L.A. Weatherman Sues CBS Stations For Hiring Young, Attractive Women

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Matthew Belloni Kyle Hunter has filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against CBS Broadcasting and its stations KCBS and KCAL. read more. THR, Esq. THR, Esq. Television Television

'Berlin Station' Star Sued by Ex-Talent Manager

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Joannie Burstein says Leland Orser owes her commission from the Epix series and 'Ray Donovan.' read more. THR, Esq. Television Television THR Online

'Sexting' victim sues Hearst-Argyle TV station

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

By Eriq Gardner Local television news isn't exactly known for hard-hitting journalism, so it's no surprise to read that a Cincinnati station featured reports about the act of "sexting," sending sexually explicit come-ons via a cell phone. But WLWT-TV may.

21st Century Fox Says It Isn't Responsible for Discrimination at Local TV Stations

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

The media giant also says allegations against ousted CEO Roger Ailes are "sensationalized and inflammatory." read more. THR, Esq. Television Television THR Online Drew Ailes Roger Ailes

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Newt Gingrich Threatens to Sue TV Stations, But He's Bluffing (Analysis)

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Eriq Gardner TV stations almost always have to run attack ads. Truth is not a factor. read more. THR, Esq. Television Television Mitt Romney Newt Gingrich Politics

Run 13

Music Licensing Co. Wants Final Approval on $58.5 Million Settlement With TV Stations

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

The cost of syndicating shows like "House" will get a little cheaper. read more. The Business Music THR Online THR, Esq. Television Business

Univision, Charter Agree on Programming Ceasefire Through June

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Univision stations will air on Charter's Spectrum cable service for the next several months while the legal battle proceeds. read more. THR, Esq. Television Television THR Online

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What Washington Has in Store for Broadcasters in 2015 – Part 1, What’s Up at the FCC

Broadcast Law Blog

So here are some issues that are on the table at the FCC – starting first with issues affecting all stations, then on to TV and radio issues in separate sections below. . Late this past year, the FCC proposed to reform the rules for contests run by broadcast stations – proposing to allow broadcasters to disclose the material terms of the contest on the Internet, rather than requiring that they be broadcast on the air enough so that a listener is likely to have heard them.

Almost 80 Radio Stations Hit With New FCC EEO Audit Letter

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC’s public notice announcing the commencement of the audit includes the audit letter that was sent to all of the targeted stations. The list of about 80 radio stations subject to the audit is here. As employment information for all stations within a named station’s “employment unit” must be provided in response to the audit, the reach of this notice goes beyond the 80 stations named in the audit notices.

FCC Extends for 18 Months the Requirement for TV Stations to Convert Visual Emergency Information to Audio on SAP Channel

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC released an order last week giving TV stations an additional 18 months to comply with a requirement that emergency information conveyed to the TV audience during non-news programming in a visual or graphical manner (e.g. on-screen weather maps during entertainment programming) be converted to audio that is broadcast on the TV station’s SAP channel.

Beyonce Sued for Allegedly Lifting Short Film to Create 'Lemonade' Trailer

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

The plaintiff — a creative director at a news station — claims that a member of the pop superstar's team has acknowleged seeing his work. read more. THR, Esq. The Business Television Music Business THR Online

First Window for New FM Translators for AM Stations to Open July 26

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC released a Public Notice announcing that its window for Class C and D AM stations to file for new FM translators to rebroadcast their stations will open on July 26. We know that the window will be open to any AM station that did not acquire a translator using a 250 mile waiver in last year’s translator window. AM Radio FM Translators and LPFM 250 mile waiver for translators AM on FM translators FM translators for AM stations

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All I Want for Christmas is a New Radio Station: Window for FM Auction Opens Jan. 3

Broadcast Law Blog

As we wrote about earlier ( here ), the FCC will hold an auction on March 27, 2012, offering 119 construction permits for new FM radio stations. And even if you are not interested in participating in the upcoming Auction, stations should remember that in connection with Auction 93, the FCC will temporarily freeze the submission of all minor change applications for both commercial and noncommercial FM stations from January 3 through January 12, 2012.

CBS Argues Remastered Versions of Old Songs Original Enough to Be Copyrighted

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Does adjusting the loudness and timbre of a sound recording mean indefinite copyright duration, but no ability to stop radio stations from playing it?

Announcement of FCC Window for AM Stations to File For New FM Translators Coming Very Soon

Broadcast Law Blog

At the NAB Convention, Chairman Pai announced that the promised windows for AM stations to apply for new FM translators would open this summer (see our article here ). The first will be for Class C and D AM stations. Once those applications have been filed, a second window will open for Class A and B AM stations. Stations that acquired translators through other means can still apply for a new translator in this window.

FCC Details Window for LPTV Stations and TV Translators Displaced by the Incentive Auction to Seek New Channels

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC last week released a Public Notice describing the process for the filing of applications for replacement channels for LPTV stations and TV translators that are displaced by the incentive auction. As the announcement of the window will give LPTV and translator stations 60 days to prepare applications, and the window itself will last 30 days, it looks like we are looking at displacement applications being due late in the first quarter of 2018.

Relaxed Rules for Location of FM Translators to Rebroadcast AM Stations Effective April 10

Broadcast Law Blog

We wrote here and here about the FCC’s new rules to relax the limits on where licensees of AM stations can use FM translators to rebroadcast their stations. The new rules allow the location of these translators so that their 1 mv/m coverage area does not extend beyond 25 miles from the AM station or beyond the AM station’s 2 mv/m contour – whichever is greater. AM Radio FM Translators and LPFM FM translators for AM stations

Update: Comment Dates Set on Prometheus Petition for Reconsideration of Relaxation of Siting Rules for FM Translators Rebroadcasting AM Stations

Broadcast Law Blog

Earlier this week, we wrote about a number of proceedings affecting FM translators , including the Petition for Reconsideration (available here ) of the FCC decision relaxing the rules governing the locations at which AM stations using FM translators to rebroadcast their signal can locate those translators (see our summary here ). As many AM stations with FM translators have already filed applications relying on the new rules, there are bound to be oppositions to this petition.

Ted Cruz Demands Takedown of PAC Ad Attacking His Voting Record – Issues that Broadcast Stations Need to Consider When Threatened by Candidate Wanting an Ad Pulled

Broadcast Law Blog

According to Politico , Ted Cruz’ campaign has demanded that TV stations pull certain PAC ads which he claims distort his voting record on immigration issues. Here, Cruz’ representatives apparently don’t threaten lawsuits against the stations for running the ads, but suggest that it is a violation of the stations’ FCC obligations to operate in the public interest to continue to run the ads. What is a station to do when such a claim is received?

Broadcaster Asks Court to Declare that Internet Simulcasts of Radio Station Exempt From SoundExchange Royalties If Geo-Limited to a 150 Mile Zone

Broadcast Law Blog

The law exempted from the 150 mile limit those retransmissions done by other broadcast stations. Thus, FM translators, for instance, can rebroadcast their primary station beyond the 150 mile rule without triggering a sound recording performance royalty. The complaint seeks a ruling that all broadcast Internet retransmissions that are limited to an area of less than 150 miles from the station transmitter, be exempt from the SoundExchange royalty fees.

FCC Changes in Rules on Computation of Foreign Ownership of Broadcast Stations Now Effective

Broadcast Law Blog

In fact, as we wrote here , the FCC has even allowed 100% ownership of a privately-held company with broadcast interests – where a husband and wife team from Australia purchased a number of primarily radio stations in Alaska and Texas. With the new rules now effective, the opportunity for more foreign investment in US broadcast stations is highlighted once again.

FCC Releases Instructions for Window for AM Stations to File for FM Translators and Announces Translator Filing Freeze – Pay Attention to the Details!

Broadcast Law Blog

Late yesterday, the FCC released the Public Notice setting out the instructions for the upcoming window for Class C and D AM stations to file for new FM translators. This may be to preserve some channels for applicants in the next window – one to be announced in the future for all AM stations (including Class A and B AM stations) to file for new translators. AM Radio FM Translators and LPFM 250 mile waiver for translators AM translators FM translators for AM stations

FCC Proposes to Adopt Rules Allowing Fundraising for Third-Party Nonprofit Organizations By Non-CPB Noncommercial Stations

Broadcast Law Blog

A noncommercial station can raise funds for nonprofit groups during normal program breaks in PSAs or other similar brief announcements, but under current policy, they cannot conduct a telethon or radiothon to raise funds for the Red Cross, a local charity, a religious organization or even for the football team or orchestra at a college or university that owns a noncommercial broadcast station.

FCC Reminds Repacked TV Stations of Upcoming June and July Deadlines

Broadcast Law Blog

The incentive auction, where the FCC agreed to buy the spectrum of numerous TV stations so that they could repackage that spectrum and sell it to wireless users, ended with the FCC’s Closing Notice released in April. But, in order to clear contiguous blocks of spectrum for the wireless companies who bought spectrum in the auction, the FCC not only had to buy the spectrum rights of a number of TV stations, but they also had to repack the remaining TV stations into a smaller TV band.

FCC Releases First EEO Audit for 2017 – Over 200 Radio and Almost 80 TV Stations Named in the Audit Notice

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC’s public notice announcing the commencement of the audit includes the audit letter that was sent to all of the targeted stations. The list of over 200 radio stations subject to the audit is here. The list of almost 80 TV stations is here. As employment information for all stations within a named station’s “employment unit” must be provided in response to the audit, the reach of this notice goes far beyond the 300 stations targeted in the audit notices.

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. Very recently, the FCC approved investment by a Cayman Islands based fund of more than 5%, up to 49%, of the ownership in Pandora (which owns a company that holds a radio station). AM Radio FM Radio Multiple Ownership Rules Public Interest Obligations/Localism Television alien ownership foreign ownership of US broadcast stations

Long Periods of Silence Can Jeopardize a Station’s License – $5000 Fine and Short-Term Renewal Given to a Station that had Been Silent for Extended Periods

Broadcast Law Blog

In a decision released last week , the FCC made clear that stations that have long periods in which they are not operated (perhaps being put back into operation for a day or two every year to avoid the automatic cancellation of their licenses) are not operating in the public interest , and are putting their license in jeopardy. AM Radio FCC Fines FM Radio General FCC License Renewal Public Interest Obligations/Localism short term license renewal silent station

BART Under Fire For Cell Phone, Station Closing Decisions, FCC Launches Investigation

Media Law Prof Blog

Because Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) has restored cell phone service to commuter stations in the area, the ACLU now says it will probably not file a lawsuit over the agency's actions, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation is "likely" not

Super Bowl, the Olympics and March Madness – Watch Your Advertising and Promotions for Unauthorized Uses of Trademarked Phrases

Broadcast Law Blog

Implying that the advertiser (or your own broadcast station in connection with a promotional event) is somehow affiliated with the big event can raise problems. So stations should avoid these kinds of promotional uses of these phrases. These are newsworthy events that can be discussed on the air, just as your station can discuss the events that surround the new coach for your local NFL football franchise, or the road to the Olympics of the hometown luge participant.

FCC Announces Potential Solutions for LPTV Stations that are Displaced Before Getting the Opportunity to File for a New Channel

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC in a Public Notice released yesterday recognized that some LPTV stations and TV translators may get bumped from their current channels even before full power stations start their transition to new channels to repack the TV band to make parts of it available for wireless Internet operations. The problem for these secondary stations is that the FCC yesterday announced the grant of construction authorizations for several wireless licensees who bought the cleared TV spectrum.

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FCC Approves Up to 49% Foreign Ownership of Univision – What Guidance is Provided to Potential Foreign Investors in US Broadcast Stations?

Broadcast Law Blog

This decision noted that it was based not on the new rules for analyzing foreign ownership in broadcast stations approved by the Commission in late September (see our summary here ), as those rules were not yet effective as they were only published in the Federal Register last month and certain aspects still needed to undergo analysis under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

FCC Asks for Formal Comments on Next-Generation of Television, and Approves Greater Use of FM Translators By AM Stations

Broadcast Law Blog

This order expands the area in which FM translators can be operated to rebroadcast an AM station. FM translators for AM stationsAt its meeting yesterday, the FCC took two big actions affecting broadcasters. First, it approved a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking looking to adopt a transition plan for television broadcasters to move to the new ATSC 3.0 standard.

Request Filed with the FCC to Stay Effective Date of New Liberalized Rules on the Location of FM Translators for AM Stations

Broadcast Law Blog

Prometheus Radio Project, an advocacy group which has been active in lobbying for the interests of LPFM applicants and licensees, has asked that the FCC stay the April 10 effective date of the new rules liberalizing the location in which FM translators serving AM stations can locate (see its petition here ). Their allegation is that the moves by these translators will “box in” LPFM stations at their current site.

FM Translators Still Contentious – New Filing Window, Suggestions for Resolving Interference Complaints and a Request for Reconsideration of Relaxation of Rules on the Location of FM Translators for AM Stations

Broadcast Law Blog

While they have become more important to the broadcast ecosystem – especially as they now rebroadcast AM stations and HD-2 channels of FM stations – their use continues to be controversial, both because of the interference to other stations that is sometimes caused by new translators, and because of their perceived conflicts with LPFM applicants. Two recent filings attempt to address the issue of interference between new or relocated translators and full-power stations.

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FCC EEO Audit List Released – 58 Radio Stations on the List

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC today released its most recent EEO audit letter for broadcasters – and it is a relatively brief list – just one page with 58 radio stations listed (compare this with the last audit that targeted about 280 radio and TV stations, see our article here ). The FCC’s public notice includes the audit letter that was sent to all of the targeted stations. The FCC reminds stations that were targeted by the audit to put a copy of the audit letter in their public file.

FCC Announces First Round of 2016 EEO Audits for Radio and TV Stations

Broadcast Law Blog

Letters to about 280 radio and television stations went out on February 24 asking for evidence of their compliance with the FCC’s EEO rules. In today’s notice, the FCC released the form audit letter and list of stations that will be audited. Responses from the audited stations are due to be filed at the FCC by April 11. AM Radio EEO Compliance/Diversity FM Radio Television annual EEO public file report FCC EEO audit station employment unit

TV Station Agrees to $55,000 Payment for EAS Tones Used in Promotional Announcement

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC yesterday announced a consent decree with TEGNA, the licensee of a television station in Jacksonville, Florida, which used simulated EAS tones in a promotional announcement for the Jacksonville Jaguars football team. According to the consent decree, the station ran the announcement only 4 times. It was apparently produced by the team and inserted into the station’s master control without review.

FCC Seeks Comment on Another Request for Foreign Ownership of Broadcast Stations Above 25%

Broadcast Law Blog

Recently, we wrote about two cases seeking declaratory rulings from the FCC that non-US ownership of companies owning broadcast stations should be permitted even though that ownership would exceed the 25% standard that had been, until that last few years, the limit on such ownership. Last week, the FCC announced the filing of another such request – this one by Hemisphere Media Group looking to operate Spanish-language stations in the US.

Reminder: October 31 Last Day to Seek 250 Mile Waiver for FM Translators Moves to Rebroadcast AM Stations

Broadcast Law Blog

All this year, the FCC has been busy processing applications by AM broadcasters to buy an FM translator or a translator construction permit , and to move the translator as much as 250 miles to rebroadcast an AM station. These translator moves have been very successful for many AM stations, giving them an opportunity to put their programming on an FM channel in their market for the first time.

FCC Approves Expansion of Use of FM Translators By AM Stations – But Warns Broadcasters Not to Jump the Gun and File Before New Rules Become Effective

Broadcast Law Blog

As we wrote last week, the FCC approved the expanded use of FM translators by AM stations – allowing their use anywhere within a 25-mile radius of their AM transmitter site, or within the 2 mv/m contour of the AM station – whichever is greater. The current rule restricts that will be replaced limit FM translator use to the lesser of the 2 mv/m contour or the 25-mile radius for the AM station.