The FCC’s Nonexistent Role In Internet Streaming

Regulating streamers like old-school cable providers would ignore market realities and Congressional prerogatives, says former commissioner Michael O’Rielly.

Michael O’Rielly Exits The FCC

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly has apparently made his official exit from the commission after seven years. O’Rielly’s FCC Twitter account was no longer active Thursday night and stakeholders were weighing in following his final meeting. That came Thursday (Dec. 10) following the FCC’s December meeting — which featured praise from his colleagues and FCC staffers — and the confirmation earlier this week of his successor, Nathan Simington.

O’Rielly: Not Seeking Help In Staying On FCC

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly said he will be leaving when his term ends (either with the appointment of a successor or by January, whichever comes first) and signaled his supporters don’t need to advocate for keeping him on the commission. The president rescinded O’Rielly’s nomination after the commissioner criticized an effort to regulate social media that Trump supports.

Trump Picks NTIA Adviser For O’Rielly FCC Seat

President Trump has announced his intention to nominate Nathan Simington to fill the seat being vacated by Michael O’Rielly, whose renomination was withdrawn by the president apparently because O’Rielly was critical of Trump’s effort to regulate social media. Simington is currently senior adviser at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.


Dubious Grounds For The FCC’s Restriction Of Section 230

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly saw his nomination withdrawn by President Trump for having the temerity to question whether the FCC has the authority to adopt rules to limit the scope of Section 230 of the Communications Act. All clear legal signs point to the fact that it doesn’t.


Jessell | O’Rielly’s Firing Ominous Turn For FCC

President Trump’s withdrawal of FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly’s nomination isn’t just a breathtaking punishment for a perceived lack of loyalty. It presages a potential  Trump second-term FCC that would advance any of his desires and punish any FCC-regulated company he targets.

Talking TV: The Politics Of O’Rielly’s FCC Firing

Michael Depp and Harry Jessell unpack the abrupt withdrawal of FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly’s renomination by President Trump this week and discuss the pandemic’s reckoning on broadcasters’ quarterly earnings.


Trump’s FCC Move Is A 1st Amendment Assault

Washington Post editorial: The president’s withdrawal of FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly’s renomination is a message to him, his fellow FCC commissioners and appointees across agencies of what happens when they dare to put the rule of law first, just as the president wants Twitter, and Facebook, and all influential companies on the Internet or off to know how carefully they must tread with him in charge. This is a flagrant assault on the First Amendment under the guise of defending it, and an assault on those who seek to defend the right of free expression.

WSJ: Mike O’Rielly’s Free Speech Fall

Michael O’Rielly has done yeoman work as a member of the Federal Communications
Commission, but this week the White House abruptly pulled his renomination for another
five-year term. The decision speaks better of Mr. O’Rielly than of the president.

Sen. Inhofe Puts Hold On O’Rielly Nomination

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) has reportedly put a hold on the renomination of Republican FCC commissioner Michael O’Rielly over the senator’s opposition to the FCC’s decision to approve Ligado’s use of satellite spectrum for terrestrial broadband.

O’Rielly Nomination Advances To Full Senate

The nomination of Republican FCC commissioner Michael O’Rielly for a new, five-year, term on the FCC has been favorably reported out of the Senate Commerce Committee and now moves to the full Senate for a vote.


O’Rielly: FCC Action Generates More Local News

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly: “The success of local television news in some markets comes even as the broadcast industry in general faces monumental challenges that existed apart from COVID-19, largely due to competition from unregulated high-tech companies openly competing for the same local advertising dollars.  And, these successes come despite the obstruction of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which overturned well-reasoned efforts by the FCC to modernize outdated media ownership rules last fall.”

O’Rielly Has Issues With DOJ’s Media View

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly told the Senate Commerce Committee Tuesday that there continues to be a disconnect between the Department of Justice’s approach to antitrust and the realities of the competitive video marketplace.

O’Rielly Voices Doubt About Trump Order

Republican FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly said he’s unsure whether his agency has the authority to carry out President Trump’s executive order targeting tech firms’ legal protections.

O’Reilly Warns Against Abusing Kidvid Flexibility

Michael O’Rielly, the FCC commissioner who authored the relaxation of children’s TV rules, says stations should not take advantage of the new rules to shirk their responsibility to children. “If bad actors blow through the restraints that are still in place or exploit the increased flexibility by broadcasting an infinite amount of infomercials, the next time the rules are updated, critics of your industry will surely be aggressive in swinging the pendulum back the other direction.”


FCC Commissioners Push For Diverse Ownership

FCC Commissioners Michael O’Rielly, Brendan Carr and Geoffrey Starks weighed in on localization and local broadcasters’ coverage of crises during an NAB Show panel session.

NAB Show To Feature FCC’s Pai, O’Rielly, Carr, Starks

The chairman and commissioners will appear at two different sessions at next month’s  Las Vegas gathering.

FCC’s O’Rielly: DOJ’s Merger Standards ‘Stink’

As FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly sees it, Justice has been hostile to, say, combinations of top four TV stations in markets because it continues to hold that TV stations compete only with each other. “That’s completely wrong,” he said. “Everybody is in the same market and the big tech companies are trying to steal everybody’s lunch. We have to recognize that.”


Jessell | The Ergen-Locast Link And Other Vital Matters

A smorgasbord of topics this week: (1) I don’t know it for a fact, but I know that it’s true that Charlie Ergen is the money behind Locast, the OTT service that is streaming local broadcast signals. (2) Retrans is also under attack from STELAR, the law that empowers satellite operators to import distant signals of network O&Os into areas where subscribers cannot receive local affiliates off air and is up for renewal. (3) With the emergence of the new Fox Corp. this week, a forecast finds that most of its broadcast fee growth will come from reverse comp. (4) A tip of the hat to FCC Comish Michael O’Rielly for taking on the Justice Department, which has been stepping on the FCC’s turf regarding local TV ownership rules.

O’Rielly: Time To Drop Myopic Vision Of Broadcast

A feisty FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly told an audience of broadcasters in town to press the D.C. flesh and their positions on various policymakers that if the FCC gets its latest (quadrennial) review of ownership rules right, it will “allow the commission to jettison its myopic vision that broadcasters experience little competition in favor of one that recognizes the fulsome competitive forces in the current marketplace.”

FCC’s O’Rielly Names Chief Of Staff

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly has hired Joel Miller as his chief of staff. He succeeds Brooke Erickson who left the FCC for the private sector. Miller has been deputy chief of staff and legislative director for Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), working on communications for the congressman, who is a member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, which oversees communications issues.

O’Rielly: Kids TV Rules Could Go Away

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly used his speech at the Media Institute’s Free Speech America gala in Washington Wednesday to suggest that the FCC’s children’s TV rules might be unconstitutional, and told those fighting against any changes to the rules that “might want to reconsider their approach lest they end up with the rules being struck down altogether on First Amendment grounds.”

O’Rielly: FCC Kids Rules Don’t Equal Good TV

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly pitched Kentucky broadcasters on his proposal to deregulate children’s TV rules. Generally broadcasters support a lighter touch, but O’Rielly’s pitch was delivered with some tough love. In a speech to the Kentucky Broadcasters Association, O’Rielly ticked off stats showing that kids are increasingly tuning in to mobile devices and tablets for content and less to kids TV.

ATSC 3.0

O’Rielly: Next-Gen TV Future Is Now

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly warned broadcasters last week that if they snooze on ATSC 3.0 they could lose out to their online competitors. He said he feared the rollout was going to take time broadcasters might not have, and certainly not if they didn’t aggressively pursue the new standard, which allows for interactivity and targeted advertising.

NAB 2018

O’Rielly: The Kids Rules Aren’t Alright

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly is spearheading a review of the FCC’s children’s television requirements that he hopes to launch in the summer and complete by year’s end.

O’Rielly Gets Go-Ahead To Tackle Kidvid Rules

FCC Commissoner Michael O’Rielly will head up a review of commission rules requiring, among other things, that stations air three hours of educational information programming each week and imposing commercial limits and other obligations.


O’Reilly Targets FCC’s 3-Hour Kid Vid Rule

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly: “[T]he commission needs to reconsider the ineffective and burdensome requirements currently imposed on our nation’s broadcasters to air a certain amount of educational and informational children’s programming on a weekly basis, colloquially referred to as Kid Vid.”

O’Reilly: Regs Not Answer To Big Tech Power

Republican FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly said Monday that regulators should not crack down on big tech companies like Facebook and Google.


O’Rielly Applauds New Openness At FCC

Commissioner Michael O’Rielly: “One of Chairman Pai’s most welcomed, yet least noted, process reforms has been his unequivocal direction that staff should be completely up front with all commissioners, not just the chairman. Add this one to the list of reforms for which Chairman Pai should be congratulated. It is also one that needs to be memorialized in a complete update of the commission’s internal rulebook so the next commission follows the same improvements.”


Tower Marking Provision Could Use Tweaks

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly: “Having worked on numerous legislative efforts over the years, I have seen that it is not uncommon for very well-intentioned provisions contained within larger bills passed by Congress and enacted into law to lead to unintended negative consequences. One such provision recently enacted in an FAA Authorization statute is causing a considerable level of unrest within affected communications industries.”

Pai, O’Rielly Aim To Repeal Net Neutrality

The two Republicans on the FCC — Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly — say they plan to overturn the commission’s net neutrality rules after President-elect Donald Trump takes office.

FCC’s O’Rielly Is In It For The Long Haul

Washington, D.C., may be white-knuckling its way through the last day of a traumatic 2016 election. But up on the eighth floor of the FCC, Michael O’Rielly is taking it all in stride. The Republican commissioner’s job is safe no matter what happens on Tuesday. O’Rielly’s term doesn’t end until June 30, 2019, and a law allowing him to remain until a successor is appointed means he could stick around into 2020.

O’Rielly: FCC Has Serious Procedural Flaws

Republican FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly has long pushed for process reform at the agency. The current commission tends to resort to shortcuts, according to O’Rielly, who pointed to the net neutrality order. Speaking at a Hudson Institute event Thurs, he said skipping procedural processes because they are in the way is “harmful to the overall policy going forward.”

O’Rielly Offers Suggestions For FCC Reform

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly: “In my two and a half years as an FCC Commissioner, I have tried to make productive suggestions to improve the internal workings of the Commission.  These efforts have never been an attempt to undermine the authority of the Chairman…. Instead, this entire effort is about improving the efficiency of the Commission and increasing fairness and transparency with regard to a process that is questionable in some instances and downright objectionable in others.” Here are 24 reform proposals.

O’Rielly Calls STB Plan ‘Convoluted Scheme,’

Republican FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, a vocal critic of Chairman Tom Wheeler’s set-top box regulation proposal, delivered his most strident support yet for the pay-TV industry’s apps-based proposal.


O’Rielly Offers Ownership Reform Principles

The FCC commissioner sets forth his stance on reforming the commission’s media ownership rules. “Broadcasters and newspapers have much to contribute in terms of diverse, local content, but many have been left fighting, some for their very survival, with an artificially-narrowed range of options.  In general, they should be set free to compete on equal footing with all of their fellow content providers, not kept on an unnecessary and unfair regulatory leash.”

Pai, O’Reilly Fume Over Competition Report

The FCC’s Republican commissioners release a terse statement, lashing out at a decision to not include their input in the agency’s latest Video Competition Report. “Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised by this move to sneak out the door on a Friday afternoon 117 pages of rationalizations for the commission’s various ill-advised attempts to micromanage a market that is objectively more vibrant and competitive than at any time in history.”


Stop Unfairly Censoring FCC Commissioners

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly: “As it is being applied today, the commission’s existing rule intended to protect nonpublic information hinders commissioners’ abilities to engage in the fulsome dialogue and obtain the data needed to most thoroughly and thoughtfully consider and comment on items. As a first step, let’s make it standard procedure that all commissioners and their staffs can discuss the substance of items on circulation or a meeting agenda, minus adjudicatory law enforcement items.”

O’Rielly: No Repack Changes Before Auction

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly on Tuesday told broadcasters they will likely have to wait until after the FCC’s spectrum auction to see changes to the agency’s spectrum re-allocation process.


FCC’s O’Rielly Defends Capitalism In Media

“American capitalism, and its role in the communications industry, should be embraced, celebrated and exported throughout the world.  Instead, it is under continuous assault domestically by self-defined progressives and ultra-liberals. Without proper checks and reassertion of our commitment to free enterprise, the latest anti-capitalism talk risks seeping into [FCC] proceedings and underlying activities.  In fact, signs of it can be seen in multiple commission proceedings, from municipal broadband advocacy to the harmful net neutrality overreach.”