Opposition To Gigi Sohn‘s (Or Perhaps Any Dem‘s) FCC Confirmation Builds

The long knives appear to be out for the nomination of Gigi Sohn, the former head of Public Knowledge and one-time counselor to former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, to the open Democratic seat on the FCC. That FCC majority will be key to potential reregulation of the broadcast and broadband/cable industries that is expected under a Democratic administration.

Biden Picks TV Personality Star Jones To Lead Heritage Board

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has selected lawyer and television personality Star Jones Lugo to lead a U.S. government agency that identifies and protects sites of historic significance to the U.S. in Eastern Europe. The White House announced Friday that Jones will be the chair of the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s […]

A Broadcaster’s Regulatory Calendar For 2022

While this calendar should not be viewed as an exhaustive list of every regulatory date that your station will face, it highlights many of the most important dates for broadcasters in the coming year — including dates for license renewals, EEO Public Inspection File Reports, Quarterly Issues Programs lists, children’s television obligations, annual fee obligations and much more.

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Jan. 6 Committee Subpoenas Four Big Tech Firms

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol issued subpoenas on Thursday to four major social media companies — Alphabet, Meta, Reddit and Twitter — criticizing them for allowing extremism to spread on their platforms and saying they have failed to cooperate adequately with the inquiry.

Sen. Wicker Seeks Better NTIA-FCC Cooperation

The ranking member on the powerful Senate Commerce Committee wants the relationship between new FCC chair Jessica Rosenworcel and new NTIA head Alan Davidson to start out on the right foot. In a letter to both, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), called on the FCC and the National Telecommunications & Information Administration to work together to better coordinate spectrum policy.

Judge Denies Class-Action Status To Advertiser Battling Google Over ‘Invalid’ Clicks

DOJ: Neo-Nazi Sentenced For Plotting Against Journalists

Facebook Antitrust Suit Can Proceed, Judge Says

U.S. antitrust officials can continue their case to break up Meta, Facebook’s parent company, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday, dealing a blow to the social media giant, which had argued the complaint should be dismissed. The decision allows federal prosecutors to try to prove their allegations that Meta has illegally abused a monopoly in the marketplace for social media — and that its subsidiaries Instagram and WhatsApp should be spun off.

Sen. Tillis Plans To Block Gigi Sohn Floor Vote

Veteran fair-use advocate and former top FCC counselor Gigi Sohn has collected endorsements for the agency‘s open Democratic seat from various groups and legislators. But a single senator can block a full Senate vote on her confirmation and a single senator — Tom Tillis (R-N.C.) — is still signaling that is what he will do if Sohn‘s nomination is favorably reported out of the Senate Commerce Committee.

Jessica Rosenworcel Pledges Cooperation With New NTIA Chief

Senate Approves Alan Davidson To Head NTIA

The Senate voted Tuesday (Jan. 11) to approve the nomination of open internet advocate Alan Davidson, a longtime executive with Mozilla and Google, to head the National Telecommunications & Information Administration, but there was plenty of Republican pushback. As head of NTIA, Davidson will be responsible for overseeing $48 billion in broadband subsidy money authorized in the recently passed infrastructure act. The vote was 60 to 31, with the majority of Republicans voting against

Major League Wrestling Accuses WWE Of Making Fox Kill Tubi Streaming Deal

Major League Wrestling is accusing WWE and its CEO Vince McMahon of forcing Tubi to scuttle a streaming deal with MLW in a new lawsuit. The lawsuit, which was filed on Tuesday in California, also goes on to accuse McMahon of intimidating Vice TV, which had a programming deal with MLW, out of airing more content from the upstart wrestling league.

Senate Judiciary Committee Marking Up Big Tech Bill

The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a markup Thursday (Jan. 13) for a tough new online antitrust bill, and computer companies are not happy. The bill, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, was introduced back in October by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), chair of the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee and a self-described leading antitrust reformer, and Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas. It‘s one of many proposed bills to rein in Big Tech, and not the only one backed by Klobuchar.

NTIA Seeks Comment On Handing Out Broadband Billions

The National Telecommunications & Information Administration, the lead agency overseeing the Biden Administration’s tens of billions of dollars in new broadband subsidy aid authorized by the infrastructure bill, is seeking public input on just how to hand it out, primarily to states for their own broadband buildout efforts. NTIA, the White House’s chief communications policy adviser, has issued a request for comment, is distributing about $48 billion of the new law’s roughly $65 billion.

Demand For Spectrum Pits FCC Against Other Agencies

The implementation of 5G wireless technology has created a strain on radio frequency spectrum that is putting the industry at odds with administration agencies, with the FCC stuck in the middle. One analyst compares it to the 1960 black comedy film The Little Shop of Horrors, where a ravenous, human-eating plant can’t be sated. Similarly, telecommunications companies appear to have an endless need for additional bandwidth to provide ever-faster mobile data services.

Judge Judy Funds Scholarships At NY Law School She Attended

NEW YORK (AP) — “Judge Judy” Sheindlin has given a $5 million donation to New York Law School, where she, her daughter and granddaughter have attended. The donation will fund full tuition and books for 10 women a year, along with a summer employment fellowship after their first year, the school said. Sheindlin, whose “Judge […]

FCC Adds Social Media To Political Programming Rules

The FCC plans to vote this month to expand the online activities that define a candidate, and to square its political file rules with the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act. According to a draft of the proposed report and order, it would revise the definition of “legally qualified candidate for public office” to include creating a campaign website and the use of social media to further that campaign.

FCC Proposes To Deny NAB White Spaces Complaint

The FCC is proposing to deny a petition by broadcasters to reconsider its authorization of one of the database administrators for the TV white spaces: Nominet UK (now RED Technologies). The white spaces are spectrum in the TV band between channels that the FCC is allowing for unlicensed use.

FCC Denies Must-Carry Complaint Against DirecTV

The FCC has denied the must-carry complaint of WGBP Opelika, Ala. (licensed to Columbus, Ga.), against DirecTV, but signaled the station can qualify for carriage next time around. There are three-year cycles for must-carry elections, but a new station can file for must-carry without having to wait for a new cycle.

NTCA’s Shirley Bloomfield Calls For Gigi Sohn Confirmation

STATION ADVISORY

A Look At Developments In SoundExchange Webcasting Royalties (Including For Broadcast Simulcasts)

CTA‘s Gary Shapiro: Confirm Gigi Sohn To FCC

Add Consumer Technology Association President Gary Shapiro to the list of those strongly endorsing Gigi Sohn for the fifth seat on the FCC. In a blog post as CTA kicked off CES 2022 yesterday, Shapiro called Sohn ”a pragmatic problem solver who understands what it takes to make innovation thrive.“

Black News Channel Accused Of Gender Discrimination

Thirteen women are suing the Black News Channel for gender discrimination, accusing the Florida-based network of unequal pay for female employees and a workplace culture that forced them “to conform to sexist or misogynistic stereotypes about how women are supposed to behave.”

FCC Defends Broadcast Foreign-Ownership Disclosure Rule In Federal Court

The FCC is defending its decision to make broadcasters do some extra due diligence in identifying foreign leased programming, a decision that came amid concerns about foreign disinformation in U.S. media. Calling it a “minimal extension” of its longstanding regulations regarding foreign programming sponsorship, the FCC told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit it should not block that rule “extension.”

Rep. James Clyburn Won’t Make CES In-Person Speech

Sohn Nomination Endorsed By Ex-FCC, Homeland Security Chiefs

Three former chiefs of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau — including two former top military officers — have expressed their strong endorsement of Gigi Sohn as the regulator‘s fifth commissioner. Confirmation of Sohn, a Democrat, would tip the balance of power on an FCC that‘s currently politically tied at 2-2.

Jan. 6 Panel Seeks Interview With Sean Hannity

In a letter to the Fox News personality, Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, Democratic chairman of the House panel investigating the Capitol insurrection, said the panel wants to question him regarding his communications with former President Donald Trump, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and others in Trump’s orbit in the days surrounding the evemt.

AT&T, Verizon Agree To C-Band 5G Rollout Delay

AT&T and Verizon Communications said late Monday (Jan. 3) that the companies will delay their planned Jan. 5 rollout of 5G wireless service in the C-band, at least briefly, at the request of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg (above). The secretary had asked for a two-week delay to try and resolve issues of possible interference with radio altimeters that use the adjacent ban.

FCC Launches Affordable Connectivity Program

In accordance with congressional directives in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the FCC has introduced the Affordable Connectivity Program, the $14.2 billion successor program to the Emergency Broadband Benefit which helped almost 9 million afford internet access during the pandemic. Eligible households are encouraged to apply to receive up to $30 per month discount […]

Curtis LeGeyt Now NAB President-CEO

He succeeds Gordon Smith. Michelle Lehman is named to the newly created chief of staff role.