Ad Industry Opposes FTC’s Proposed Security Regulations For Financial Institutions

The Federal Trade Commission’s proposed changes to security regulations for financial institutions could also affect a broad swath of non-financial companies — including ad agencies, social networks, lead generators and ad-tech companies — according to the Association of National Advertisers.

STATION ADVISORY

FCC Reminds Stations Of Obligations To Viewers With Disabilities

About this time each year, as hurricane season ramps up, the FCC issues a notice reminding television broadcasters and other video providers of their obligations to make accessible emergency information to all of the populations which may be using their services – especially if parts of the audience cannot see or hear the emergency information that the service is transmitting.  The FCC this week released that notice for this year, with a couple of new wrinkles.

Vimeo Asks FCC To Ignore Trump Administration Request To Regulate Online Speech

BRAND CONNECTIONS

Sinclair Settles More Lawsuits Over Tribune Bid

Sinclair Broadcast Group says it agreed to settle three derivative lawsuits that were brought by investors in connection with Sinclair’s efforts to gain regulatory approval for the acquisition of Tribune Media. Sinclair was unable to get approval for the $3.9 billion deal and Tribune was acquired by Nexstar Media.

Disney, Viacom, Others Will Limit Data Collection To Settle Children’s Privacy Battle

“Children will be protected from advertising based on any past online activities or any previously collected data in the subject app or anywhere else on the internet,” lawyers for parents of young children tell a federal judge.

Broadcasters Take Stand Against FCC Fees

Broadcasters are ramping up the pressure, and the rhetoric, in their attempt to get the FCC to hold off on increasing the regulatory fees it charges TV and radio stations, especially during a pandemic that has done a number on revenue.

OPEN MIKE BY JACK GOODMAN

Dubious Grounds For The FCC’s Restriction Of Section 230

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly saw his nomination withdrawn by President Trump for having the temerity to question whether the FCC has the authority to adopt rules to limit the scope of Section 230 of the Communications Act. All clear legal signs point to the fact that it doesn’t.

TikTok To Sue Trump Administration

TikTok is planning to sue the Trump administration, challenging the president’s executive order banning the service from the United States. The video-sharing app hugely popular with the smartphone generation will file the federal lawsuit as soon as Tuesday, according to a person who was directly involved in the forthcoming suit but was not authorized to speak for the company. It will be filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, where TikTok’s American operations are based, the person said.

JESSELL AT LARGE

Jessell | O’Rielly’s Firing Ominous Turn For FCC

President Trump’s withdrawal of FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly’s nomination isn’t just a breathtaking punishment for a perceived lack of loyalty. It presages a potential  Trump second-term FCC that would advance any of his desires and punish any FCC-regulated company he targets.

Talking TV: The Politics Of O’Rielly’s FCC Firing

Michael Depp and Harry Jessell unpack the abrupt withdrawal of FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly’s renomination by President Trump this week and discuss the pandemic’s reckoning on broadcasters’ quarterly earnings.

FCC Drops Its Tower Access Rule

The FCC yesterday acted to resolve the proceeding begun a year ago to eliminate the rule that prevented an FM or TV broadcaster from denying space to a competing broadcaster on a broadcast tower that it controls. As expected, that rule was eliminated by an order to become effective when it is published in the Federal Register.

COMMENTARY

Trump’s FCC Move Is A 1st Amendment Assault

Washington Post editorial: The president’s withdrawal of FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly’s renomination is a message to him, his fellow FCC commissioners and appointees across agencies of what happens when they dare to put the rule of law first, just as the president wants Twitter, and Facebook, and all influential companies on the Internet or off to know how carefully they must tread with him in charge. This is a flagrant assault on the First Amendment under the guise of defending it, and an assault on those who seek to defend the right of free expression.

WSJ: Mike O’Rielly’s Free Speech Fall

Michael O’Rielly has done yeoman work as a member of the Federal Communications
Commission, but this week the White House abruptly pulled his renomination for another
five-year term. The decision speaks better of Mr. O’Rielly than of the president.

Judge Judy, CBS Socked With $5M Suit

Less than six months after CBS and Rebel Entertainment Partners settled their long running legal battle over big bucks in missed contractually obliged payments from the two decade and more running show, a new lawsuit is in the docket. Rebel is now suing the former Manhattan family court judge Judy Sheindlin and the ViacomCBS division for more than $5 million over a seemingly sleight of hand $95 million sale of the show’s rich library.

Biden’s FCC: Take A Number

Candidates crowd the field for would-be next agency head. Names floated as could-be FCC chair in a Biden administration include former acting chair Mignon Clyburn, top Comcast exec David Cohen and current commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel.

FTC Investigating Twitter Over Privacy

The social media company says the agency was examining whether it had misused people’s personal information to serve ads.

CBS Shareholders Seek Class Certification

CBS shareholders are asking a New York federal judge to certify class action in a securities fraud lawsuit that claims ousted CEO Les Moonves misled investors through statements he made about the #MeToo movement before the misconduct allegations against him became public.

STATION ADVISORY

FCC Releases C-Band Relocation Cost Schedule

The FCC took another significant step in the C-Band reallocation process, releasing its final cost category schedule for relocation expenses of C-Band (3.7-4.2 GHz) satellite licensees. The Public Notice accompanying the cost schedule also established Aug. 31 as the deadline for C-Band earth station licensees to elect whether they wish to receive a lump sum reallocation payment.

FCC Seeks Comments On Trump Social Petition

The FCC has put out for public comment the Trump Administration’s request that it come up with a regime for regulating social media and other website content to prevent what the president claims is anti-conservative bias.

‘Goldbergs’ Star Accused Of Sexual Assault

Comic Bryan Callen is being accused of sexual impropriety by four women.

FCC Approves Amazon’s Kuiper Project

Amazon has received authorization from the FCC to proceed with Project Kuiper, its initiative to launch a fleet of low-orbiting satellites that would be used to provide broadband internet access to underserved communities in the U.S. With the commission’s green light, Amazon will now be able to begin the deployment of its 3,236 satellites.

The 5 Biggest Little Lies Tech CEOs Told Congress

No, Google, we’re not really in control of our data. And yes, Facebook, you profit from harmful information.

Tech Hearing Suggests Antitrust Crackdown Could Come Soon

Analysis: heated exchanges raise concern over anticompetitive behavior as chair warns of companies’ “monopoly power.”

Why The Tech Giants May Suffer Lasting Pain From Their Hill Lashing

Lawmakers investigating Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple made it clear that their allegations of antitrust abuses come with a lengthy paper trail.

Chrome Users Sue Google Over Alleged Tracking

House Batters Tech CEOs, Don’t Land Many Blows

Invective flew Wednesday as legislators questioned Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Sundar Pichai of Google and Tim Cook of Apple at a hearing of the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust. For the last year, that panel has probed the business practices of the Silicon Valley giants with an eye to determining if they need to be regulated more heavily, or even broken up.

UPDATED, WEDNESDAY, 5:54 PM ET

4 Big Tech CEOs Get Grilled By Congress

The powerful executives sought to defend their companies amid intense grilling by lawmakers on Wednesday. The executives provided bursts of data showing how competitive their markets are, and the value of their innovation and essential services to consumers. But they sometimes struggled to answer pointed questions about their business practices. They also confronted a range of other concerns about alleged political bias, their effect on U.S. democracy and their role in China.

Sen. Inhofe Puts Hold On O’Rielly Nomination

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) has reportedly put a hold on the renomination of Republican FCC commissioner Michael O’Rielly over the senator’s opposition to the FCC’s decision to approve Ligado’s use of satellite spectrum for terrestrial broadband.

Spotlight On 4 Big Tech CEOs Testifying Wed.

On Wednesday, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sundar Pichai and Tim Cook of Apple will answer for their companies’ practices before Congress for the first time as a group. Summoned for a House hearing, they’ll raise a hand (remotely) and swear to tell the truth, in the manner of tycoons of Wall Street or the tobacco industry in earlier high-octane televised shamings.

August 2020 Regulatory Dates For Broadcasters

While we are approaching the end of summer in this most unusual year, the regulatory dates keep coming, though perhaps a bit slower than at other times of the year.  One of the big dates that broadcasters should be looking for is the announcement of the annual regulatory fees that will likely be paid sometime in September.