The FCC’s update of its political programming rules has been published in the Federal Register, which sets the effective date for broadcaster compliance. The FCC’s changes to the definition of “legally qualified candidate” will go into effect March 14. But not all the changes will kick in. The FCC’s amendments to political file requirements have to be vetted by the Office of Management & Budget per the Paperwork Reduction Act.
It would fine companies like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter if they permanently bar candidates for office in the state.
In recent weeks, with so many government officials looking to get messages out about the coronavirus pandemic, questions arise about what to do when political candidates appear on public service-type announcements — either free PSAs provided by the station or paid spots purchased by some governmental entity. While such announcements can be run by stations, if a legally qualified candidate personally appears in the spot (their recognizable voice in a radio ad or their voice or picture in a TV ad), stations need to note the advertising purchase in their FCC Online Public Inspection File, as these spots constitute a “use” by a candidate, and they can also give rise to equal opportunities by opposing candidates.
Sam Donaldson says he’s a free agent now — a citizen, no longer the newsman he was for more than 50 years. So he’s doing something that he would never do before: He’s endorsing a candidate. The famously feisty former ABC anchor put his name and decades of presumed credibility behind Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign last week. The reaction of journalists and former journalists range from “Attaboy!” to “How could you?!”
Joe Ferullo: Reporting on presidential candidates can be a lot like high school romance: It’s all about crushes and rejections, falling hard — only to fall quickly out of love. After New Hampshire, journalists and pundits are desperately scanning the cafeteria for their next soul mate. But now that voters are actually part of the equation, the media’s search for love will need to evolve.
More than ever before, politicians are veering off the traditional campaign trail to hit the comedy circuit in hopes of reaching voters through their funny bones. The trend has led to some strange moments in an already strange political season.
More than two weeks after Donald Trump’s performance on Saturday Night Live, NBC said John Kasich, Mike Huckabee, James Gilmore and Lindsey Graham each will get about 12 minutes of time to tout their candidacies during primetime on Friday and Saturday, and during this week’s Saturday Night Live.
NBC is proposing giving free airtime to campaigns on Nov. 27 and Nov. 28 after a number of Republican candidates requested it following Donald Trump’s hosting gig on Saturday Night Live. The network’s proposal is for each of the candidates who requested time to get a 12-minute slot between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Friday night and 12 minutes during the Saturday Night Live time period on Saturday night, according to a source with one of the campaigns, who did not want to be identified because negotiations are ongoing.