DOJ To Hold Meetings On Big Tech’s Liability

The Justice Department is planning to hold a conference to discuss the future of a current federal law which largely exempts online platforms from legal liability for the material their users post, sources familiar with the plans said on Friday.

Maine To Challenge Judge’s Decision Delaying New A La Carte Cable Law

STATION ADVISORY

February Regulatory Dates For Broadcasters

With the holiday season getting smaller in the rear-view mirror and many parts of the country dealing with ice, snow, and single-digit temperatures, broadcasters could be forgiven for dreaming about the sunshine and warmth that come with spring. Before spring arrives, however, broadcasters need to tend to important regulatory matters in February.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

As Cable Companies Lose Customers, Missouri Lawmakers Consider Giving Them A Tax Break

Former WBNS Weatherman To Plead Guilty To Child Porn Charges

STATION ADVISORY

That ‘Super’ Time Of The Year Is Near

Given the value of the Super Bowl franchise, it is not surprising that the NFL is extremely aggressive in protecting its golden goose from anything it views as unauthorized efforts to trade off the goodwill associated with the game.  Accordingly, with the coin toss almost upon us, advertisers must take special care before publishing ads or engaging in promotional activities that refer to the Super Bowl.

Supreme Court Turns Down Facebook Fight

The Supreme Court on Tuesday left in place a ruling that allows Illinois residents to proceed with a lawsuit accusing Facebook of violating a state biometric privacy law by compiling “faceprints.”

Hollywood Morals Clauses On Trial

A century-old fixture of entertainment contracts that was triggered by a silent movie star’s arrest for rape and murder is now under the microscope thanks to fired public TV host Tavis Smiley’s #MeToo-era lawsuit.

Cox Media Given 60 More Days To Sell Ohio Newspapers

NEWS ANALYSIS

Comcast Tries To Squash Antitrust Lawsuit

Comcast has moved to dismiss an antitrust lawsuit filed by Altitude TV by shooting down claims that the cable operator has refused to deal with the Denver-based regional sports network and that the cable op has a monopolistic pay-TV position in the market.

Supreme Court Could Become ‘Stream’ Court

At about the same time that Chief Justice John Roberts was being sworn in to preside over the Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump, a pair of legislators, one a current and one a former House impeachment manager, were introducing a bill that would make the default setting that “real time or near-real time [access] on the internet,” either audio or video, of all appeals courts, including the highest court in the land, would be allowed.

Walden: Hill Needs To Look At OTT Diversity

House Energy & Commerce Committee ranking member Greg Walden (R-Ore.) signaled Wednesday that the government needs to start looking at the employment and ownership diversity of over-the-top content providers.

Suit Against CBS, Moonves Allowed To Continue

A federal judge in New York has allowed a shareholder lawsuit against CBS Corp. to proceed based on the specificity of statements made by disgraced former chairman-CEO Leslie Moonves at a 2017 Variety conference.

STATION ADVISORY

Monitor Tower Lighting Or Be Prepared To Pay

The FCC announced that Scripps Broadcasting has agreed to a $1.13 million settlement to resolve violations of tower lighting monitoring rules. What makes this case especially interesting is that the party who is paying the fine and instituting a years-long compliance plan wasn’t even the party responsible for the wrongdoing.

Wiley Rein Law Firm Rebrands Itself As Wiley

The Washington law firm is among the first to launch a website sporting a “.law” domain name.

FCC Dismisses WRNN Market Mod Petition

The FCC’s Media Bureau has dismissed a market modification request by independent WRNN for lack of sufficient supporting data, but invited the station to resubmit it with the requisite info. WRNN is an independent station that had been transmitting out of Kingston in upstate New York and is now co-located atop One World Trade Center in Manhattan and licensed to New Rochelle.

Court Skeptical Of Trump Drug Ads Rule

Drugmakers and the administration headed to court Monday in a fight over a Trump rule that would require companies to disclose the list prices of their drugs in television advertising.

Scripps Pays $1M+ To Settle Tower Issues

Scripps Broadcasting has agreed to pay $1,130,000 to settle an FCC investigation into TV tower lighting issues with stations it purchased from Cordillera Communications. The investigation was prompted by the crash of a small plane into a Cordillera TV tower in Kaplabn, La., in 2018.

FCC Seeks Comments On Retrans Change

The FCC has set comment dates for its proposal to allow cable operators to provide notice to customers about potential service or rate changes “as soon as possible.” Initial comments are due Feb. 6 and replies Feb. 21. The FCC voted unanimously on Dec. 12 to propose eliminating the requirement that cable operators provide their subs at least 30 days notice of a TV station channel coming off their systems, changing it to notice “as soon as possible” given that retrans deals are often struck in the 11th hour.

STATION ADVISORY

A Broadcaster’s 2020 Regulatory Calendar

As he does every year, attorney David Oxenford has put together a Broadcaster’s Regulatory Calendar for 2020.  While this calendar can’t be seen as an exhaustive list of every regulatory date that your station will face, it highlights many of the most important dates for broadcasters in this year.

THE PRICE POINT

The Price Point | NAB Won STELAR On The Ground

Broadcasters were victorious in their fight against the pay TV industry the same way they have won so many other issues, by taking their case directly to Senators and members of Congress in their home districts.

CNN Sttles Lawsuit With Kentucky Teen In Demonstration

NEW YORK (AP) — CNN has settled a lawsuit with a Kentucky teen who claimed media organizations falsely labeled him as a racist following a well-publicized encounter with a Native American last year at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. The network confirmed the settlement Tuesday, as did Todd McMurtry, a lawyer for Nicholas Sandmann, a […]

White House Pushes Light-Touch AI Regulation

The White House is warning federal agencies against over-regulating artificial intelligence as part of fresh guidance on how to govern the next-generation technology. The Trump administration’s 10 regulatory principles are guidelines for agencies that may be tasked with crafting AI regulations, as well as a signal to companies that the White House is wary of saddling the burgeoning tech with expansive rules.

Charlie Rose Admits ‘Inappropriate’ Relationships

Defending a sexual harassment lawsuit, Rose testifies about his studio nickname and flirting with CBS Morning co-anchors. But the plaintiffs say he needs to be even more forthcoming.

FCC Commissioner Starks Names Media Legal Adviser

Locast Launches GoFundMe Page To Fight Nets

The streaming service has created a legal defense fund to battle CBS, NBC, Fox and ABC to “protect streaming of local broadcast TV.”

YouTube Officially Rolls Out Changes To Children’s Content Following FTC Settlement

WSMV And Former Anchor Settle Lawsuit

Affils: FCC Fails With Political Ad ‘Clarification’

Add the major network affiliate associations to the list of those supporting the National Association of Broadcasters petition to the FCC to clarify its “clarification” of political ad reporting rules, an FCC action they called a failure on all counts.

Microsoft Pushes FCC To Act On White Spaces

Microsoft is telling the FCC that wireless internet providers have been able to boost their throughput tenfold using the TV white spaces Microsoft wants more of, and said the FCC should act on its proposal seeking tweaks to the current white spaces regime.