FCC Head Rosenworcel On Way Out Because She’s Not Liberal Enough For Biden

FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel is not expected to be nominated by President Joe Biden to serve in the role on a permanent basis, people familiar with the matter said, because she is not liberal enough for the administration. Liberals say that by failing to choose a full-time chairman to the agency, Biden has signaled that the commission is not important to his agenda, while agency-related issues important to Democrats continue to linger, such as restoring net neutrality rules, increasing internet price transparency, scrutinizing major telecommunications mergers, and improving competition among internet providers.

Missouri Governor Vows Criminal Prosecution Of Reporter Who Found Flaw In State Website

Father Of Slain WDBJ Reporter Blasts Facebook For Hosting Videos Of Her Murder

Andy Parker, the father of WDBJ Roanoke, Va., reporter Alison Parker who was murdered during a morning live shot in 2015, wants the Federal Trade Commission to take action against Facebook for failing to remove online footage of the shooting.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

Network Affils To FCC: OTT Needs Retrans Rules

Network affiliates are again pushing the FCC to bring some over-the-top video providers under the retransmission consent regime so they will have to negotiate directly with TV stations for carriage. That push came in comments to the FCC on the agency‘s latest quadrennial review of media ownership regulation.

Calif. Governor Signs Law Giving Journalists Unrestricted Access To Protests Closed By Police

Police must allow journalists access to closed-off demonstrations and protests, under a new law signed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom. The new law, Senate Bill 98, requires that journalists be given unfettered access to closed-off protests, and prohibits law enforcement officers from assaulting, interfering or obstructing journalists from covering such events.

FCC Handing Out $163 Million More In Rural Broadband Bucks

The FCC has authorized more than $163 million to 42 providers in the second round of phase one of Rural Digital Opportunity Fund broadband buildouts. The second round will cover approximately 65,000 locations in 21 states. “More help is on the way to households without broadband,” said FCC Acting Chair Jessica Rosenworcel.

Music, Education Groups Urge Biden To Nominate Rosenworcel To FCC Chair

A host of groups have been pressing President Joe Biden to finally name a chair of the FCC, specifically to take the “acting” from in front of the title of Jessica Rosenworcel, currently heading the agency on a temporary basis. It is not unusual for there to be an acting chair during the changeover in administrations, but Rosenworcel‘s almost nine months is pushing the outside of the envelope in terms of precedent for acting chair tenures.

Texas Court Fines Dish-Infringing Streamer $7M

A Texas district court has found for Dish in the satellite service’s direct copyright infringement suit against streaming service Universe IPTV. The court found that the Arabic language IPTV service — owned and operated by defendants Mohamed Omar, Hossam Abd Elghany and Moustafa Maatouk — had provided access to Dish content to U.S. subscribers without authorization from Dish, directly infringing the satellite operators exclusive rights to distribute and perform that content.

Hill Bill Would Mandate Fox’s WWOR Air Local Programming

The Senate Commerce Committee‘s Subcommittee on Communications, Media and Broadband on Wednesday (Oct. 6) took up a bill that would force Fox to program WWOR, licensed to Secaucus, N.J., but serving the New York City market, more to committee Democrats‘ liking in terms of local news and other programming aimed at the Garden State. It is possible the bill could be appended to an end-of-year, must-pass funding package.

Tunisia Closes Unlicensed TV Station Critical Of President

A Star Corporate Lawyer Now Set To Take On Corporate America

How Jonathan Kanter, the Biden administration’s choice to be the Justice Department’s antitrust chief, became a progressive foe of Big Tech.

ATVA: Government Shouldn’t Subsidize Broadcasters

Cable and satellite operators said they aren’t looking to prevent broadcasters in “truly short” smaller markets — ones that lack a full complement of affiliated stations — from affiliating with two of the top 4-rated TV networks in the market, but said broadcasters are stretching the definition of “short” to conceivably include markets like Boston.

Embattled Ozy Media Hit With First Investor Lawsuit Over Faked Fundraising Call

In the first of what may well become a string of lawsuits against embattled Ozy Media, a fund manager that invested in the site accused it of fraud and asked for compensatory and punitive damages in a jury trial. LifeLine Legacy Holdings of Beverly Hills, Calif., which put more than $2 million into the company co-founded and led by Carlos Watson, claimed in a lawsuit that Ozy had “engaged in fraudulent, deceptive and illegal conduct” when the firm was considering early this year whether or not to invest.

Facebook Again Asks Judge To Dismiss FTC Antitrust Complaint

Trump Seeks Order Requiring Twitter To Restore His Account

Former president Donald Trump on Friday sought a court order requiring Twitter to restore his account. In a 38-page request for an injunction, Trump’s lawyers argue that his continued absence from Twitter could hurt the Republican Party’s chances of winning future elections.

NEWS ANALYSIS

Locast Ruling Could Offer Narrow Path For Successor Apps

Major TV networks notched a win recently when a New York federal court permanently barred streaming service Locast from transmitting broadcast content over the internet, but the ruling could also leave the door open for successor companies to attempt alternative streaming tactics, experts say.

Lack Of Biden FCC Picks Is Frustrating Democrats

President Biden has yet to nominate anyone to fill a vacant seat at the FCC. What’s more, the term of current acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel is set to expire when Congress adjourns at the end of the year. It adds up to a possible Republican majority on the commission under a Democratic administration, which could stymie the party’s efforts on a number of policies, including net neutrality standards.

Facebook Grilled By Senators Over Its Effect On Children

The company faces accusations that it hid research showing the mental and emotional harm Instagram, its photo-sharing app, has had on teenagers.

FCC Slaps Streamer Pluto TV With $3.5M Fine

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau says ViacomCBS’s Pluto TV has agreed to pay a $3.5 million civil penalty over claims that Pluto TV streamed off-TV video on some platforms without the availability of the requisite captions, in violation of FCC rules. The company has also admitted to liability for its actions.

Tegna Raises Antitrust Concerns Over Possible Buyout Bid

An auction of the Tegna TV station empire has been thrown into doubt as the company has questioned whether a prospective sale to a leading bidder would face antitrust concerns from U.S. regulators.

FTC Chair Names Heads Of Competition, Consumer Protection Bureaus

Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan has named the permanent heads of the Bureaus of Competition, Holly Vedova, and Consumer Protection, Samuel Levine, both of whom had already been in the roles in an acting capacity.

October Regulatory Dates For Broadcasters

As we enter the last quarter of the year, the broadcasters’ October calendar is full of important regulatory dates and deadlines. Broadcast Law Blog shares some of those dates and urges you to stay in close touch with your lawyers, engineers and consultants for the dates and deadlines applicable to your station’s operations.

FTC Asked To Prohibit ‘Surveillance’ Advertising

Calling out Facebook and Google, among others, nonprofit watchdog group Accountable Tech has called on the Federal Trade Commission to ban targeted advertising based on user data, or what it calls “surveillance” advertising. That came in a petition for rulemaking filed today (Sept. 28) that asked the FTC to stop the practice of “unseemly collection and hoarding of personal data to enable ad targeting,” which it calls an example of the unfair competition the agency is charged with preventing.

Australia Challenges Google’s Ad Dominance, Calls For Data-Use Rules

Australia’s antitrust watchdog is calling for powers to curb Google’s use of internet data to sell targeted ads, joining other regulators in saying the firm dominates the market to the point of hurting publishers, advertisers and consumers.

FCC’s Rosenworcel Announces Staff Changes

Sanford Williams promoted to senior leadership in the Office of Managing Director, Joy Ragsdale to lead the Office of Communications Business Opportunities.

FTC Chief Aims To Take On ‘Most Significant Actors’

Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan suggested last week that she plans to devote more resources to the “root causes” of unlawful activity than to prosecuting small-time violators.

Senators Urge Biden To Make Rosenworcel Permanent FCC Chair

A group of over two dozen U.S. Senators are urging President Biden to designate acting FCC Chairman Jessica Rosenworcel to a permanent position, making her the first woman to hold the office. The chairmanship of the commission has been in limbo since Biden was sworn into office on Jan. 20, 2021, with Rosenworcel operating in acting capacity.

Blumenthal Calls Out FCC On Robocalls

Facebook Will Participate In Instagram Hearing

Senators from both parties signal rough going over research revelations.

What Social Media Needs To Learn From Traditional Media

Government regulation will never fix everything wrong with online discourse. The industry needs to develop professional norms—just as journalism once did.