Source: Deal Struck On STELAR Successor Bills

A source familiar with the agreement said that there is a bicameral, bipartisan deal on House Energy & Commerce and Judiciary versions of bills that would essentially end the every-five-year STELAR reauthorization cycle, which has been a goal of the National Association of Broadcasters. STELAR’s renewal has been used as a vehicle for proposed retrans reforms NAB has opposed as unnecessary.

Appeals Court Finds Md. Law Imposing Political Disclosure Obligations On Online Platforms To Be Unconstitutional

DOJ Rethinking Big Tech Liability Protection

Attorney General William Barr signaled that the Justice Department plans to step up its scrutiny of Silicon Valley, exploring new legal tools to probe companies for their privacy abuses and the way they police content online.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

Disney Loses Early Effort To Stop Suit

Christmas might not feel so merry for the Walt Disney Co. this year after a hearing this morning on the potential class action pay equity lawsuit from 10 female employees of the House of Mouse did not go to a happy place for the Bob Iger-run company.

How Streaming, Diversity, #MeToo Shaped TV

As the decade ends, nothing about TV is the same, whether it’s how much television we consume; how and where we do it; who gets to make it, and the level of respect given the creatively emboldened small screen. We don’t just watch TV, we binge it until we’re bleary-eyed if not sated. We still change channels with a remote control, but more often we’re logging in to watch shows on our phones or other devices and on our schedules, not network-dictated appointment TV.

‘Good Faith’ Retrans Provision Passes House

The House has passed a compromise bill, HR 5035, the Television Viewer Protection Act (TVPA), that would make permanent the mandate that broadcasters and MVPDs negotiate in good faith. That mandate sunsets at the end of the year unless renewed. But the bill does not renew the compulsory license, which also sunsets at the end of the year if not renewed.

NAB: FCC’s VHF Fees Need To Be Changed

The trade group tells the commission it should revise proposed regulatory fees for VHF stations so that they “more accurately reflect their actual population served.”

STATION ADVISORY

More CBD Issues For Advertisers

In a recent action, the FDA issued 15 warning letters to companies marketing CBD products – warning them about marketing both for edible products and for health claims. The FDA also released a Consumer Update warning consumers about many of the potential risks of CBD use and included a litany of advertising issues that the FDA found problematic, beyond the simple issues of advertising products to be ingested and making specific health claims.

Bill Cosby Loses Sexual Assault Conviction Appeal

A Pennsylvania appeals court has rejected Cosby’s bid to overturn his sexual assault conviction. The ruling today was being closely watched as Cosby was the first celebrity tried and convicted in the #MeToo era. Defense lawyers say the trial judge improperly allowed five other accusers to testify.

This Man May Be Big Tech’s Biggest Threat

Democrat Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island, who leads the Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee, doesn’t just want to enforce the laws governing the tech industry. He wants to change them.

FCC: TV Repack Is On Track

Currently in Phase 7 of its broadcast incentive auction repack, the FCC said that as of Dec. 6, 697 of 987 stations being repacked (71%) have moved off their pre-auction channels, with 79% of those having fully transitioned to permanent facilities.

APTS Makes Case To FCC For Aiding FirstNet

America’s Public Television Stations is turning to an FCC rulemaking in an attempt to aid its five-year quest to involve public TV stations in a new national emergency communications system. “To leave public television stations … on the sidelines of the FirstNet infrastructure is to ignore a robust, reliable and ubiquitous partner whose public safety capabilities have proven effective in a variety of critical use cases,” APTS told the FCC in comments.

FCC Names New Chief Information Officer

Francisco Salguero moves from the USDA to oversee the commission’s work in IT development, deployment and information security.

Global Watchdogs Take Aim At Big Tech

Google, Alibaba and other Big Tech companies could be forced to share data on financial services customers with banks and financial technology firms to prevent unfair competition. As Facebook’s plan for its Libra “stablecoin” faces scrutiny, a global body of regulators from the world’s main financial centers said that Big Tech’s growing tentacles raised questions for financial stability, competition and data privacy.

NAB Warns Of 6 GHz ENG Interference

Broadcasters are asking the FCC to make sure it protects incumbent newsgathering operations in the 6 GHz midband spectrum it is eyeing for unlicensed use.

FCC Wants To Reexamine ‘Franken FMs’

Fixed Wireless Communications Coalition Honors Julius Knapp

FCC Takes Some Lumps At Oversight Hearing

The FCC and its Republican chairman, Ajit Pai, took hits from both sides of the aisle in an oversight hearing in the House Communications Subcommittee Thursday (Dec. 5).

Televisa Wins Injunction On Disney-Fox Deal

Mexican broadcaster Grupo Televisa won an injunction against Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s assets in Mexico, but Mexico’s market regulator said on Thursday that the ruling would not stall the deal.

Bill Nye Headed To Trial Against Disney

A Los Angeles judge trims Nye’s profits lawsuit but will allow the TV star to pursue punitive damages.

FNC Sued Over Carlson’s ‘Extortion’ Analogy

Karen McDougal is suing Fox News for slander after Tucker Carlson invoked her situation in an effort to play down Donald Trump’s Ukraine troubles.

CNN Employee Says Superior Threatened To ‘Kill’ Him Over Discrimination Lawsuit

FCC Seeks Input On Analog Radio On DTV

The FCC’s Media Bureau is seeking comment on whether analog LPTV stations should be able to continue to program an analog radio service after the deadline to switch to digital.

FCC Admonishes More Stations Over Political Ads

The FCC has rebuked Meredith’s WPCH Atlanta and Georgia Television’s WSB-TV Atlanta for failing to include “certain requests to purchase political ad time” for non-candidate issue ads in their public files. The admonishment, which is a black mark that goes on their permanent records, resolves a half-dozen complaints filed by Issue One and the Campaign Legal Center dating from August 2017.

Devin Nunes Sues CNN For $435 Million

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) has sued CNN for more than $435 million in a defamation suit filed on Tuesday in Virginia. The 47-page lawsuit opened by calling CNN “the mother of fake news” that was “eroding the fabric of America” and claimed that the network published a “demonstrably false hit piece” about Nunes on Nov. 22.

Judge: DOJ Not Welcome At WGA Hearing

A federal judge has denied the Justice Department’s request to participate in Friday’s hearing on the WGA’s motion to dismiss the Big Three talent agencies’ antitrust lawsuits against the guild. It’s a major procedural victory for the guild, which said last week that it saw no reason for the DOJ to take part in the hearing.

NFL Rights Case Heads To Supreme Court

A significant antitrust battle could upset how the league sells game telecasts for billions of dollars and usher in an era when teams would compete for licensing deals.

Judge Tosses $71M NBCU ‘Columbo’ Verdict

Just over a month after a Los Angeles Superior Court judge awarded $70.3 million in profit participation to the creators of the iconic Peter Falk-led detective series, the same judge on Monday threw his own judgment out and ordered a new trial.

Alki David Hit With $58M In Damages

Jurors on Monday awarded $50 million in punitive damages to Mahim Khan, a former production assistant who worked at his Los Angeles-based firms, attorney Gloria Allred said. The same panel last week awarded $8.25 million in compensatory damages for battery, sexual battery and sexual harassment.

DMA 63: DAYTON, OH

FCC Rule Being Used To Shrink Paper Schedule

Want to get around a regulation that limits who can own a daily newspaper? Just make it a less-than-daily newspaper.