Rosenworcel: Congress Needs To Decide Legal Status Of Video Streamers

Streaming services like YouTube TV and Sling TV don’t have to worry about becoming the legal equivalent of cable TV or satellite TV companies any time soon through action by the FCC. That was that the implicit message that FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel left with Capitol Hill on Thursday when she was pressed for a regulatory update on the video issue by the leader of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Ex-Meta Executive Gives Senate Critics A New Hammer To Pound Big Tech

Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Marsha Blackburn cite a story on an Instagram whistleblower to push protective legislation.


Lawmakers Need To Act To Halt The Erosion Of Access To Local TV News

Emily Barr: Access to local media on streaming platforms is getting more difficult and localism is getting squeezed out of media’s new world order. The FCC and Congress need to act before the damage becomes irreversible.

Republicans: Big Tech Should Preserve Videos Of Hamas Attacks

Bipartisan Bill Aims To Protect Actors, Singers From AI Recreations

A bipartisan bill introduced Thursday aims to protect the likeness of actors, singers and other performers from generative artificial intelligence (AI) technology. The Nurture Originals, Foster Art, and Keep Entertainment Safe (NO FAKES) Act would hold individuals or companies liable for producing unauthorized digital replicas of individuals in a performance, along with platforms that host such content.

Cable News Sent Into Overdrive As Drama In Congress Unfolds

Cable news had a busy, peculiar day in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday when the House of Representatives voted to oust Kevin McCarthy as speaker and, in one of his first actions as speaker pro tempore, Rep. Patrick T. McHenry ordered speaker emerita Nancy Pelosi to vacate her private Capitol office.

Religious Broadcasters’ Views Absent From Hill Video Hearing

New Bill ‘Attacks’ Big Tech Over Targeted Advertising

House and Senate Democrats have introduced a bill that could take a bite out of Big Tech’s online advertising marketplace by banning co-called surveillance advertising. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), one of the bill’s co-sponsors, made it clear that the bill was clearly aimed at hitting Big Tech in the wallet.

In Show Of Force, Silicon Valley Titans Pledge ‘Getting This Right’ With AI

Elon Musk, Sam Altman, Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai and others discussed artificial intelligence with lawmakers, as tech companies strive to influence potential regulations.


Broadcast Coalitions Lock Horns Over vMVPD Issue With Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars At Stake

Dueling coalitions — the affiliate-led Coalition for Local News and O&O-led Preserve Viewer Choice Coalition — have raised the temperature on a long-simmering argument over who should be able to negotiate retransmission rights with vMVPDs. The growing size of the vMVPD revenue pot in an awful year for spot TV may have a lot to do with the timing.

Senate Panel Piles On Potential Social Media Regulations

Republicans and Democrats speak with one voice, and it’s an angry shout at Big Tech.

PGA Tour Officials Say They Had No Choice But To Reach Deal With The Saudis

Two top officials of the PGA Tour said the sport’s governing body had no choice but to reach a truce in its yearlong battle with LIV Golf and try to reach a merger with the Saudi-funded tour. The comments came during a contentious Senate hearing Tuesday at which the truce between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, as well as the Saudi government, were subject of harsh criticism from senators.

Hill Harper, An Actor On ‘CSI: NY’ And ‘The Good Doctor,’ Is Running For The US Senate In Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Hill Harper, an actor known for his roles on “CSI: NY” and “The Good Doctor,” announced on Monday that he is running for Michigan’s open U.S. […]


The Inside Story Of How Congress Failed To Rein In Big Tech

Love the products, hate the companies — that’s the way many Americans think about Big Tech. Which is why it looked like a good bet when Congress convened in 2021 that Washington might finally rein in the companies that many believe have grown too big, too rich and too powerful — even as their products and services have become ever more indispensable to our lives. Here, it seemed, was the rare issue on which both Republicans and Democrats, House and Senate, could agree. In the end, however, Congress failed to act. And in that failure is a case study of how Congress has lost its ability to address the most pressing problems facing the country.

House Panel Praises FCC’s Collegial Approach

Bipartisanship is at least partially due to political deadlock. Pictured: Members of the FCC testify during a House oversight hearing.

PGA Tour, LIV, Saudis Invited To Senate Hearing

The U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has invited PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, LIV Golf League CEO and Commissioner Greg Norman and Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governor of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, to testify at a July 11 hearing regarding the entities’ planned alliance in men’s professional golf. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), chairman of the subcommittee, and ranking member Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) invited the men to testify at the hearing in a letter Wednesday.

Bipartisan Bill Would Establish Commission To Explore AI Regulation

A new bipartisan bill would establish a commission to explore potential regulations for artificial intelligence. The  National AI Commission Act — introduced by Reps. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), Ken Buck (R-Colo.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) — calls for establishing a 20-member panel that would be tasked with reviewing the current approach to regulation, and developing a “risk-based framework” for the technology.

Simington: FCC Commissioners Need Role In Reviewing Delegated Authority

FCC member Nathan Simington is telling Congress that he and his fellow commissioners need to serve as a check on the power of the chair. According to testimony for the House Energy & Commerce Committee FCC oversight hearing today, Simington, a Republican, said that if the agency does not adopt rules allowing for full commission oversight of decisions made by staffers under authority delegated by the chair, Congress should step in to mandate it.

Senate Democrats Press For Justice Dept. Inquiry Into PGA-LIV Golf Merger

Key Senate Democrats requested an inquiry into the controversial merger between the PGA Tour and Saudi-owned LIV Golf. The deal between the two leagues presents possible antitrust violations, says Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ron Wyden. The merger would have the effect of making a U.S. entity complicit in Saudi Arabia’s “sportswashing” campaign, the senators said.

Biden, GOP Reach Tentative Deal To Raise Debt Ceiling, Avoid Calamitous US Default

President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy reached an “agreement in principle” to raise the nation’s legal debt ceiling late Saturday as they raced to strike a deal to limit federal spending and avert a potentially disastrous U.S. default. However, the agreement risks angering both Democratic and Republican sides with the concessions made to reach it.

Former FCC Leaders Push Congress To Renew Auction Authority

A who’s who of former FCC leaders sent a letter to the chairs of the Energy & Commerce and Commerce, Science & Transportation committees urging Congress to restore the FCC’s spectrum auction authority as soon as practical. Signatories of the letter include Ajit Pai, Tom Wheeler, Mignon Clyburn, Julius Genachowski, Meredith Atwell Baker, Robert McDowell, Deborah Taylor Tate, Jonathan Adelstein, Michael Copps, William Kennard, Harold Furchtgott-Roth, Gloria Tristani, Rachelle Chong, Susan Ness, Reed Hundt and Dick Wiley.

APTS Pushes Back On Proposed Funding Cut For Emergency Alerts

Following a vote by the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee to recommend reduced spending of $40 million for fiscal year 2024 for the Next Generation Warning System (NGWS) supporting public broadcasting’s public safety infrastructure, the America’s Public Television Stations issued a statement highlighting the importance of the program that urged Congress to restore the funding.

Republicans Push For IG Investigation Into FCC Handling Of Tegna Deal

The Republican leadership of the House and Senate committees overseeing the FCC has asked the regulator’s acting Inspector General, Sharon Diskin, to look into FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel’s handling of the review of the Standard General-Tegna merger.

House Democrats Frame TikTok Issues As Part Of Industrywide Problem

Amid ban threats, letter to CEO suggests steps that could ameliorate concerns.

Members Of Congress Urge Review Of Discovery-WarnerMedia Merger

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep David Cicilline lead group highlighting effect on jobs and competition in the industry and reduced choice for media consumers.

GOP Legislators Grill FCC’s Rosenworcel On Standard General-Tegna Hearing Designation

Top Republicans on FCC oversight committees say the FCC’s Media Bureau decision to designate the Standard General-Tegna deal for hearing before an administrative law judge was unfair and a violation of a congressional charge to “promote competition and reduce regulation.” They want the FCC to answer a host of questions related to the decision.

Senators Urge FCC To Expedite NextGen TV Rollout

A bipartisan group of 27 U.S. senators, led by Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Todd Young (R-Ind.), sent a letter Wednesday to FCC ChairJessica Rosenworcel urging the commission to take an active role in expediting the continued rollout of the ATSC 3.0 standard, aka NextGen TV.

Bipartisan U.S. Lawmakers Introduce Bill Aimed At Google, Facebook Ad Clout

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduced a bill on Thursday aimed at cutting Google and Facebook’s clout in online advertising, an early sign that lawmakers will press on with efforts to rein in Big Tech in the new congress.

SPJ Asks Congress To Reintroduce And Pass Journalist Protection Act

Pulling The Plug On TikTok Will Be Harder Than It Looks

The tensions over the Chinese-owned social media app will come to a head on Thursday, when the company’s chief executive testifies on Capitol Hill. The TikTok app has 150 million users in the United States, but some fear that its Chinese parent company might give Beijing access to American users’ data. (Anjum Naveed/AP)


Congress Lets FCC’s Spectrum Auction Authorization Lapse

The FCC’s authority to regulate spectrum auctions expired on Friday, March 10, after a Senate vote to renew its authority failed to pass on Thursday. The FCC has had responsibility over the management of spectrum auctions for more than 30 years and in 2017, in particular raised nearly $20 billion in selling off portions of the broadcast spectrum. The House approved reauthorization in February but the Senate failed to pass the resolution amid disagreement on military spectrum needs.

House Hammers Senate Over Letting FCC Auction Authority Lapse

The Senate came in for plenty of criticism Friday for its failure to pass House-passed legislation extending the FCC’s spectrum auction authority beyond March 9. That came at a House Communications Subcommittee hearing on spectrum policy. House Energy & Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) had teamed with ranking member Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) to co-sponsor the legislation (H.R. 1108) extending authorization to May 19, which passed the House Feb. 19.

Sen. Blumenthal: Consensus Building For Sec. 230 Overhaul

Citing some of the Justices in the recently argued Gonzalez case, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee Privacy Subcommittee, said that there appears to be an “emerging concensus” that Congress has to do something abourt what he called an outdate construct that has led to toxic, algorithm-driven content. That came in his opening remarks in a hearing on Big Tech and Section 230 prompted by the Supreme Court oral argument in the case, which revolved around whether social media can be held liable for abetting terrorist speech.

‘Boy Meets World’ Star Ben Savage Announces Run For Congress

White House Said To Consider Pushing Congress On Dealing With TikTok

In a strategy shift, the Biden administration is increasingly pointing to Congress to give it more legal power to deal with TikTok and other technology that could expose Americans’ sensitive data to China.

Groups Argue Gigi Sohn’s FCC Nomination Is An Abortion-Rights Issue

Dems Fear Biden FCC Nominee Sohn Won’t Be Confirmed

President Biden’s nominee for an open seat on the FCC, Gigi Sohn, appears stalled in committee and is in danger of failing to reach the full Senate floor for a vote, according to Democratic Senate officials. If her nomination falters, the FCC will remain deadlocked with two Republican and two Democratic commissioners — hindering the Biden administration’s effort to implement key parts of the president’s agenda.

FTC’s Lina Khan May Face Congressional Hearings Over Legal Controversies

House Oversight Committee Members Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) have committed to schedule hearings in the coming months to investigate whether FTC Chair Lina Khan has been following the law, according to sources close to the situation.

Schumer, Jeffries Ask Murdoch To Stop Fox Hosts Lying About 2020 Election

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.) have sent a letter to Fox Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch asking him to stop Fox News personalities from “spreading false election narratives,” warning they could lead to “further acts of political violence.”

House Committee Advances Bill To Ban TikTok

A divided House committee on Wednesday advanced a bill that could pave the way for President Biden to ban the popular TikTok app. “TikTok is a modern day trojan horse,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), who sponsored the Deterring America’s Foreign Adversaries Act (HR 1553), said at a hearing Tuesday afternoon. He characterized the app, owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, as a “national security threat” that allows the Chinese government to manipulate and monitor U.S. users.