Pai To Get Lowry Mays Award At NAB Show

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has been tapped to receive the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award. The award is given to an “individual in broadcasting” whose work “exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.”

Upton Hailed As Public Broadcasting Champion

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) has been given the Champion of Public Broadcasting award by America’s Public Television Stations at the group’s annual summit in Washington.

March Regulatory Dates For Broadcasters

As the calendar flips to March, many of us have put our trust in Punxsutawney Phil’s weather forecasting expertise that an early spring is coming.  A surer place to put our trust, however, is in the guarantee that there are always some regulatory dates about which broadcasters should be aware.  While March is a month without with many of the regularly scheduled deadlines for renewals, EEO public file reports or Quarterly Issues Programs lists, there are still plenty of regulatory dates about which you should take notice.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

Congressional Broadcasters Caucus Formed

Reps. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) and Brendan F. Boyle (D-Pa.) today announced the formation of the group, which will be a resource to educate members of Congress about broadcast-related issues and the importance of local radio and television stations to Americans. The mission of the caucus will be focused on discussing and solving issues of importance to the broadcast community

Thomas Criticizes His Past Opinion On Cable

In the case, known as Brand X, the court sided with the Federal Communications Commission’s decision not to regulate broadband cable providers, rejecting a federal appeals court ruling that would have required regulation. “Although I authored Brand X, ‘it is never too late to surrender former views to a better considered position,’ ” Thomas wrote, borrowing language from Justice Robert Jackson in 1950. Thomas wrote a dissenting opinion Monday when the court declined to take on a case asking it to overrule the Brand X decision.

Comcast Faces Trial Over Local Ad Sales

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals revives an antitrust case against the cable TV giant while rejecting a test proposed by the Justice Department about when it’s improper for companies to refuse to sell to rivals.

FCC Preps Big Spectrum Moves

The FCC will be making some big spectrum-related decisions Friday (Feb. 28) at its February public meeting that will affect broadcast and cable operators. The commission is scheduled to vote on freeing up 300 MHz of the 500 MHz C-Band satellite spectrum for next-gen terrestrial wireless, in the process repacking satellite operators and their broadcast and cable clients into smaller space and potentially paying those satellite operators billions to exit the spectrum early.

Jury Finds Harvey Weinstein Guilty

He was found guilty of criminal sex act for assaulting production assistant Mimi Haleyi at his apartment in 2006 and third-degree rape of a woman in 2013. The jury found him not guilty on the most serious charge, predatory sexual assault, that could have resulted in a life sentence.

FCC Net Neutrality Docket Heats Up…Again

The FCC posted more than 300 comments to its record-breaking net neutrality docket in just one day last week. That comes after the commission sought comment on several issues identified by the federal court that upheld the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, which eliminated network neutrality rules and reclassified internet access as an information service.

STATION ADVISORY

FCC Gets Strict On TV Market Mod Requests

This week, the FCC reiterated a policy of being very tough on petitions to add communities to television markets to change the stations that are considered to be part of the market for cable and satellite carriage purposes.

TVN’S FRONT OFFICE BY MARY COLLINS

Collins | Boosting Minority Ownership Hits Roadblock

Why have the FCC’s decade-long efforts to liberalize the broadcast ownership rules been stymied by two judges and will that continue?

LPTV, TV Translator Repack Reimbursement Prospects Look Good

STATION ADVISORY

Is Your Political File In Full Compliance?

Super Tuesday is less than two weeks away, Michael Bloomberg is spending a king’s ransom on political advertisements, and the FCC is actively engaged in investigating stations’ compliance with the political file rules. Now is the time to make sure your station staff understands the FCC’s political file requirements and implements any required changes in your procedures.

Radio Free Europe Returns To Fight Fake News

Broadcasting Station Ownership Diversity Lacking

The vast majority of broadcast station ownership in the U.S. is still made up of white men, according to the most recent data from the FCC’s fourth biennial report on broadcast station ownership, which represents how things looked in 2017. Prior to this report, the last bit of information available was from 2015.

Facebook Says WTXF Anchor Can’t Sue Over Ad Featuring Her Image

Lotame Names Amy Yeung General Counsel/Chief Privacy Officer

Lotame, a provider of unstacked data solutions company for publishers, marketers and agencies, today appointed Amy Yeung as the company’s new general counsel and chief privacy officer. In addition to overseeing all legal functions, Yeung will spearhead Lotame’s privacy protocols across its business, providing consumers with transparency, notice and control while also helping to inform […]

FTC To Review Influencer Marketing

The Federal Trade Commission is launching a review of its endorsement guides, which set out recommendations for online testimonials and influencer marketing.

Fox News Sues Replica Sites For Cybersquatting

The network says two sites are infringing its trademarks and copyrights as part of a dietary supplement scam.

Trump’s Enforcer: Meet Makan Delrahim

As showbiz scales up to battle Big Tech, Makan Delrahim, the nation’s top antitrust regulator (and a former movie producer), is becoming as influential as any mogul over Netflix, megamergers, the Writers Guild and maybe the entire future of the entertainment business.

FCC Clarifies Franchise Fee Dereg

Effectively immediately, the FCC has excised two sentences from its order denying a request for stay of its cable franchise fee deregulation decision, sentences it agrees with cable operators could be misconstrued to allow local franchising authorities to “enforce unlawful franchise provisions unless and until a cable operator has proven to a court that they are unlawful.”

Tenn. Lawmaker Wants To Classify CNN, WaPo As ‘Fake News’

DOJ Won’t Tackle Politically Biased Media

Despite complaints from conservatives who say left-leaning tech companies are shadow-banning on social media, DOJ Antitrust Division chief Makan Delrahim says he won’t get involved.

UK To Make Social Media Platforms Responsible For Harmful Content

Tavis Smiley, PBS Spar Over Who Breached Contract

FCC ’21 Budget Plan Built Around Spectrum

The FCC said it needs $481.59 million to conduct its operations next year, up just 0.3% from the current fiscal year and reflecting an expected boost in revenue from spectrum auction fees. Among the notable lines items in the Fiscal Year 2021 budget plan is a $134.5 million request for spectrum auction authority, an increase of nearly $2 million (about 1.5%) from the current year.

CBS Beats Va. Official’s Defamation Suit

The state’s Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax hasn’t proven the network acted with malice in airing interviews with two women who accuse him of sexual assault, but a Virginia federal judge found his claims in the $400 million lawsuit to be reasonable enough to deny an award of attorney’s fees.

FTC Launches Inquiry Into Big Tech Deals

The Federal Trade Commission has launched a lookback at some of the smaller past acquisitions by some of the largest tech companies. The FTC said Tuesday it has issued “special orders” to Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft, which require them to provide info on all acquisitions over the past decade (Jan. 1, 2010 through Dec. 31, 2019).

PBS Fires Back At Trump Proposal To Eliminate Federal Funding For Public Media

NFL Taking Case To Supreme Court

The National Football League is concerned that a revolution may be at hand with respect to the way that its games get televised to millions of fans. On Friday, pointing to how teams currently pool TV rights and then license packages to distributors, the league asked the Supreme Court to review an antitrust case with the potential of upsetting an arrangement that has served the league for more than a quarter century.