Eventually, Congress or the White House is going to cave and the FCC will be back to its old self. That’s too bad. Wouldn’t it be nice if the shutdown of some pointless and counterproductive broadcast regulations were permanent?
While some might think that the business of deregulation is easy, that usually is not the case, as comments on the FCC’s proposals to modify the public notice requirements for broadcast applications make clear. While this proposal seems very straightforward, and many of the comments took the sides that one would expect, there were numerous comments that didn’t. Here’s a look at some.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai spoke on Wednesday at the opening lunch at the NAB Radio Show in Austin, Texas, promising more moves to bring media regulation in line with the realities of the modern media marketplace. In his speech, the text of which is available here, the chairman promised several actions.
Communications attorney Jack Goodman says now that the FCC is focused on deregulation, his wish list includes changes to ownership reports, must carry/retransmission consent elections, children’s programming reports, ancillary services reports and the local public notice rule.
From speeches, sessions, cocktail parties and bars, I gained some insight that I can share with you on Chairman Pai’s deregulatory initiative, the repack’s reimbursement fund and deadline, an ATSC 3.0 fissure and the network-affiliate OTT agreements.
FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly had tough words for his agency’s regulatory history and high praise for its new leadership on Monday. He sees an update of current media ownership rules forthcoming under the Trump administration, along with intense scrutiny of the agency’s entire regulatory regime.
“[We] do think there is more upside potential to the stocks and multiples; we do think there are more positive than negative revisions to core ad estimates (although we caveat it is still very early); we do expect a change to the 39% cap (and other ownership rules); and we do anticipate the station groups to be included in the streaming packages … eventually,” Marci Ryvicker’s team at Wells Fargo says in a note to investors today.
Mary Jo White, the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, on Monday announced that she would step down two years before the end of her term, clearing the way for President-elect Donald Trump to reshape the way Wall Street is regulated. Beyond the SEC, he could also dramatically alter the ideological landscapes at key agencies such as the FCC and the Federal Trade Commission, whose top officials are nearing the end of their terms.