Preston Padden: Gigi Sohn Deserves FCC Seat

Preston Padden, the former top Fox and Disney executive and a long-time champion of independent broadcasters, has penned an online op ed supporting Gigi Sohn as the fifth commissioner on the currently politically tied FCC. Padden concedes he and Sohn have disagreed on any number of issues — he is a small government, free market advocate, she a progressive backer of government regulation in service of her view of the public interest. But he says she will be “an important and necessary voice for competition and disruptive new market entrants at the FCC.”

Texas Presses To Enforce Law Banning Social Media ‘Censorship’

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is pressing a federal appellate court to allow the state to enforce a new law that would prohibit Twitter, Facebook and YouTube from suppressing users’ posts based on viewpoint. U.S. District Court Judge Robert Pitman in Austin blocked the law in early December, ruling that the measure violated tech companies’ First Amendment rights to exercise editorial discretion over the material they publish.

Airlines Try To Block C-Band Rollout

The airline industry has filed an emergency petition at the FCC asking that the commission stop implementation of rules for the rollout of 5G in the band and suggesting not to do so could cost the airline industry a billion dollars and delay shipments of COVID-19 vaccines and tests. It is just the latest battle line in the air war between the FCC and aviation over what the latter says is the potential for dangerous interference to critical aviation systems like altimeters.

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January Regulatory Dates For Broadcasters

As the holiday season comes to an end and 2022 comes into focus, broadcasters have several dates and deadlines to keep up with in January and early February.

Federal Court Upholds Unlicensed Wi-Fi In 6 GHz Band

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, in a decision handed down Dec. 28), said that the FCC conclusion on the risk of harmful interference was just the sort of technical call that the court owes “significant deference.”

Lawmakers Want Biden To Play Bigger Role Pushing Tech Legislation

Lawmakers say 2022 is shaping up as a pivotal year in their efforts to tighten regulations on social media and other internet platforms — and are pushing President Biden to come off the sidelines. Democrats and Republicans are working on half a dozen or more major categories of legislation dealing with online privacy and children’s safety, the transparency of companies’ data-collection practices, accountability for content posted on social media and market dominance by a handful of major players.

As 2021 Fades To Black, We Say Goodbye

This year, TVNewsCheck reported on the deaths of outstanding men and women who shaped television as actors, lawmakers, producers, business people, journalists, on-air personalities and more. Here’s a look back at some of those influencers, each linked to their obituary.

Appeals Court Puts Part Of Ruling Against NYT Coverage Of Project Veritas On Hold

Harry Reid, Former Senate Majority Leader, Dies At 82

Harry Mason Reid, a combative former boxer-turned-lawyer, was widely acknowledged as one of toughest dealmakers in Congress, a conservative Democrat in an increasingly polarized chamber who vexed lawmakers of both parties with a brusque manner and this motto: “I would rather dance than fight, but I know how to fight.” Over a 34-year career in Washington, Reid thrived on behind-the-scenes wrangling and kept the Senate controlled by his party through two presidents — Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Barack Obama — a crippling recession and the Republican takeover of the House after the 2010 elections.

Two Suspects Arrested In Murder Of KRON Security Guard

Judge Upholds His Block On NYT Coverage Of Project Veritas

The New York State judge also ordered The Times to turn over physical copies and destroy any electronic versions of documents a lawyer prepared for the conservative group.

Chris Noth Now Also Accused Of 2002 Sexual Assault

In a virtual press conference Thursday hosted by Gloria Allred, singer Lisa Gentile alleges that the Sex and the City star violently laid hands on her in “early 2002” at her New York City apartment. This is the fifth accusation again Noth made over the last two weeks.

Broadcasters Seek Stay Of Foreign Ownership Disclosure Rule

Broadcasters have asked a federal court to stay the FCC’s implementation of the decision to boost disclosure requirements for foreign government-sponsored programming until that court can hear their appeal of the decision.

Amazon Cloud Unit Draws Antitrust Scrutiny From Khan’s FTC

The Federal Trade Commission is pushing forward with antitrust scrutiny of Amazon’s cloud computing business, according to people familiar with the matter. Lina Khan, the head of the agency and a vocal critic of the online retailer, is advancing a probe started several years ago by her predecessor.

Kyle Rittenhouse Says He May Sue Media Outlets

Weeks after Kyle Rittenhouse said he wanted to “lay low” when he was found not guilty of homicide, attempted homicide and other charges related to last year’s fatal shootings that rocked Kenosha, Wis., the teen was welcomed Monday at a conservative conference to music, pyrotechnics and a standing ovation from thousands of attendees. Rittenhouse, who shot and killed two men and injured another during mass protests against police violence in August 2020, suggested Monday that lawsuits could be filed against media outlets for how they covered his murder trial.

Man Sentenced To 3 Years Over Threats To Politicians And Journalists

CES: Record Number Of Senators To Appear In Person

New Bill Could Give More LPTV Stations Limited Must-Carry Rights

Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) are introducing a bill that would give some low-power television (LPTV) stations the opportunity to apply for Class A television service status, which includes must-carry rights. LPTVs haven’t been able to apply to the FCC for such status since 1999.

Smaller Cable/Telecoms Oppose Mandated Disaster Reporting

Broadcasters Oppose FCC Disaster Reporting Mandate

The National Association of Broadcasters is telling the FCC that it should not mandate participation in the Disaster Information Reporting System, a mandate that could pull staffers away from maintaining service in a natural disaster to “fill out a government form.”

CNN Fires Producer Facing Federal Charges

CNN fired a producer who was charged last week with trying to induce minors to engage in unlawful sexual activity. The producer, John Griffin, worked at the network for about eight years, including on the morning show New Day.

Photojournalist Fights Move To Seize Records

At 95, Newton Minow Has No Time For Retirement

After more than seven decades practicing law, Sidley Austin senior counsel Newt Minow, who will turn 96 next month, still sounds as enthusiastic about the work as a starry-eyed first-year associate. A lion of the bar, Minow was chairman of the FCC during the Kennedy administration. At a 1961 speech to the National Association of Broadcasters, he memorably called television “a vast wasteland.” (The shipwrecked SS Minnow of Gilligan’s Island later was named after him in sarcastic homage.)

Judge Denies Fox News’ Motion To Dismiss Dominion Lawsuit

A Delaware Superior Court judge denied a Fox News motion to dismiss a massive $1.6 billion lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems that alleges the news outlet made false claims about the company’s actions and influence on the 2020 presidential election. In a decision released Thursday afternoon, the court found Fox News’ defenses did not warrant the case being dismissed.

Rosenworcel Opposes Calls To Use FCC To Remove Fox News, Newsmax, Others

FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel made it clear to Republican lawmakers before her successful confirmation vote (68-31) earlier this month to a new, five-year term that she did not support efforts by “some liberal organizations” to remove conservative cable channels from their lineups or for the agency to use its license revocation power on broadcasters. That assertion came in written answers to questions submitted after her confirmation hearing last month.

FTC Moves Toward Privacy Regulations

Signaling a crackdown on data practices, the Federal Trade Commission has taken the first steps toward crafting new privacy regulations. The agency quietly said in a recent regulatory filing that it was considering “initiating a rulemaking under section 18 of the FTC Act to curb lax security practices, limit privacy abuses, and ensure that algorithmic decision-making does not result in unlawful discrimination.” The filing said the FTC was at the “prerule” stage, and indicated that the next step in the rulemaking process would occur in February.

NTIA Chief Alan Davidson’s Nominee Heads To Full Senate

The Senate Commerce Committee has voted to approve the nomination of open internet advocate Alan Davidson, a longtime executive with Mozilla and Google before that, to head the National Telecommunications & Information Administration. Three Republicans voted against the nomination: John Thune (S.D.), Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.) and Tim Scott (S.C.).

FCC Approves Trio Of Noncontroversial Items

The items include encouraging broadcast and cable to use Internet-delivered emergency warnings.

Auction Of New Over-the-Air Full-Power TV Stations Set For 2022

An auction of construction permits for 27 new TV stations is scheduled to occur in June 2022. This will be the first auction of new TV channels in over a decade — and the first in more than 15 years that includes UHF channels that are considered better suited for digital transmissions.

Ingo Rademacher Sues ABC Over ‘General Hospital’ Vaccine Mandate