In its mandated quadrennial review, the commission seeks comment on local radio and television ownership rules, the dual network rule that prohibits a merger among the Big Four broadcast networks and diversity-related proposals.
Noncommercial TV stations want the FCC to let them spend the money on a post-incentive auction repack campaign funded by Congress in the Ray Baum’s FCC reauthorization act. That would include coordinating the campaign for both noncommercial and commercial stations.
Sinclair Broadcast Group is attacking a petition filed at the FCC by the American Cable Association calling for regulators to review whether the owner of several Fox- and ABC-affiliated stations around the nation’s capital is still fit to hold broadcast licenses.
Jane Hinckley Halprin, FCC assistant general counsel for ethics, is tapped to replace Richard Sippel, who retired on Dec. 1.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is acknowledging that Russia-linked email addresses weighed in during the public comment process ahead of the FCC’s net neutrality repeal last year. Pai wrote in a court filing this week that it is a “fact” that a half-million comments were submitted from Russian email addresses during the public comment period, adding that most of those comments were in favor of net neutrality.
The FCC’s internal watchdog found no evidence of a “concealment or cover-up” by Chairman Ajit Pai on interactions with the White House related to the failed Sinclair-Tribune merger.
On Friday, Nov. 30, broadcasters in the first of a 10-phase post incentive auction repack must have completed their move to new channels and ceased broadcasting on their pre-transition channels. Phase two begins Dec. 1. According to the FCC, more than 140 TV stations in over 20 markets will have moved frequencies when phase one is over.
A pair of Republican senators have asked the FCC to resolve interference issues with TV white spaces (TVWS) use by unlicensed devices, come up with final guidance, and allow for the expansion of TVWS use. They say the technology is key to closing the rural broadband divide because it is an affordable connectivity answer for rural and tribal communities.
The group says that in light of the commission raising questions over the group owner’s fitness to be a licensee following the failed Tribune merger, the FCC needs to “resolve the serious charges it leveled against Sinclair as soon as possible.”
While the holidays may be upon us, there is no rest in the broadcast regulatory world. Dec. 1 brings routine EEO public file report obligations for radio and television station employment units with five or more fulltime employees for stations in Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Vermont.