Federal Judge Disqualifies Himself From Hearing Disney Lawsuit

A federal judge on Thursday disqualified himself from hearing Walt Disney Co.’s civil suit against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and other state officials, citing a small financial interest in the company by a relative.

Senate Gives Final Approval To Debt Ceiling Deal, Sending It To Biden

The compromise package negotiated between Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy leaves neither Republicans nor Democrats fully pleased with the outcome. But the result, after weeks of hard-fought budget negotiations, shelves the volatile debt ceiling issue that risked upending the U.S. and global economy until 2025 after the next presidential election.

Former Playboy Model Accuses Bill Cosby Of Drugging And Sexually Assaulting Her In 1969

In her lawsuit, Victoria Valentino, 80, a former Playboy model who alleges Bill Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her and another woman at his home in 1969 sued him Thursday under a new California law that suspends the statute of limitations on sex abuse claims.


Judge: Diamond Sports Must Pay Full Value Of Contracts To Diamondbacks, Guardians, Twins, Rangers

Judge Christopher Lopez made the ruling on Thursday in Houston. Diamond Sports, which owns 19 networks under the Bally Sports banner, has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in the Southern District of Texas since it filed in March. Diamond said in a financial filing last fall it had debt of $8.67 billion.

Judge Dismisses D.C.’s Privacy Lawsuit Against Meta

The District of Columbia accused the company of sharing user data in deceptive ways. A Superior Court decision said Meta had made its policies clear.


In Killing Kim’s Deal For Tegna, The FCC Showed Its Prejudice

Thwarted in his bid to buy Tegna by an overlong and deal-breaking FCC review process, Soo Kim (and his right hand Deb McDermott) is indeed a victim of prejudice and discrimination. Only it’s probably not the sort you may think.

June Regulatory Dates For Broadcasters

Though school is out for many, the FCC does not take a summer recess. Instead, regulation continues. While the pace of new FCC regulatory issues for broadcasters has slowed, perhaps pending the confirmation of a new commissioner and the return of the FCC to full strength, there are still regulatory matters in June worth watching. Some are routine, others look more to the future Though school is out for many, the FCC does not take a summer recess.  Instead, regulation continues.  While the pace of new FCC regulatory issues for broadcasters has slowed, perhaps pending the confirmation of a new Commissioner and the return of the FCC to full strength, there are still regulatory matters in June worth watching.  Some are routine, others look more to the future Though school is out for many, the FCC does not take a summer recess.  Instead, regulation continues.  While the pace of new FCC regulatory issues for broadcasters has slowed, perhaps pending the confirmation of a new Commissioner and the return of the FCC to full strength, there are still regulatory matters in June worth watching.  Some are routine, others look more to the future – but all are worth watching just the same.

Danny Masterson Convicted Of Two Counts Of Rape

‘That ’70s Show’ actor faces 30 years to life. The jury of seven women and five men reached the verdict after deliberating for seven days spread over two weeks. They could not reach a verdict on the third count, that alleged Masterson raped a longtime girlfriend. They had voted 8-4 in favor of conviction.

Fox News Fights Subpoena In Leak Lawsuit

The network is trying to protect a source who disclosed details of an FBI probe into a Chinese American scientist. That scientist, Yanping Chen, is suing the FBI for damages, claiming that the leaked information was part of a campaign to damage her after federal prosecutors ended their six-year investigation of her without bringing charges. Chen also subpoenaed Fox and Catherine Herridge (pictured), now of CBS — to force her to disclose the source of several 2017 stories.

ESPN Anchor And Vaccine Skeptic Sage Steele’s Free Speech Battle With Disney Heats Up

The conflict echoes the media giant’s First Amendment fight against Ron DeSantis over the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

FCC Extends Deadline For TV Stations To Implement Aural Description Of Emergency Information

The FCC has largely granted the NAB’s request and will again extend for 18 months to November 26, 2024, the effective date of the FCC’s rule governing accessibility of emergency communications. This rule requires broadcasters to provide, during non-newscast programming, an aural representation of any visual, non-textual emergency information, such as radar maps or other graphics, on a secondary audio stream.

CBS, Cox, Fox Will Pay $48M To End Ad Price-Fixing Claims

CBS, Cox and Fox have agreed to pay a total of $48 million to end claims in Illinois federal court that they participated in a scheme among major U.S. broadcasters to artificially inflate television advertising prices.

Netflix Threatens To Purge Shows In UK To Avoid Falling Foul Of ‘Onerous’ New Streamer Regulations

Netflix has threatened to preemptively remove films and TV shows from its U.K. library to avoid falling foul of new streamer regulations being introduced by the British government. Ministers in the U.K. want media regulator Ofcom to police streaming giants in a similar way to traditional broadcasters, meaning the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video could be fined up to £250,000 ($310,000) for carrying harmful content. Pictured: Queen Cleopatra is a Netflix documentary that has attracted criticism.

Missteps And Miscalculations: Inside Fox’s Legal And Business Debacle

Fox’s handling of the defamation suit brought by Dominion Voting Systems, which settled for $787.5 million, left many unanswered questions.

Biden, GOP Reach Tentative Deal To Raise Debt Ceiling, Avoid Calamitous US Default

President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy reached an “agreement in principle” to raise the nation’s legal debt ceiling late Saturday as they raced to strike a deal to limit federal spending and avert a potentially disastrous U.S. default. However, the agreement risks angering both Democratic and Republican sides with the concessions made to reach it.

Ex-CBS Shareholders Reach Proposed $167.5M Settlement Over Viacom Deal

Former CBS shareholders reached a proposed $167.5 million settlement to resolve allegations that Shari Redstone, the daughter of late media magnate Sumner Redstone, pressured the company into an unfair merger that created ViacomCBS Inc, now known as Paramount Global, according to a court filing.

Gray Television Sues FCC Over Anchorage Affiliation Purchase Fine

Gray Television is suing the FCC over its decision to fine the broadcaster over half a million dollars for an affiliation move in Alaska the regulator said violates its duopoly restriction. That is according to an appeal filed late Wednesday (May 24) in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, whose jurisdiction includes Atlanta, where Gray is based.

Former FCC Leaders Push Congress To Renew Auction Authority

A who’s who of former FCC leaders sent a letter to the chairs of the Energy & Commerce and Commerce, Science & Transportation committees urging Congress to restore the FCC’s spectrum auction authority as soon as practical. Signatories of the letter include Ajit Pai, Tom Wheeler, Mignon Clyburn, Julius Genachowski, Meredith Atwell Baker, Robert McDowell, Deborah Taylor Tate, Jonathan Adelstein, Michael Copps, William Kennard, Harold Furchtgott-Roth, Gloria Tristani, Rachelle Chong, Susan Ness, Reed Hundt and Dick Wiley.

Public Policy Attorney Crystal Tully Joins Wiley’s Telecom, Media & Technology Practice

Washington law firm Wiley has added Crystal Tully to the firm’s telecom, media and technology practice as special counsel. Tully served as the deputy staff director for the U.S Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation for more than four years, where she oversaw legislative agendas including telecommunications, technology, consumer protection, data privacy, cybersecurity, aviation, surface transportation and space. Tully […]

TikTok Files Lawsuit To Overturn Montana’s 1st-In-Nation Ban On The Video Sharing App

The lawsuit by TikTok, owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance, follows one filed last week by five content creators that looks to overturn Montana’s ban on the video sharing app. They made similar arguments including that the state of Montana has no authority to take action on matters of national security. Both lawsuits were filed in federal court in Missoula.

Parents Can Sue YouTube Over Children’s Privacy, FTC Says

The federal children’s privacy law doesn’t prevent parents from suing YouTube for allegedly violating California laws by tracking young children, the Federal Trade Commission is telling an appeals court. The federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act overrides claims rooted in inconsistent state laws, but doesn’t override state-law claims that parallel the federal law, the agency wrote in a friend-of-the-court brief filed over the weekend with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Biden Nominates Anna Gomez To Open FCC Slot

In addition, Geoffrey Starks and Brendan Carr are re-nominated to serve additional five-year terms as FCC commissioners.

Facebook Parent Meta Hit With Record Fine For Transferring European User Data To US

The penalty fine of 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) from Ireland’s Data Protection Commission is the biggest since the EU’s strict data privacy regime took effect five years ago, surpassing Amazon’s 746 million euro penalty in 2021 for data protection violations. The Irish watchdog is Meta’s lead privacy regulator in the 27-nation bloc because the Silicon Valley tech giant’s European headquarters is based in Dublin.

DeSantis Asks That Judge Be Disqualified From Disney’s Free Speech Lawsuit

DeSantis ‘ attorney filed a motion in federal court in Tallahassee on Friday seeking to disqualify Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker from overseeing the lawsuit filed by Disney last month. The lawsuit alleges that DeSantis and his appointees violated the company’s right to free speech, as well as the contracts clause, by taking over the special governing district that previously had been controlled by Disney supporters after Disney opposed Florida legislation that critics have dubbed “Don’t Say Gay.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Advises FCC To Keep Vetting Standard General-Tegna

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) wrote FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel this week to provide moral support for the regulator’s decision to designate the Standard General-Tegna station group merger for hearing before an administrative law judge. Warren has been a critic of the deal as anticompetitive consolidation and a fan of the hearing designation.

APTS Pushes Back On Proposed Funding Cut For Emergency Alerts

Following a vote by the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee to recommend reduced spending of $40 million for fiscal year 2024 for the Next Generation Warning System (NGWS) supporting public broadcasting’s public safety infrastructure, the America’s Public Television Stations issued a statement highlighting the importance of the program that urged Congress to restore the funding.

Upcoming FCC Broadcast Filing Deadlines For June And July


Why Standard General’s Proposed Tegna Merger Hurts Our Democracy

Common Cause VP Kathay Feng says that hedge funds’ bottom-line mindset leads to less-robust local news operations. “The rapid decrease in local news should alarm everyone, especially heading into yet another consequential election year. With fewer resources to combat disinformation and hold power accountable, we have to do what we can to protect our local newsrooms.”

Biden Intends To Pick Lawyer Anna Gomez For FCC To End Agency Deadlock

President Joe Biden intends to select veteran government lawyer Anna Gomez to serve on the Federal Communications Commission and give the agency its first Democratic majority of his presidency, a person briefed on the matter said. Gomez’s arrival would allow the FCC, after more than two years of partisan deadlock, to act on matters including loosening rules on broadcast consolidation. Gomez’s selection may be announced soon, said the person briefed on the matter, who declined to be identified because the matter hasn’t been made public.

Standard General Tries, Tries Again With FCC On Tegna Deal

Standard General said the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau has “suggested” the company “attempt to resolve remaining concerns to allow the transaction“ — its purchase of  Tegna’s TV stations — “to move forward,” which it said it is definitely trying to do. Standard General’s invocation of the Enforcement Bureau suggestion was a reference to a meeting with FCC officials last week.