Verizon To FCC: Time To Reform Retrans

Verizon feels that OTT streaming customers shouldn’t bear the brunt of a retransmission impasse between their internet provider — often a cable operator — and programmers, and wants the FCC to consider this in any reform of the retransmission consent process.

Trump: Media Make Up Stories About Him

President Trump accused the media of making up a majority of stories about his administration without providing evidence to back up his claim. 

Trump To Nominate Simons For FTC Chair

President Trump will nominate antitrust attorney Joseph Simons as chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, moving to install a hand-picked leader at the consumer protection agency that’s been without a permanent head for 10 months. He also will nominate consumer advocate Rohit Chopra for the open Democratic seat.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

New Online Political Ad Regs To Be Proposed

Lawmakers plan to introduce a bill Thursday that would impose new requirements on online platforms that run political ads. The measure, first floated by Senate Democrats Mark Warner (Virginia) and Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota), has picked up Republican Sen. John McCain (Arizona) as a co-sponsor.

VidAngel Files For Bankruptcy Amid Legal Battle

FCC Puts 2-Week Hold On Sinclair-Tribune

The FCC is pausing its review of Sinclair Broadcast Group’s proposed merger with Tribune Media to allow more time for the filing of public comments. The FCC is more than halfway through its 180-day timeline for review of the merger, which would create a broadcasting giant with 223 TV stations serving 108 markets. The FCC’s Media Bureau said it is pausing the review for 15 days until Nov. 2.

STATION ADVISORY

Court Rejects Appeal Of Multilingual EAS

The U.S. Court of Appeals yesterday issued an order that denied the appeal of an FCC order that rejected a requirement that multilingual EAS alerts be provided in every market.

TVNEWSCHECK'S TV2020

Lazarus ‘Confident’ In NBC License Renewals

NBC Chairman of Broadcasting and Sports Mark Lazarus said the network isn’t worried about its broadcast licenses facing revocation following President Trump’s threatening tweets. “We feel very confident … that the FCC will support the First Amendment,” he said.

Pai: FCC Can’t Pull Licenses Over Content

The top U.S. communications regulator on Tuesday declined to criticize President Donald Trump’s attacks on broadcasters. In his first public appearance since Trump tweeted that Comcast’s NBC and other broadcasters should lose their licenses for reporting “fake news,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai instead noted that his agency could not do what the president wanted.

FCC Allocates $1B In Initial Repack Funding

On Monday, the FCC announced the initial allocation from the TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund for the reimbursement of eligible full power and Class A television stations as well as multichannel video programming distributors impacted by the Incentive Auction. The initial allocation of the Relocation Fund makes available $1 billion for reimbursement of expenses related to the construction of their post-auction facilities. Commercial stations and MVPDs may now access approximately 52% (62% for noncommercial stations) of their estimated and verified costs of construction of their post-auction facilities.

Dish Wants SCOTUS To Review Florida TV Tax

Pointing to “protectionism,” Dish Network is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up a constitutional challenge to a Florida law that sets different tax rates for cable and satellite TV services. The long-running battle focuses on the state’s communications-services tax, which is 4.92% on the sale of cable services and 9.07% on the sale of satellite-TV services.

FCC Weighs Revamping Ownership Rules

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has told an opponent of Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc.’s proposed purchase of Tribune Media that the agency may review media ownership rules before ruling on the $3.9 billion deal, something that could delay a decision on the merger.

Pai’s Bind: Defend Trump Or Free Speech

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is facing increasing pressure to distance himself from President Donald Trump’s threats against NBC — a course of action that would risk provoking the president’s Twitter-fueled wrath.

Covering The 140-Character President

Donald Trump’s Twitter feed has become a news service for political junkies. It’s also raised a tangle of new ethical and legal questions for reporters covering the White House.

Fox TV Can’t Escape ‘Empire’ Prison Lawsuit

A judge decides that Fox must face a claim for inducing prison officials to breach their duties towards incarcerated children.

Reps Want Pai To Stick To Repack Deadline

A group of House members says the commission needs to not grant extensions to the 39-month timeline of the spectrum repack.

What Facebook Did To American Democracy

The truth is that while many reporters knew some things that were going on on Facebook, no one knew everything that was going on on Facebook, not even Facebook. And so, during the most significant shift in the technology of politics since the television, the first draft of history is filled with undecipherable whorls and empty pages. Meanwhile, the 2018 midterms loom.

Rosenworcel: NBC Licenses Won’t Be Pulled

During an interview on CNN this past weekend, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said the FCC must abide by the First Amendment. The FCC, she said, “will not revoke a broadcast license simply because the president is dissatisfied with the licensees coverage.”

Pai Urged To Disavow Trump’s NBC Tweets

A group of 21 free speech activists, including three former FCC commissioners, called on the FCC chairman to publicly repudiate President’s Trump tweeted suggestion that the FCC revoke broadcast licences for airing “fake news” about him. “Such threats are what you would expect to hear in a dictatorship, not a democracy, and they must be condemned in the strongest possible terms,” they say in an open letter.

STATION ADVISORY

E-Cig, Cigar Ad Disclaimers Still On For 2018

Last year, the FDA adopted requirements to tag advertisements for vaping and e-cig advertising with a warning that e-cigs contain nicotine and that nicotine is an addictive chemical. According to the FDA, the new disclosure obligations are still set to become effective on Aug. 10, 2018.

JESSELL AT LARGE

Don’t Fret Too Much About Trump NBC Tweets

You shouldn’t get too excited about about President Trump’s tweeted threats against NBC’s broadcast licenses. He can weaponize the FCC to punish stations and networks for his bad press, but not by using license renewal challenges. He could pressure or cajole FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to act as his enforcer, but I don’t see that happening.

COMMENTARY BY DAVID WADE

Sinclair-Tribune Could Boost Partisan News

I worry that as we focus on Russian bots on Twitter influencing elections, we’re ignoring a bigger threat to democracy and the political process right here at home: the proposed merger of Sinclair Broadcast Group with Tribune Media Co. Imagine what could happen to politics if Sinclair becomes the dominant local news gatekeeper.

What A Time For Free Speech Week

With headlines over NFL players protesting during the national anthem and President Trump’s recent remarks about the press, it may seem like next week’s “Free Speech Week” is a reactive stunt. It’s not, however, with The Media Institute creating the annual October event in 2005. Institute Executive Director Richard Kaplar acknowledges that this year’s public awareness campaign comes at a critical time.

Child Sex Abuse Trial Set For Ex-TV Host

ALEXANDRIA, LA. (AP) — An accused child molester who was a television personality in Louisiana will go to trial next year. News outlets report the trial for Frank John Selas III is set for February 5. Selas, also known as Mr. Wonder, was a popular host on a children’s show that KNOE-TV aired during the 1970s. As […]

Ind. Lawmaker Drafts Bill To License Journos

An Indiana lawmaker has drafted a bill that would require professional journalists to be licensed by state police. Rep. Jim Lucas had the measure drawn up earlier this year and said he may file it to drive home a point about his signature issue — gun rights. “If you’re OK licensing my Second Amendment right, what’s wrong with licensing your First Amendment right?” he said.

House Dems Want Hearing On Trump Threats

A pair of top House Democrats are calling for Congress to hold public hearings on President Trump’s threats to revoke the broadcast licenses of media outlets he doesn’t like. Reps. Frank Pallone Jr. and Mike Doyle said today that they want all five members of the FCC to testify before Congress to disavow the president’s comments “publicly and under oath.”

Ryan Backs Free Speech Amid Trump Threat

House Speaker Paul Ryan told journalists Thursday, “I’m a constitutional conservative, I’m for the First Amendment.”

Rosenworcel Wary Of Sinclair Deal, ATSC 3.0

In a speech before Catholic bishops, the Democratic FCC commissioner says she fears the Sinclair-Tribune merger will “do harm to the time-tested principles of diversity, localism and competition.” Because ATSC 3.0 signals are incompatible with TV receivers now in use, she says, the new standard will force consumers to buy new sets. “It’s a tax on every household with a television.” NAB counters that the commissioner “misunderstands” the standard.

Trump Nominates AccuWeather CEO To Lead NOAA

Another License Threat From Donald Trump

President Trump is doubling down on his suggestion that the federal government “challenge” the broadcast licenses of networks that report what he deems “fake news.”