Regulation

THE PRICE POINT

Why Lobbying Matters For Local Broadcasters

It’s crucial for station general managers to form and nurture relationships with politicians at the federal level, but just as important are the relationships they build with state leaders. The time to do that work is now.

FTC Warns Of Action Against Twitter As Top Leaders Quit

Workers who survived last week’s mass layoffs are facing harsher work conditions and growing uncertainty about their ability to keep Twitter running safely as it continues to lose high-level leaders responsible for data privacy, cybersecurity and complying with regulations. The FTC said in a statement Thursday that it is “tracking recent developments at Twitter with deep concern. No CEO or company is above the law, and companies must follow our consent decrees,” said the agency’s statement. “Our revised consent order gives us new tools to ensure compliance, and we are prepared to use them.”

D.C. Attorney General Sues Daniel Snyder, Commanders, NFL

The office of D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine said Thursday it filed a consumer protection lawsuit against the Washington Commanders, Daniel Snyder, the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell, accusing them of colluding to deceive and mislead customers about an investigation of the team’s workplace to maintain the franchise’s fan base in pursuit of revenue.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

FCC’s New Broadband Map Debuts Nov. 18

The FCC said it will release a first version of its long-awaited, potentially more accurate, revised broadband availability map on Nov. 18, with the Biden Administration saying it would start handing out tens of billions in broadband subsidies mid-2023 based on that presumably better location data.

Former WDAF Anchor Mark Alford Wins Seat In Congress

As Washington Wavers On Regulating TikTok, Beijing Exerts Control

The wildly popular app’s link to China has sparked fears over propaganda and privacy. It’s also exposed America’s failure to safeguard the web.

NAB Wants FCC To Look At Regulating Streaming Video

The National Association of Broadcasters is looking to get the FCC to classify over-the-top video services as multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), making them subject to carriage and program-negotiation obligations.

Mark Ronchetti, Former KRQE Chief Meteorologist, Loses NM Governor Race

Fetterman Defeats Oz In First Senate Seat Flip

Republicans’ pathway to the Senate majority narrowed in the early hours of Wednesday morning, as Lt. Gov. John Fetterman defeated Republican Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania. It marked the first Senate-seat flip of the election, with Democrat Fetterman slated to fill the position currently held by retiring Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).

Eric Weinberg Accused Of Rape In Two Civil Suits

The former Scrubs and Californication writer — who recently pled not guilty to 18 counts of sexual misconduct in a criminal case — now faces civil litigation from two women seeking punitive damages.

Comcast Agrees To Modify Or Drop T-Mobile Comparison Ad Claims

The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs, the ad self-regulatory review body, has advised Comcast to modify or drop comparative wireless savings claims it makes in an ad for its Xfinity Mobile service. Comcast says it will comply with that and other NAD recommendations, which are to drop or modify its “Unlimited data for $30/line” claim in the ad and modify the ad to make sure consumers don’t think Infinity is less expensive than T-Mobile “regardless of how many mobile lines are purchased” or, specifically, that it is cheaper when four mobile lines are purchased. T-Mobile had challenged the ad claims.

Supreme Court Seems Poised To Streamline Challenges To Agency Power

The Supreme Court, which has in recent years become increasingly skeptical of the power of administrative agencies, seemed ready on Monday to make it easier to challenge their structure and authority. The court heard separate arguments in two cases, one involving the Federal Trade Commission and the other the Securities and Exchange Commission. The question in both was where and when constitutional objections to agency power may be pursued. The justices appeared ready to rule that people and companies need not wait for administrative rulings to press constitutional claims in federal court.

 

Standard General Calls NewsGuild Attacks On Tegna Deal ‘Baseless’

In a new filing with the FCC, Standard General hit back hard against the arguments made by unions against its proposed acquisition of Tegna, saying the unions have made “baseless allegations” against the deal.

 

Fox Wins Right To Buy A Stake In Fanduel, But Not At The Price It Wanted

Fox won the right to buy an 18.6% stake in sports betting company FanDuel Group from its parent company Flutter, but not at the valuation, according to a ruling Friday from a New York arbitrator. Should Fox exercise its option to take the stake, it would be at a price of at least $3.72 billion.

Settlement Reached In Suits Over FBI Posing As AP Reporter

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press will get a $145,000 settlement following a pair of lawsuits filed after an FBI agent posed as a reporter for The Associated Press and created a fake story. The long-running Freedom of Information Act cases led to appeals court decisions that will help bolster […]

Filipino-American Groups Back Standard General-Tegna Merger

LAPD Captain’s Allegiances Probed In Tipoff To CBS Executive

The LAPD says it is conducting an internal affairs investigation into the former captain in charge of the Hollywood Division of the Los Angeles Police Department, Cory Palka, and the state attorney general is probing any criminal elements after a report said he conspired with CBS to conceal sexual assault allegations against former CBS chief Les Moonves, for whom Palka served as a private bodyguard for years.

FCC To Launch Space Bureau

Given, among other things, the rise of satellite-delivered broadband as a potential competitor to terrestrial service, the FCC is creating a new Space Bureau to deal with the growing flock of birds. FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel said Thursday that the FCC’s International Bureau would be reconfigured as the Space Bureau plus a standalone Office of International Affairs. The goal is to “elevate” the significance of satellite programs and policy at the agency, Rosenworcel said.

Leslie Moonves, Paramount Will Pay $9.75 Million To CBS Shareholders As A Result Of Sexual Misconduct Claims

Leslie Moonves and Paramount Global will have to pay $9.75 million to CBS shareholders as a result of sexual misconduct claims in a deal made with the New York attorney general. This is in addition to a $14.75 million settlement as the result of a class action suit that has been awaiting approval by a New York judge.

Meta Seeks To Nix Class-Action Over Inflated Ad Metrics

Facebook parent Meta Platforms is urging a federal appellate court to prevent advertisers from proceeding with a class-action fraud lawsuit over allegedly inflated ad metrics. In papers filed Monday with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, Meta Platforms argues that the claims do not lend themselves to class-action treatment, partly because the metrics were allegedly inflated by different proportions for different advertisers.

FCC’s Carr Calls For TikTok Ban Over Data Concerns

The Council on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) should take action to ban TikTok, according to Brendan Carr, one of five FCC commissioners. It’s the strongest language Carr has used to date to urge action on TikTok. With more than 200 million downloads in the U.S. alone, the popular app is becoming a form of critical information infrastructure — making the app’s ownership by a Chinese parent company a target of growing national security concern.

FCC Upholds Fine Against Gray Television

The FCC said it will not rescind its half-million dollar fine against Gray Television for “willfully and repeatedly” violating its prohibition on owning two of the top-four rated full-power TV stations in a market. Gray said it will take the FCC to court and expects to get the decision reversed.

 

Mission Calls AT&T ‘Intractable’ In Letter To Government Officials

In the midst of a retransmission fee dispute with DirecTV, Mission Broadcasting has prepared letters for its station general managers to send to government officials blaming an intractable satellite company for the blackout impacting their constituents.

The Messy Battle Over Online Speech

Elon Musk’s buyout of Twitter promises to supercharge the battle over content moderation, which is likely headed to the U.S. Supreme Court

Garland Formally Bars Justice Dept. From Seizing Reporters’ Records

The Justice Department on Wednesday formally banned the use of subpoenas, warrants or court orders to seize reporters’ communications records or demand their notes or testimony in an effort to uncover confidential sources in leak investigations, in what amounts to a major policy shift. The rule codifies and expands a policy the attorney general issued in 2021, after it came to light that the Trump administration had secretly gone after records of reporters for The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN.

Meta Fined $24.7M For Campaign Finance Disclosure Violations

The penalty issued by King County Superior Court Judge Douglass North was the maximum allowed for more than 800 violations of Washington’s Fair Campaign Practices Act, passed by voters in 1972 and later strengthened by the Legislature. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson argued that the maximum was appropriate considering his office previously sued Facebook in 2018 for violating the same law.

Senate Has Gone A Full Year Without Voting On Biden FCC Nominee Gigi Sohn

One year ago today, President Biden nominated Gigi Sohn to the empty spot on the FCC. Sohn, a longtime consumer advocate who worked for the Obama-era FCC, would have given Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel the tiebreaking vote needed to reverse Trump-era deregulation of the broadband industry, restore net neutrality rules, and pursue other rulemakings opposed by the commission’s Republicans. But Sohn is still waiting for the Senate to vote on her nomination. With Senate elections happening in two weeks, it’s not clear that a vote on Sohn will ever happen.

Carnegie Mellon Proposes Extensive Broadband Label

Carnegie Mellon University’s CyLab Security & Privacy Institute has come up with what it says is a better and more consumer-friendly broadband service label after the FCC sought help in coming up with the right information for its own template. The FCC has been contemplating such a label for several years and came out with a voluntary version in 2016.

‘Scrubs’ Producer Eric Weinberg Pleads Not Guilty To Assault

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Eric Weinberg, executive producer for the hit TV show “Scrubs,” was denied bail on Tuesday after pleading not guilty to sexually assaulting five women whom prosecutors said he lured to photo shoots. Weinberg was arrested earlier this month after being charged with 18 felony counts including rape, oral copulation, forcible sexual […]

Bill Would Mandate FCC IDs Of Foreign-Backed Communications Companies

Republican Reps. Elise Stefanik of New York and Mike Gallagher (Wis.) have introduced a bill, the Foreign Adversary Communications Transparency (FACT) Act, that would require the FCC to maintain a list of all licensees with “sufficient” ties to authoritarian regimes, including the Chinese Communist Party. FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr says such a disclosure is overdue.