The FCC gave a rather significant Valentine’s Day gift to broadcasters, eliminating the requirement that larger radio and television stations submit the EEO Mid-Term Report (FCC Form 397) at the midpoint of their license terms. While the FCC will continue to conduct EEO mid-term reviews, it determined that filing the EEO Mid-Term Report was no longer necessary, as most of the information required for an EEO mid-term review is already available in a broadcaster’s Online Public Inspection File.
The FCC has released its status report on the post-broadcast incentive auction TV station repack, which involves most of 1,000 full-powers and 2,000 low-powers in a 10-phase plan, and as FCC Chairman Ajit Pai signaled last week, the commission is ahead of schedule. It is also making available more money for the TV station transition.
The FCC’s order eliminating the need to post and maintain broadcast licenses at a physical location goes into effect on Friday, Feb. 8, giving broadcasters one less responsibility to worry about.
While the shutdown of the Federal government delayed FCC activities in January, with the government back in business (hopefully for the long term), Broadcast Law Blog has put together a Calendar of Important Dates for Broadcasters for 2019.
It’s putting together an expert team to focus on fighting waste, fraud and abuse in Universal Service Fund programs.
Commercial TV stations affiliated with either ABC, CBS, Fox or NBC and are located in the top 60 television markets are required to provide 50 hours per calendar quarter of video-described primetime or children’s programming, and to provide an additional 37.5 hours of video-described programming per calendar quarter at any time between 6 a.m. and midnight. The FCC wants comments on this requirement for a report to Congress.
House Democrats are asking the FCC for documentation about its operations as they prepare to challenge the agency with their newfound oversight powers.
Former Democratic FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn is advising T-Mobile and Sprint on their proposed $26 billion merger as the two companies seek regulatory approval from her former agency. She said that she sees the work as a continuation of her efforts in government to expand internet access to hard-to-reach and overlooked communities.
The FCC will host a daylong symposium on media diversity March 7. It will come a day after minority advocates are meeting in Washington for the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council Broadband & Social Justice Summit in Washington, an event that often features FCC commissioners weighing in on the state of diversity.
Lately, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice headed by Makan Delrahim has been undermining the FCC — and perhaps even Congress — and disrupting the broadcasting business as it struggles to ward off rivals for viewers and ad dollars on multiple fronts. I cannot remember a time when Justice has plunged so deeply into the nitty gritty of the broadcasting advertising marketplace and what kind of local station combinations should be allowed.