Rep. Walden Introduces Broadcast Incubator Bill

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) has introduced a bill, the Broadcast Diversity in Leadership Act, to promote broadcast diversity by creating the incubator program the FCC tried to introduce as part of its broadcast dereg order that was remanded by a federal appeals court. The difference is that while the FCC incubator program was radio only, Walden’s is for TV as well.

FCC Refuses To Freeze AMC’s AT&T Deal

The FCC isn’t particularly alarmed by the prospect that for some TV watchers, shows like The Walking DeadBetter Call Saul and Killing Eve could be going away. On Monday, the FCC’s Media Bureau denied AMC’s request for a standstill order to preserve its current program carriage agreement with AT&T. As a result, upon the imminent expiration of the deal, AMC could go dark on AT&T platforms including DirecTV and AT&T TV Now. At the moment, that accounts for a quarter of AMC households.

AT&T Aims To Change Big Tech Protections

Telecom giant AT&T plans to push for changes to a federal law that protects companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter from liability for users’ posts. “There is no longer any reason that the nation’s most powerful online platforms should enjoy legal immunities unavailable to similarly-situated traditional companies,” AT&T EVP Joan Marsh said Monday in a blog post.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

VOA Journalists Protest New U.S. Global Media Chief’s Moves

WASHINGTON (AP) — A group of journalists at Voice of America is protesting moves made by the U.S.-funded outlet’s new chief that they say are endangering their colleagues and the international broadcaster’s credibility as a news source. In a letter to VOA management sent on Monday, 14 senior VOA journalists expressed deep concern and profound […]

Court Rules Byron Allen Suit Vs. Charter Can Proceed

Trump Aides Interviewing Replacement For Embattled FTC Chair

Joe Simons has come under White House pressure for resisting the president’s fight against alleged political bias in social media.

STATION ADVISORY

September Regulatory Dates For Broadcasters

As in any year, as summer ends, regulatory activity picks up — and this year appears to be no different. Each year, in September, regulatory fees are due, as the FCC is required to collect them before the Oct. 1 start of the new fiscal year.  We expect that the final amount of those fees, and the deadlines and procedures for payment, should be announced any day.

Sinclair Ups Gharabegian To Deputy General Counsel Of Regional Sports

Sinclair Broadcast Group has promoted Phillip Gharabegian to deputy general counsel and SVP business affairs for the company’s regional sports networks (RSNs). In his new role, he will continue to be a key part of the company’s rights negotiations and will play a larger role in strategic rights initiatives for the RSNs. He will continue […]

Ex-‘Simpsons’ Composer Gets To Advance In Lawsuit Over Firing

Former TMZ Employee Says She Was Wrongfully Fired After Complaining About ‘Bro Fest’ Work Culture

FCC OKs Bankruptcy Sale Of Marshall Stations

The FCC’s Media Bureau has approved the sale of KLJB Davenport, Iowa; KMSS Shreveport, La.; and KPEJ Odessa, Texas, from Marshall Broadcasting to Mission Broadcasting, saying the sale — out of bankruptcy — is in the public interest.

NCTA: FCC Should Ban Joint ‘Broadcast Internet’ Carriage Negotiations

Cable operators are telling the FCC that retrans regulations should apply to carriage negotiations that include ancillary “broadcast internet” services. That came in comments by NCTA-The Internet & Television Association on the FCC’s inquiry into what, if any, rules need to be changed to accommodate broadcaster’s potential new multichannel services using the ATSC 3.0 transmission standard.

Kellyanne Conway Leaving The White House

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway announced Sunday evening she will leave her post at the end of the month while her husband, George Conway, said he was withdrawing from The Lincoln Project, both citing a need to focus on their family. “I will be transitioning from the White House at the end of this month. George is also making changes,” Kellyanne Conway said in a statement.

Judge Accepts Loughlin’s Bribery Plea Deal

Full House actor Lori Loughlin must serve two months in prison and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, must serve five months for paying half a million dollars in bribes to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California as rowing recruits, a federal judge ruled Friday.

Pai: FCC Not Generally In Business Of Censorship

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has told a member of the House that the agency is generally not in the business of dictating what viewers can and can’t see. Pai was responding to a letter from Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), who was concerned about a TV show, La Comay, airing on Mega TV in Puerto Rico and containing what she called “a pattern of xenophobic and racist remarks.”

Trump Seeks SCOTUS OK To Block Twitter Critics

The administration said in a high-court filing Thursday that Trump’s @realdonaldtrump account with more than 85 million followers is his personal property and blocking people from it is akin to elected officials who refuse to allow their opponents’ yard signs on their front lawns.

Hubbard Files Trademark Suit Against Instagram

Hubbard Broadcasting has sued Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram, accusing the social media giants of trademark infringement and unfair competition that could lead to “irreparable harm” unless the court stops them. The suit claims that Instagram’s new video file-sharing service, Reels, infringes on and dilutes the trademark of Hubbard’s long-established REELZ digital cable and satellite TV network, which reaches more than 50 million U.S. homes.

C-Band Lump Sum Election Deadline Extended

The FCC has extended the deadline for C-Band earth station licensees to submit their lump sum election notices from Aug. 31 until Sept. 14..

Loughlin To Be Sentenced In College Plot

Full House star Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli will be sentenced on Friday after pleading guilty to participating in the college admissions cheating scheme that has laid bare the lengths to which some wealthy parents will go to get their kids into elite universities.

ATVA: FCC Should Mandate HD Before Allowing Broadcast Internet

The American Television Alliance wants the FCC to require broadcasters using the new ATSC 3.0 broadcast transmission standard to deliver an HD version of their primary broadcast signal before using any of its spectrum for ancillary or supplementary services. That came in comments to the FCC as it decides on the framework for “Promoting Broadcast Internet Innovation Through ATSC 3.0.”

Judge Judy Slams Down Gavel In $22M Suit

Just over two weeks after Rebel Entertainment Partners filed a $5 million breach of contract complaint against former Manhattan family court judge Judy Sheindlin and a collection of CBS entities, the small screen judicial heavyweight has instigated a big bucks counteroffensive. That salvo is a more than $22 million declaratory relief, unlawful/unfair business practices and unjust enrichment lawsuit, to be precise.

Tavis Smiley Ordered To Pay PBS $2.6M For Sexual Misconduct

STATION ADVISORY

Lowest Unit Rate Window Opens Sept. 4

With the lowest unit charge window for the November elections going into effect on Sept. 4, just two and a half weeks from now, we thought that it was a good idea to review the basic FCC rules and policies affecting those charges.

Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ Sued By Indiana Cities

Four cities in Indiana are suing Netflix and other video companies, claiming that online video providers and satellite TV operators should have to pay the same franchise fees that cable companies pay for using local rights of way.

Names Surface For Possible O’Rielly Successor

Carolyn Roddy, a senior adviser at the National Telecommunications & Information Administration, and Hill staffer Crystal Tully, are two names that have emerged as potential Republican FCC nominees to replace Michael O’Rielly, whose nomination was abruptly withdrawn by President Trump.

COVID, Isais Highlight Need For Broadcaster Help

Many Americans were faced with two crises in recent weeks — the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the arrival of Hurricane Isais — that, according to former FEMA administrator Craig Fugate, only further stressed the importance of local broadcast and media to the communities they serve and reinforced the need for Congress to provide financial relief to these outlets.

Judge Throws Out WTXF Anchor’s $10M Lawsuit

NAB, Others Urge Funds For Tower Crew Training

Facing 5G wireless buildouts, broadcast NextGen TV buildouts and the C-band transition, communications associations are pushing Congress to pass legislation to help train the workforce that is needed for those infrastructure deployments.

Seattle Media Appeal Police Subpoena

Four television stations and the Seattle Times argued in the Tuesday filing that their unpublished images are protected by the state’s reporter shield law, and a King County Superior Court judge erred when ordering their release,

WISH-WNDY Sue AT&T For Discrimination

Circle City Broadcasting, owner of WISH and WNDY Indianapolis, has filed suit against AT&T, claiming “intentional misconduct” by the cable provider over retrans rates.