Result Of Dr. Oz’s Bid For Republican Nomination In Race For PA Senate Seat May Take Weeks

When America fell asleep watching the election returns Tuessday night, Dave McCormick led Dr. Mehmet Oz 31.2% to 31.1% in the race to become the Republican nominee in the election for the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Pat Toomey. What a difference a day makes. Late Wednesday, those results had flipped, with Oz registering 31.2% and McCormick 31.1%.

New ‘Disinformation’ Board Paused Amid Free Speech Questions

The Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday paused a new and controversial board’s work on disinformation and accepted the resignation of its leader, capping weeks of concerns about impinging on free speech rights and frenzied conspiracy theories about the board itself.

TVN FOCUS ON BUSINESS

Broadcasters Seek More Control Over Virtual MVPD Carriage Compensation

Affiliate boards are pursuing relief from the FCC as vMVPDs continue to bedevil station groups pushed into “take it or leave it” deals negotiated exclusively by the networks. Note: This story is available to TVNewsCheck Premium members only. If you would like to upgrade your free TVNewsCheck membership to Premium now, you can visit your Member Home Page, available when you log in at the very top right corner of the site or in the Stay Connected Box that appears in the right column of virtually every page on the site. If you don’t see Member Home, you will need to click Log In or Subscribe.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

Schumer Implores Fox News Leaders To Stop ‘Amplification’ Of ‘Replacement Theory’

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is demanding that ownership and executives at Fox News stop what he says is the “reckless amplification of the so-called ‘Great Replacement’ theory” on the network. “Proponents of this white nationalist, far-right conspiracy theory believe that a complicit or cooperative class of elites are advancing a plot designed to undermine the political power and culture of white Americans,” Schumer wrote in a letter Tuesday to top news executives at Fox and the Murdoch family, which owns the cable news giant.

‘Chrisley Knows Best’ Stars To Stand Trial In Atlanta

E! reality television stars Todd and Julie Chrisley were initially indicted in August 2019 and a new indictment was filed in February of this year. Prosecutors allege that the couple submitted fake documents to banks when applying for loans. The trial is getting underway just days after E! announced that it is moving forward with a new dating series, Love Limo, hosted by Todd Chrisley and weeks after the announcement that reality shows Chrisley Knows Best and Growing Up Chrisley have been renewed on USA Network and E!, respectively.

Judge Refuses To Drop Elections Suit Against Trump, Media

NEW YORK (AP) — A Colorado judge on Friday denied motions to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed by an election systems worker against former President Donald Trump’s campaign, two of its lawyers and a handful of conservative media figures and outlets. District Court Judge Marie Avery Moses, in a 136-page decision, rejected various arguments to […]

Federal Agencies To Share, Standardize, Broadband Data

The FCC, Department of Agriculture, National Telecommunications & Information Administration (all of which oversee broadband subsidy programs) and the Treasury Department have signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing to share “information about and collaborate regarding the collection and reporting of certain data and metrics relating to broadband deployment.” They have also agreed to, to the degree possible, develop “consistent, complementary, uniform formats, standard, protocols and reporting processes for that data.

Appeals Court Revives Texas Law Targeting Social Media Companies

Senate Democrat Proposes Forming Big Tech Watchdog

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) on Thursday introduced legislation that would create a new federal watchdog to regulate the country’s biggest technology companies. The Federal Digital Platform Commission would have five members responsible for protecting consumers by developing and enforcing guardrails on Big Tech.

How A Long-Fought Democratic Win Could Pose Trouble For Amazon And Elon Musk

With the confirmation of a third Democrat to the Federal Trade Commission, the progressive chair, Lina Khan,  regains the agency’s majority — and the ability to speed ahead with her priorities.

Ed Henry’s Defamation Suit Against CNN And NPR Dismissed

‘Fiery’ Psaki Ending Tenure As A Top White House Messenger

Psaki, whose last day on the job is Friday, has answered reporters’ questions nearly every weekday of the almost 500 days that Biden has been in office. That makes her a top White House communicator and perhaps the administration’s most public face, behind only the president and Vice President Kamala Harris. Her departure could complicate how Biden’s message gets out at a critical time for him, at least in the short term.

Senate Confirms Alvaro Bedoya As FTC Commissioner

The Senate on Wednesday confirmed President Joe Biden’s pick for Federal Trade Commissioner, Alvaro Bedoya. The 51-50 vote was along party lines, with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking a tie. For months, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has urged swift confirmation of Bedoya, who’s nomination Senate Republicans have aggressively opposed.

WSJ Takes Fresh Aim At Gigi Sohn

News Corp.’s Wall Street Journal editorial board this week continued its push to defeat the nomination of Gigi Sohn for the fifth Democratic seat on the FCC. The editorial board added the Fraternal Order of Police union’s opposition — which dates from March — to Sohn’ as the latest weapon in an ongoing campaign. The paper said the union stand appears to have put a trio of Democratic votes in doubt: Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Mark Kelly (Ariz.) and Catherine Cortez Masto (Nevada). If so, that would definitely be a blow to Sohn’s chances.

Josh Hawley Targets Disney With Bill To Reverse Its Copyright Protections

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) managed to get outsized attention for legislation that likely will go nowhere: A bill that targets Disney by reversing copyright protection for large media conglomerations. Hawley, viewed as a potential 2024 presidential contender, introduced the Copyright Clause Restoration Act on Tuesday, which would return copyright protections to a maximum of 56 years. It’s the latest effort to target The Walt Disney Co. after it came out against a Florida parental rights bill, which opponents have dubbed the Don’t Say Gay bill.

Congress Targets Loud Commercials On Streamers

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), the moving force behind the CALM Act, which limits the loudness of TV commercials, has joined with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) to introduce the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Modernization Act, which would update the 2010 law limiting the loudness of TV ads, extending it to include streaming services, as well as beef up the FCC’s ability to go after violations and mandate a study of the effectiveness of the law to date.

Celebrity Chef Mario Batali Acquitted Of Sexual Misconduct

BOSTON (AP) — Mario Batali was found not guilty of indecent assault and battery on Tuesday, following a swift trial in which the celebrity chef waived his right to have a jury decide his fate. Batali, who pleaded not guilty to indecent assault and battery in 2019, had faced up to 2 1/2 years in jail and would’ve been […]

CNBC’s ‘The Profit’ And host Marcus Lemonis At The Center Of A $30M Fraud Claim

White House Says Internet Providers To Discount Fee For Poor

Twenty internet companies have agreed to provide discounted service to low-income Americans. The $1 trillion infrastructure package passed by Congress last year included $14.2 billion funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program, which provides $30 monthly subsidies ($75 in tribal areas) on internet service for millions of lower-income households.

Chef Mario Batali On Trial In Boston Sexual Misconduct Case

BOSTON (AP) — Celebrity chef Mario Batali’s pandemic-delayed trial on sexual misconduct allegations opens Monday in Boston. Batali pleaded not guilty to a charge of indecent assault and battery in 2019, stemming from accusations that he forcibly kissed and groped a woman after taking a selfie with her at a Boston restaurant in 2017. The woman says […]

Supreme Court Leak Inquiry Exposes Gray Area Of Press Protections

No law or written code of conduct prescribes how an investigation into the leak of a draft opinion should proceed, or whether journalists will be swept into it.

GOP Senators Call On TV Ratings Board To Help Parents Shield Kids From LGBTQ Characters

Stepping up the culture war with Disney and other entertainment providers sympathetic to exposing kids to gender-identity themes, a group of Senate Republicans is calling on the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board to help parents shield their children from LGBTQ characters and situations. The television monitoring board already helps parents identify programing with violent or sexual content, and now Republican lawmakers want it to alert them to “sexual orientation and gender identity content on children’s TV shows.”

Karine Jean-Pierre To Become White House Press Secretary

Karine Jean-Pierre will become the new White House press secretary when Jen Psaki leaves her role next week, President Joe Biden announced in a statement Thursday, becoming the first Black and out LGBTQ person to hold the position. Jean-Pierre currently is the White House’s principal deputy press secretary.

Minority-Owned Media Ask FCC To Collect Diversity Data From Streaming Services

A group of minority-owned media, led by Fuse Media, is asking the FCC to collect data on the diversity of content vendors used by licensed media and telecommunications companies. The group’s petition wants streaming services owned by licensed media companies included among those who have to report on diversity, as well as traditional platforms like broadcast, cable and satellite TV.

Netflix Shareholders File Suit, Claim Company ‘Failed to Disclose’ Downer Growth Outlook

A group of Netflix investors have filed suit against the streaming company in a San Francisco federal court, alleging that from October to April, Netflix failed to disclose “adverse material facts” about its true growth prospects. The class-action complaint names Co-CEOs Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos, as well as Chief Financial Officer Spencer Neumann.

FCC Republicans Say Agency Won’t Prevent Musk Takeover Of Twitter

Two of the FCC’s four current members have said they won’t interfere with Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s planned $44 billion purchase of Twitter.  “The FCC cannot, and should not, block this sale,” Nathan Simington, a Republican, said this week. “We should instead applaud Mr. Musk for doing something about a serious problem that government has so far failed to address,” Simington added, obviously referring to reports that Musk plans to revise Twitter’s content-moderation policies.

STATION ADVISORY

May Regulatory Dates For Broadcasters

May is one of the few months on the calendar where there are not routine FCC regulatory deadlines. Yet there are still a number of important dates and deadlines this month (and early next) that broadcasters should note.

Partisan Fight Breaks Out Over New Disinformation Board

The board, an advisory group with the Department of Homeland Security, has become embroiled in the debate over the government’s role in policing online content. The board’s head, Nina Jankowicz, is at the center of a firestorm of criticism.

Don Lemon Assault Case Dropped By Accuser

Alex Siciliano Joins NAB As Senior Communications Strategist

The National Association of Broadcasters announced today that Alex Siciliano has joined the organization as senior communications strategist, effective April 27. Siciliano reports to Michelle Lehman, NAB chief of staff and executive vice president of public affairs. In the newly created position, Siciliano will lead NAB’s public relations efforts on key advocacy issues, developing and […]