Trump: Punish NFL With Tax Law Change

President Donald Trump is suggesting the U.S. change its tax laws to punish organizations like the NFL if members are “disrespecting” the national anthem or flag.

Trump Blasts Latenight TV In Series Of Tweets

President Trump thinks latenight comedy is no laughing matter. He slapped back at TV hosts and their snarky monologues on Twitter Saturday morning — and hinted at regulatory retaliation. “Late Night host are dealing with the Democrats for their very ‘unfunny’ & repetitive material, always anti-Trump!” he complained at 8 a.m.. “Should we get Equal Time?”

America’s Many Divides Over Free Speech

A new survey explores Americans’ views on hate speech, political correctness, Nazi-punching, job terminations for offensive speech, and much more.


Transparency In Social Media Political Ads Pushed

Trade Groups Rally For Digital Reform

Technology trade associations will show up in force on Capitol Hill next week to advocate for digital commerce reform. The president-CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council, Dean Garfield, and the president-CEO of BSA, the Software Alliance, Victoria Espinel, are set to testify at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the matter.


FCC Proposes Relaxing More Paperwork

One change proposes to limit the requirement for TV stations to file ancillary and supplementary revenue reports to those stations that actually have such revenue, and the other proposes to eliminate the obligation of broadcasters to publish local public notice of significant application filings in a local newspaper.

Facebook Cut Russa References From Report

The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook cut references to Russia from a public report in April about manipulation of its platform around the presidential election because of concerns among the company’s lawyers and members of its policy team, according to people familiar with the matter. The drafting of the report sparked internal debate over how much information to disclose about Russian mischief on Facebook and its efforts to affect U.S. public opinion during the 2016 presidential contest, according to these people. Journal subscribers can read the full story here.


Retrans Blackouts During Disasters Hurt All

To allow station blackouts in the middle of a retrans fight when hurricanes or other disasters loom as Lilly Broadcasting and Hearst did is not too smart. In addition to possibly depriving viewers of access to vital information, it gives retrans foes more ammunition in their fight against this valuable second revenue stream.

FNC Lawyer Takes Voluntary Leave Amid Lawsuits

NEW YORK (AP) — Fox News says that the network’s legal counsel, who is named in lawsuits relating to the late former CEO Roger Ailes’ regime, is taking a “voluntary leave.” Fox offered no additional details Friday on the departure of Dianne Brandi, including whether she is being paid or if she will return. She […]

FCC Creates Hurricane Recovery Task Force

It will support of the restoration of communications services in areas affected by this season’s hurricanes and be chaired by Michael Carowitz, special counsel to Pai, and will be composed of representatives from bureaus and offices throughout the agency.

Policy Threats Intensify For Tech Giants

While tech giants like Facebook, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Apple have already stepped up their lobbying efforts, some say the companies will have to pay even more attention to policy in the coming years as regulators across the globe increase scrutiny.

RTDNA: Ignore Trump On News Investigation

The RTDNA Voice of the First Amendment Task Force is calling on the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee to ignore a tweet from President Trump seeking an investigation into what he called “Fake News Networks.”

Univision Supports Lawsuit Against DACA Decision

Weinstein Scandal May Cloud TV Activity, Sale

The Weinstein Co.’s television operations have been far more successful than the company’s feature business in the past few years. Harvey Weinstein has been adept at packaging projects and leveraging his connections to meet the voracious demand for TV content. But that business is in jeopardy with the detailed revelations of alleged sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior that Weinstein allegedly exhibited in the context of his work as a producer.

Sinclair Keeps Lid On Merger Spin-Off Plans

In response to the FCC’s Sept. 14 request for “specific plans” on how it intends to comply with ownership limits, Sinclair said in a late filing today it would be “premature” to set forth any plans given the DOJs concurrent review of the deal and the possibility the FCC may relax the limits.

Trump Pushes For Senate ‘Fake News’ Probe

President Donald Trump urged Congress Thursday morning to launch an investigation of the news media, wondering online “why so much of our news is just made up.” He did not single out a specific story or media outlet that he believed to be guilty of inaccurate reporting.

Weinstein Accused Of Sexual Harassment

An investigation by The New York Times found previously undisclosed allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein stretching over nearly three decades, documented through interviews with current and former employees and film industry workers, as well as legal records, emails and internal documents from the businesses he has run, Miramax and the Weinstein Co.

FCC’s Rosenworcel Announces Staff

The new commissioner picks her chief of staff, policy adviser and staff assistant. 


‘Glee’ Actor Pleads Guilty To Child Porn Charges

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former “Glee” actor Mark Salling has reached a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to possession of child pornography. The plea agreement filed Tuesday in federal court in Los Angeles states the actor is admitting he possessed images of prepubescent children. The agreement states a search warrant found more than 50,000 […]


Data And Persistence Made Retrans Possible

After a decade of networks mainly negotiating for additional new cable channels, in 2005 broadcasters finally began to monetize their cable carriage on a regular basis. That revenue is fair in a marketplace where cable programmers have obtained ever-increasing fees for carriage, while top broadcast stations consistently deliver higher ratings in cable homes than most cable programs. Here’s some of the backstory of how that momentous change came to be.



Station Quarterly Transition Reports Due Tues.

TV stations being repacked now have yet another quarterly filing obligation. Stations transitioning to a new channel in the repack must file a quarterly Transition Progress Report by the 10th of October, January, April and July. On Tuesday, the FCC issued a Public Notice reminding stations of this obligation.


FCC Wants To Abolish Main Studio Rule

The FCC yesterday released the agenda for its Oct. 24 open meeting, as well as draft orders of the matters to be considered at that meeting. For broadcasters, the single most significant proposal was a draft order to abolish the requirement that a broadcast station maintain a main studio in close proximity to its city of license that is open to the public and staffed during normal business hours.

ACA Campaign Blasts Broadcasters’ Retrans Record

The American Cable Association today launched TV Ransom, a national campaign to “set the record straight that corporate broadcasters are to blame for out-of-control retransmission consent fees and TV station blackouts that blindside consumers with the needless loss of their favorite news, weather reports, and national sporting and entertainment events.” Across the country hundreds of local […]

ACA: No Retrans Blackouts During Disasters

The cable group wants the FCC to add to its list of prohibited “bad faith” retrans negotiation actions a broadcaster’s failure to provide an MVPD with authorization to retransmit its signals, or an MVPD’s refusal to retransmit such signals, during emergency situations.

FCC Issues Reminder On Accessibility

With the recent hurricanes and last night’s tragedy in Las Vegas, the FCC Public Notice issued last week reminding all video programmers of the importance of making emergency information accessible to all viewers seems very timely. The public notice serves as a good refresher on all of the obligations of video programmers designed to make emergency information available to members of the viewing audience who may have auditory or visual impairments that may make this information harder to receive.

Senate Confirms FCC’s Pai To Second Term

Among those offering congratulations was NAB President Gordon Smith: “Chairman Pai understands broadcasting’s unique role as an indispensable communications medium, and we appreciate his effort to ease outdated regulatory burdens on local radio and TV. We share his vision for a vibrant communications future.”

FCC Appoints New Chief Technology Officer

Eric Burger succeeds Henning Schulzrinne in advising the chairman and as the senior technology expert in the agency.

CBS Exec Fired After ‘Unacceptable’ Las Vegas Post

Cunningham (Sinclair) Buys Dallas TV

Sinclair’s sidecar partner is paying London Broadcasting $9.5 million for independent KTXD, according to an FCC filing. The deal would give Sinclair a duopoly in Dallas, assuming that its purchase of Tribune also passes FCC muster. Tribune owns CW affil KDAF there.


Retrans: ‘Anti-Competitive,’ ‘Regressive’

The Cable Act of 1992 was a mixed bag. Its program access provision gave satellite TV a big boost by giving operators the ability to distribute the most popular cable networks. But the retrans provision have proved to be anticompetitive and “a complete, absolute disaster for consumers.”