FCC’s Brendan Carr Announces Staff

The new commissioner chooses three acting legal advisers and a confidential assistant. 

How Sinclair Is Ridding Itself Of Regulation

The Sinclair Broadcast Group and Ajit Pai, the chairman of the FCC, see eye-to-eye on the need to unleash television. Both are reaping big rewards.

FCC Extends Net Neutrality Comments Deadline

BRAND CONNECTIONS

Journo Fires Back Against Bolling’s $50M Suit

Freelance journalist Yashar Ali is fighting back against a $50 million defamation lawsuit filed by recently suspended Fox News host Eric Bolling — and he has powerhouse litigator Patty Glaser in his corner. In a letter sent Friday to Bolling’s attorney Michael Bowe, and copied to Fox News’ EVP Dianne Brandi, Glaser demands the suit be dropped immediately.

Suit: FNC ‘Padded Paycheck’ To Contributor

As the investigation continues and threats of new lawsuits swirl in the allegations that Fox News Channel’s now suspended Eric Bolling sent lewd texts to colleagues, the outlet’s battle with Andrea Tantaros has taken another strange twist. Fighting back against moves by FNC and a former on-air contributor to toss the Ex-Outnumbered and The Five co-host’s federal case claiming “extremely high-tech” hacking and a “professional/career assassination,” Tantaros’ attorney is now throwing serious suspicion on the big bucks paid to one Pete Snyder by the cable newser.

Dispute Over Public Officials And Social Media

An emerging debate about whether elected officials violate people’s free speech rights by blocking them on social media is spreading across the U.S. as groups sue or warn politicians to stop the practice.

Starz Pledges Legal Action Against Leaker

Bolling Sues Journo For $50M Over Allegation

Recently suspended Fox News host Eric Bolling is suing journalist Yashar Ali for defamation and is seeking $50 million in damages after Ali’s HuffPost story claimed that Bolling sent “an unsolicited photo of male genitalia via text message to at least two colleagues at Fox Business and one colleague at Fox News.”

Comcast And Its ‘Hidden Fees’ Problem

The F word continues to haunt Comcast. The debate over the Philadelphia-based media giant’s controversial “broadcast” and “regional sports” fees — yes, that F — was drummed back up last week when a federal judge in California refused to dismiss a class-action lawsuit against Comcast.

Fox Declined To Settle Suits For $60 Million

The sexual harassment scandal at Fox News has cost its parent company 21st Century Fox tens of millions of dollars, untold reputational damage and some of its biggest personalities. And the drama is far from over. At a confidential mediation proceeding in late July, the lawyer Douglas H. Wigdor asked for more than $60 million to settle several disputes with Fox News and 21st Century Fox, according to two people familiar with the matter. The company would not accept Wigdor’s offer and no resolution was reached, said the people.

DOJ To Meet With Reporters On Subpoenas

Justice Department officials are slated to meet with a nonprofit journalism organization on Thursday as the administration moves to revisit its rules on whether to subpoena reporters who receive classified information. Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press will meet with individuals in the Justice Department’s public affairs office to discuss new subpoena guidelines.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders Newest WH Star

The new White House press secretary is more understated than her predecessor, Sean Spicer, but she still speaks for a president at war with the media.

NEWS ANALYSIS

There’s A Full House Again At The FCC

Last week, Congress confirmed the nominations of Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel for her return to the FCC, as well as new Commissioner Brendan Carr, a Republican. With these two expected to be sworn in in the very near future, it will complete the full house of three Republicans and two Democrats. With the background of the new commissioners, and the 3-2 Republican majority, is this a winning hand?

Fears Of Sinclair-Tribune ‘Excessive’ Power

A coalition of TV and media industry entities is urging the FCC to reject Sinclair Broadcast Group’s proposed $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media, arguing that the combination would “produce a TV station behemoth that is unprecedented in both local and national size and power.”

How Trump’s FCC Aided Sinclair’s Expansion

Sinclair Broadcast Group is expanding its conservative-leaning television empire into nearly three-quarters of American households — but its aggressive takeover of the airwaves wouldn’t have been possible without help from President Donald Trump’s chief at the FCC.Use of a regulatory loophole will allow Sinclair to reach 72% of U.S. households after buying Tribune’s stations.

Balaguer To FCC Legislative Affairs Dep. Dir.

The former associate director and senior legislative analyst in the commission’s Office of Legislative Affairs is picked by Ajit Pai to be deputy director of the Office of Legislative Affairs.

STATION ADVISORY

Kids Fine Shows FCC Still In Enforcement Biz

The FCC announced a consent decree with WMBC Newton, N.J., where the licensee,  Mountain Broadcasting, agreed to pay $17,500 for failing to identify “core” educational and informational programming directed to children with the required “E/I” symbol on the programming itself. This programming was, according to the consent decree, run on the station’s multicast streams — stations having an obligation to run at least 3 hours of educational and informational programming on each of its program streams.

Yelp To Beef Up Lobbying With DC Office

DOJ: Media Could Be Targeted Over Leaks

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday announced a government-wide crackdown on leakers, which will include a review of the Justice Department’s policies on subpoenas for media outlets that publish sensitive information.

Groups To FCC: Don’t Weaken Kids Rules

The commission is urged to “protect programming and advertising safeguards for children’s TV.”

Groups To File Opposition To Sinclair-Tribune

On Monday, an alliance of representatives from diverse corners of the media industry will come together to hold a press call announcing their FCC filings in opposition to the Sinclair Broadcasting-Tribune Media merger and reiterating their strong commitment to protecting independent local news. As a group, these representatives will call for the Sinclair-Tribune merger to be rejected.

Senate Confirms Two FCC Nominees

The Senate on Thursday confirmed Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel and Republican Brendan Carr for seats on the FCC but did not yet reconfirm GOP Chairman Ajit Pai to another term.

Senate Panel Approves FCC Nominees

During a hearing on Wednesday, members of the Senate Commerce Committee voted to approve the confirmations of Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel and Republican Brendan Carr as FCC commissioners. Current Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s reconfirmation to the FCC was also approved by lawmakers. The trio’s confirmations will proceed to a Senate-wide vote

Starz Criticizes Proposed AT&T-TW Merger

Starz, the pay-cable service that is part of Lionsgate Entertainment, released a report suggesting AT&T might push customers to HBO over competitors like Starz. AT&T dismissed the claims. “This conclusion doesn’t square with the facts,” the telecommunications company said in a statement.

Ex Disney Exec Sues Over Sexual Harassment

Jocelyn McDowell, a former Disney Channels Worldwide executive filed a lawsuit Wednesday alleging she was subjected to a two-year campaign of retaliation, and was ultimately fired, after reporting her boss, Jimmy Blackburn, for sexual harassment.

Lawyer Wants Trump To Testify In Fox Suit

The lawyer for a Washington private investigator who is suing Fox News over its use of allegedly invented quotes in a news story advancing a bizarre conspiracy theory said Tuesday he will seek to depose President Trump and former White House press secretary Sean Spicer to question them over their roles in the affair.

Lawsuit Alleges Fox News Fabricated Quotes

A private investigator who was put at the center of a controversial report on the death of a murdered Democratic National Committee operative is alleging he was placed there against his will by employees of Fox News Channel.

BARTON SAYS TELCO BILL WILL HAPPEN THIS YEAR

A confident House Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton told reporters Wednesday that he fully expected the president to have signed a telco reform bill by the end of this congressional session.