonment for reporting stories that certain governments don’t want reported. All broadcasters and other media companies need to consider the safety of their employees and plan for the unthinkable at their facilities. Public Interest Obligations/Localism Security safety of broadcast employees

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