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Spotlight

    Mass Media

    Contact

    Clifford M. Harrington
    Partner
    Washington, DC   
    +1.202.663.8000
    July 2012
    FCC Enforcement Monitor
    Authors: Scott R. Flick, Lauren A. Birzon
    Headlines:
    • FCC Assesses $68,000 in Fines for Unauthorized STL Operations
    • EAS Failures Lead to $8,000 Fine

    July 2012
    Preparing to Post Your Full-Power or Class A Television Station Public Inspection and Political Files on the FCC’s Website
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Lauren Lynch Flick, Paul A. Cicelski
    While most broadcasters have only seen a demonstration of the FCC’s new online Public Inspection File database, they must begin to use it in just one week’s time. Advance preparations and a good understanding of the filing requirements are needed to minimize the impact of this dramatic shift in the FCC’s rules on television broadcasters’ operations.
    July 2012
    Biennial Ownership Reports are due by August 1, 2012 for Noncommercial Radio Stations in Illinois and Wisconsin, and Non-commercial Television Stations in California, North Carolina, and South Carolina
    Authors: Lauren Lynch Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    The staggered deadlines for filing Biennial Ownership Reports by noncommercial radio and television stations remain in effect and are tied to each station’s respective license renewal filing deadline.
    July 2012
    Broadcast Station EEO Advisory
    Authors: Lauren Lynch Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    This Broadcast Station Advisory is directed to radio and television stations licensed to communities in California, Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Wisconsin, and highlights the upcoming deadlines for compliance with the FCC’s EEO Rule.
    July 2012
    Cable and Satellite Royalty Claims Due to the Copyright Royalty Board by July 31, 2012
    Authors: Scott R. Flick, Lauren Lynch Flick
    This advisory is directed to television stations with locally-produced programming whose signals were carried by at least one cable system located outside the station’s local service area or by a satellite provider that provided service to at least one viewer outside the station’s local service area during 2011. These stations may be eligible to file royalty claims for compensation with the United States Copyright Royalty Board. These filings are due by Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at 5:00pm (EDT).
    July 2012
    Pre-Filing and Post-Filing License Renewal Announcement Reminder for TV Stations in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands
    Authors: Lauren Lynch Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    TV, Class A TV, and certain LPTV stations licensed to communities in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands must begin airing pre-filing license renewal announcements on August 1, 2012. License renewal applications for these stations and in-state TV translator stations are due by October 1, 2012.
    July 2012
    Pre-Filing and Post-Filing License Renewal Announcement Reminder for Radio Stations in Iowa and Missouri
    Authors: Lauren Lynch Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    Full power commercial and noncommercial radio stations and LPFM stations licensed to communities in Iowa and Missouri must begin airing pre-filing license renewal announcements on August 1, 2012. License renewal applications for these stations, and for in-state FM translator stations, are due by October 1, 2012.
    April 2012
    Political Broadcasting Advisory
    Authors: Scott R. Flick, Clifford M. Harrington, Lauren Lynch Flick, Miles S. Mason, Richard R. Zaragoza, Paul A. Cicelski, John K. Hane, Andrew S. Kersting, Christine A. Reilly, Lauren A. Birzon

    Introduction

    Ten years after adoption of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (“BCRA”) of 2002, popularly known as “McCain-Feingold,” Congress’ and the FCC’s interest in political broadcasting and political advertising practices remains undiminished. Broadcast stations must ensure that a broad range of federal mandates are met, providing “equal opportunities” to all candidates using the stations facilities, affording federal candidates for public office “reasonable access” and treating all candidates for public office no less favorably than the station treats its most favored advertisers. Accordingly, it is imperative that broadcasters be very familiar with what is expected of them in this regulatory area, that they have adequate policies and practices in place to ensure full compliance, and that they remain vigilant to legislative, FCC, and FEC changes in the law.
    March 2012
    Broadcast Station EEO Advisory
    Authors: Lauren Lynch Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    This Broadcast Station EEO Advisory is directed to radio and television stations licensed to communities in Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas, and highlights the upcoming deadlines for compliance with the FCC’s EEO Rule.
    March 2012
    Pre-Filing and Post-Filing License Renewal Announcement Reminder for Radio Stations in Michigan and Ohio
    Authors: Lauren Lynch Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    Full power commercial and noncommercial radio stations and LPFM stations licensed to communities in Michigan and Ohio must begin airing pre-filing license renewal announcements on April 1, 2012. License renewal applications for these stations, and for in-state FM translator stations, are due by June 1, 2012.
    March 2012
    Biennial Ownership Reports are due by April 2, 2012 for Noncommercial Radio Stations in Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee, and for Noncommercial Television Stations in Texas
    Authors: Lauren Lynch Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    The staggered deadlines for filing Biennial Ownership Reports by noncommercial radio and television stations remain in effect and are tied to each station’s respective license renewal filing deadline.
    March 2012
    Pre-Filing and Post-Filing License Renewal Announcement Reminder for TV Stations in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington DC
    Authors: Scott R. Flick, Lauren Lynch Flick
    TV, Class A TV, LPTV, and TV translator stations licensed to communities in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington DC must begin airing pre-filing license renewal announcements on April 1, 2012. License renewal applications for these stations are due by June 1, 2012.
    September 2011
    FCC Enforcement Monitor
    Authors: Scott R. Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    Headlines:
    • Low Power Broadcaster’s Defiance Results in $7,000 Upward Adjustment
    • Unauthorized Post-Sunset Operations Lead to $4,000 Fine for AM Station
    August 2011
    FCC Enforcement Monitor
    Authors: Scott R. Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    Headlines:
    • Late-Filed License Application Garners $7,000 Fine
    • FCC Fines Noncommercial Broadcaster $5,000 for Alien Ownership Violation
    8/15/2011
    FCC Sets September 14, 2011 as the Deadline for Payment of FY 2011 Annual Regulatory Fees
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Christine A. Reilly
    The FCC has announced that full payment of all applicable Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2011 must be received no later than September 14, 2011.
    July 2011
    FCC Enforcement Monitor
    Authors: Scott R. Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    Headlines:
    • FCC Increases Fine to $25,000 for Main Studio and Public File Violations
    • FCC Reaffirms $10,000 Public File Violation Against Student-Run Noncommercial FM Station
    May 2011
    Making It Work: A Broadcaster’s Guide to the FCC’s Equal Employment Opportunity Rules and Policies
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Christine A. Reilly, Lauren A. Birzon
    Introduction June 1, 2011 marks the beginning of a four-year cycle during which all commercial and noncommercial radio and television stations throughout the United States will come under special scrutiny by the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”), as it considers whether to renew each station’s license to broadcast.
    10/18/2010
    Comment Dates Set in FCC Proceeding Transitioning Low Power Television Stations to Digital Operations
    Authors: Lauren Lynch Flick, Paul A. Cicelski
    The FCC's Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on the conversion of low power television stations from analog to digital operation was published in the Federal Register today. Comments on the FCC's proposals are due on December 17, 2010, with reply comments due on January 18, 2011.
    September 2010
    2010 Third Quarter Issues/Programs List Advisory for Broadcast Stations
    Authors: Lauren Lynch Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    The next Quarterly Issues/Programs List (“Quarterly List”) must be placed in stations’ local public inspection files by October 10, 2010, reflecting information for the months of July, August and September, 2010.
    September 2010
    2010 Third Quarter Children’s Television Programming Documentation Advisory
    Authors: Lauren Lynch Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    The next Children’s Television Programming Report must be filed with the FCC and placed in stations’ local Public Inspection Files by October 10, 2010, reflecting programming aired during the months of July, August and September, 2010.
    9/20/2010
    Biennial Ownership Reports Are Due by October 1, 2010 for Noncommercial Educational Radio Stations in Iowa and Missouri, and for Noncommercial Educational Television Stations in Alaska, American Samoa, Florida, Guam, Hawaii, Mariana Islands, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and Washington
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Christine A. Reilly
    The staggered deadlines for filing Biennial Ownership Reports by noncommercial educational radio and television stations remain in effect and are tied to their respective anniversary renewal filing deadlines.
    8/31/2010
    Reminder: FCC Fiscal Year 2010 Annual Regulatory Fees Are Due Today
    Authors: Scott R. Flick, Paul A. Cicelski
    As we reported in a previous Client Alert, full payment of all applicable Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2010 must be received no later than today, August 31, 2010, at the Commission’s St. Louis, Missouri address by 11:59 PM, Eastern Daylight Time.
    July 2010
    Biennial Ownership Reports are Due by August 2, 2010 for Noncommercial Educational Radio Stations in Illinois and Wisconsin, and for Noncommercial Educational Television Stations in California, North Carolina and South Carolina
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Christine A. Reilly
    The staggered deadlines for filing Biennial Ownership Reports by noncommercial educational radio and television stations remain in effect and are tied to the anniversary date of their respective license renewal filing deadlines
    July 2010
    Cable and Satellite Royalty Claims Due to be filed with Copyright Royalty Board by August 2, 2010
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Lauren Lynch Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    This advisory is directed to television stations with locally-produced programming whose signals were carried by at least one cable system located outside the station’s local service area or by a satellite provider which provided service to at least one viewer outside the station’s local service area during 2009. Such stations are eligible to file royalty claims for compensation with the United States Copyright Royalty Board in Washington, DC. These filings are due by Monday, August 2, 2010 at 5pm (EDT) because the customary deadline of July 31 falls on a weekend.1
    July 2010
    Broadcast Station EEO Advisory
    Authors: Lauren Lynch Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    This Broadcast Station EEO Advisory is directed to radio and television stations licensed to communities in: California, Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina and Wisconsin, and highlights the upcoming deadlines for compliance with the FCC’s EEO Rule.
    July 2010
    FCC Releases Final Regulatory Fee Amounts
    Authors: Lauren Lynch Flick, Scott R. Flick
    FCC Eliminates Earlier Proposed Fee Reductions for Radio and Sets Hefty Increases for UHF Television Stations
    7/1/2010
    Comments Are Due July 12, 2010 and Reply Comments Are Due July 26, 2010 in the FCC’s Media Ownership Quadrennial Review Proceeding
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Paul A. Cicelski
    In May, the FCC released a Notice of Inquiry (“NOI”) as part of its 2010 Quadrennial Review of its media ownership rules. According to the FCC, the purpose of the NOI is to take a “fresh look at the current rules to determine whether they promote the Commission’s goals of competition, localism and diversity.” The NOI is generally asking for comment regarding its policy goals and how to apply its specific media ownership rules in order to best achieve those goals. The Commission is planning on using the comments filed in this proceeding to help the agency formulate a subsequent formal Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Pursuant to recent publication of the NOI in the Federal Register, comments are due July 12, 2010, with reply comments due July 26, 2010.
    6/24/2010
    Reminder—All Commercial Television and Radio Stations Must File Their Biennial Ownership Reports by July 8, 2010. FCC Announces Waiver Procedures for Recently Sold Stations, and a Last Minute Effort Is Underway to Have the FCC’s New Biennial Ownership Report Form Declared Unlawful.
    Authors: Scott R. Flick, Paul A. Cicelski
    As we wrote in an April 8, 2010 Client Alert, the FCC revised its Ownership Report form for commercial stations, Form 323, and announced that the deadline for all commercial broadcasters to file the new Form 323 is July 8, 2010. The FCC also expanded the types of entities and licensees required to file Form 323, and announced that owners of all commercial AM, FM, TV, LPTV and Class A TV stations would need to file the new form.
    June 2010
    2010 Second Quarter Children’s Television Programming Documentation Advisory
    Authors: Scott R. Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    The next Children’s Television Programming Report must be filed with the FCC and placed in stations’ local Public Inspection Files by July 10, 2010, reflecting programming aired during the months of April, May and June, 2010.
    May 2010
    Broadcast Station EEO Advisory
    Authors: Lauren Lynch Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    This Broadcast Station EEO Advisory is directed to radio and television stations licensed to communities in: Arizona, the District of Columbia, Idaho, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming, and highlights the upcoming deadlines for compliance with the FCC’s EEO Rule.
    May 2010
    Biennial Ownership Reports Are Due by June 1, 2010 for Noncommercial Educational Radio Stations in Michigan and Ohio, and for Noncommercial Educational Television Stations in Arizona, the District of Columbia, Idaho, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Christine A. Reilly
    The staggered deadlines for filing Biennial Ownership Reports by noncommercial educational radio and television stations remain in effect and are tied to their respective anniversary renewal filing deadlines.
    5/24/2010
    FCC Seeks Comment on Possible Revisions to Its Rules Regarding the Construction, Marking, and Lighting of Towers
    Authors: Paul A. Cicelski, Lauren Lynch Flick, Scott R. Flick
    The FCC recently released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) proposing to revise and streamline its Part 17 rules regarding construction, marking, and lighting of antenna structures. Pursuant to the Federal Register publication that occurred today, Comments are due on July 20, 2010, with Reply Comments due on August 19, 2010.
    5/17/2010
    Congress Passes Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act of 2010
    Authors: Lauren Lynch Flick, Scott R. Flick
    The long strange trip of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act ("STELA" for short) seems finally to be ending. After satellite carriers' ability to import distant broadcast signals into stations' local markets expired on December 31, 2009, Congress passed a number of short-term extensions of the predecessor law, SHVERA. The Senate passed three different versions of the bill since late 2009. The House, with a lightning fast voice vote, accepted the Senate's last version unchanged and sent the legislation to the White House for a signature from the President. The President is expected to sign the bill shortly.
    4/29/2010
    DISCLOSE Act Released in Response to Supreme Court’s Citizens United Ruling; Senate Version Would Greatly Impact Broadcasters, Cable, and Satellite Television Operators
    Authors: Clifford M. Harrington, Scott R. Flick, Paul A. Cicelski
    Several members of Congress led by Senator Schumer and Congressman Van Hollen introduced today the “Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections” Act—the DISCLOSE Act. The House and Senate versions differ, with the Senate version vastly expanding eligibility for Lowest Unit Charge, reducing the Lowest Unit Charge, prohibiting preemption of political ads, and requiring the FCC to perform political audits of broadcasters, cable, and satellite operators.
    April 2010
    FCC Enforcement Monitor
    Authors: Scott R. Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    Topics include:
    • FCC Issues $30,000 and $12,000 Fines to Three Co-owned Commercial Television Stations and Three Co-owned Class A Television Stations for Failure to Publicize the Existence and Location of Their Quarterly Children’s Television Programming Reports
    • FCC Fines Nonresponsive Texas Cable Operator $38,000 for Emergency Alert System and Antenna Structure Violations
    • FCC Fines Broadcasters $7,000 for Failure to Timely File License Renewal Applications and for Unauthorized Operation
    • Idaho Station Fined $4,000 for Failure to Fully Disclose All Material Terms of a Contest
    4/16/2010
    FCC Proposes FY 2010 Regulatory Fees
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Paul A. Cicelski, Christine A. Reilly
    The FCC has announced its proposed schedule of annual regulatory fees for Fiscal Year 2010. The final fee amounts and filing deadline will be announced in a Public Notice following consideration of Comments to be filed by May 4, 2010 and Reply Comments to be filed by May 11, 2010.
    4/8/2010
    Commercial Broadcast Stations, Including Class A and LPTV Stations, Must File Biennial Ownership Reports on New Form 323 by July 8, 2010
    Authors: Lauren Lynch Flick, Scott R. Flick
    The FCC’s Media Bureau has announced that a new version of the Biennial Ownership Report Form for commercial broadcast stations, FCC Form 323, will be available on its website as of April 9, 2010. All commercial broadcast station owners must file their biennial ownership reports using the new form by July 8, 2010. However, the data used to complete the form must be accurate as of November 1, 2009.
    March 2010
    FCC Enforcement Monitor
    Authors: Scott R. Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    Topics include:
    • FCC Reduces Fine from $9000 to $1000 Based on Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program Participation
    • FCC Fines Three Commercial Television Stations for Failure to Publicize the Existence and Location of Their Quarterly Children’s Television Programming Reports
    • New York FM Station Fined $16,000 for Violating FCC’s Telephone Broadcast Rule
    • FCC Imposes a Reduced $15,200 Fine on New York Low Power Television Station for Multiple Violations
    • FCC Fines Missouri Noncommercial FM Station $7,200 for Failure to Properly Maintain a Public Inspection File
    3/22/2010
    The National Broadband Plan: Understanding the Proposed Reallocation of Broadcast Spectrum and What It Means for All Users of Spectrum
    Authors: Scott R. Flick, Lauren Lynch Flick
    Businesses dependent on spectrum should be alert to FCC trend toward greater frequency sharing and incumbent dislocation.
    March 2010
    Broadcast Station EEO Advisory
    Authors: Lauren Lynch Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    This Broadcast Station EEO Advisory is directed to radio and television stations licensed to communities in: Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas, and highlights the upcoming deadlines for compliance with the FCC’s EEO Rule.
    March 2010
    2010 First Quarter Issues/Programs List Advisory for Broadcast Stations
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Christine A. Reilly
    The next Quarterly Issues/Programs List (“Quarterly List”) must be placed in stations’ local public inspection files by April 10, 2010, reflecting information for the months of January, February and March, 2010.
    March 2010
    2010 First Quarter Children’s Television Programming Documentation Advisory
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Christine A. Reilly
    The next Children’s Television Programming Report must be filed with the FCC and placed in stations’ local Public Inspection Files by April 10, 2010, reflecting programming aired during the months of January, February and March 2010.
    March 2010
    Biennial Ownership Reports Are Due by April 1, 2010 for Noncommercial Educational Radio Stations in Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Tennessee, and for Noncommercial Educational Television Stations in Texas
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Christine A. Reilly
    The FCC has suspended indefinitely the deadline for commercial radio and television stations to file their Biennial Ownership Reports. However, the deadlines for filing Biennial Ownership Reports by noncommercial educational radio and television stations remain in effect, tied to their respective anniversary renewal filing deadlines.
    March 2010
    Political Broadcasting Advisory
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Clifford M. Harrington
    This Advisory provides a review of the FCC’s political broadcasting regulations.
    February 2010
    FCC Proposes Rule Changes to Improve Decision-Making and Promote Participation in FCC Proceedings
    Authors: Paul A. Cicelski, Scott R. Flick
    The Federal Communications Commission recently proposed revisions to its rules as part of its stated goal to “reform and transform the agency into a model of excellence in government.” As part of its goal, the FCC has released a Second Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) proposing to modify its ex parte communications rules, which govern the disclosure of communications with the commissioners and FCC staff when all parties to a proceeding are not present.
    2/19/2010
    FCC Announces Effective Date of Revised Closed Captioning Complaint Procedures
    Authors: Lauren Lynch Flick, Scott R. Flick
    Video Programming Distributors Must Notify FCC by March 22, 2010 of Certain Contact Information and Begin Compliance with Telephone Directory Listing Requirements.
    2/17/2010
    FCC Grants Limited Waiver of Requirement to Publish Closed Captioning Contact Information in Local Telephone Directories
    Authors: Lauren Lynch Flick, Scott R. Flick
    In response to a petition for clarification filed by DISH Network, L.L.C. (“DISH”), the FCC has issued a “limited waiver” of its requirement that video programming distributors, including television stations, publish two types of information in local telephone directories—contact information for the receipt and handling of immediate closed captioning concerns, and contact information for the receipt and handling of written closed captioning complaints.
    February 2010
    The FCC Proposes National Emergency Alert System Testing Rules
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Paul A. Cicelski
    Comments are due by March 1, 2010 and Reply Comments are due March 30, 2010 to the FCC’s proceeding to implement national emergency alert testing at least once a year and to collect station data from such tests.
    February 2010
    FCC Approves Digital Power Increase for Most FM IBOC Stations
    Authors: Scott R. Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    The FCC has released an Order amending its digital audio broadcasting (“DAB”) rules for FM stations operating digital facilities. According to the Order, the underlying purpose for the change is to “improve FM digital coverage and to eliminate regulatory impediments to FM radio’s ability to meet its full potential and deliver its promised benefits.”
    January 2010
    FCC Enforcement Monitor
    Authors: Scott R. Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    Topics include:
    • FCC Imposes a Reduced $17,500 Fine on Wyoming Commercial AM/FM Station Combo for Multiple Violations
    • Pennsylvania TV Station Fined $32,000 for Violating FCC’s Sponsorship ID Rule
    • Licensee Fined $13,000 for Antenna Structure Violations
    • FCC Fines California Noncommercial FM Station $9,000 for Failure to Properly Maintain a Public Inspection File
    January 2010
    Radio, Television, and Other Users of Wireless Microphones Must Migrate Out of the 700 MHz Band
    Authors: Lauren Lynch Flick, Scott R. Flick
    FCC establishes June 12, 2010 as a “hard date” for wireless microphones and certain broadcast low power auxiliary operations to vacate 700 MHz spectrum. Some stations will have to move much sooner.
    January 2010
    FCC Extends Comment Deadlines in Its “Empowering Parents and Protecting Children in an Evolving Media Landscape” Proceeding
    Author: Lauren Lynch Flick
    Proceeding Is Important to Electronic Media Content Producers, Television Stations, Advertisers, Educators, Electronics Manufacturers, and Privacy Experts.
    January 2010
    Broadcast Station EEO Advisory
    Authors: Lauren Lynch Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    This Broadcast Station EEO Advisory is directed to radio and television stations licensed to communities in: Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York and Oklahoma, and highlights the upcoming deadlines for compliance with the FCC’s EEO Rule.
    January 2010
    Biennial Ownership Reports Are Due by February 1, 2010 for Noncommercial Radio Stations in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and New York, and for Noncommercial Television Stations in Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Christine A. Reilly
    The FCC has established a national filing deadline for commercial radio and television stations to file their Biennial Ownership Reports. However, the schedule for the filing of Biennial Ownership Reports by noncommercial stations remains staggered, tied to their anniversary renewal filing deadlines.
    January 2010
    2010 Broadcasters' Calendar
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Scott R. Flick, Lauren Lynch Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    Items of Note in 2010
    1. Biennial Ownership Report Filing Requirements for Commercial Stations: The biennial ownership filing requirement for commercial stations has been stayed indefinitely as of the date of this publication. This stay arose out of difficulties implementing a new version of FCC Form 323 for use by commercial stations, including Class A television stations. The stay does not affect the biennial ownership reporting requirements of noncommercial stations, the due dates for which are still tied to the anniversary date of the station’s license renewal application deadline (and which are noted in this calendar). When the FCC resolves its difficulties surrounding use of the new Form 323, commercial broadcast stations will be required to file a biennial ownership report on the new form with information that is current as of November 1, 2009. Broadcasters should be alert to the announcement by the FCC of the new due date.
    12/23/2009
    FCC Suspends the Use of the New FCC Form 323 and Postpones the January 11, 2010 Deadline for Filing Biennial Ownership Reports by Commercial Broadcast Licensees
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Christine A. Reilly
    This afternoon, the Commission released an Order announcing that, due to technical difficulties, it was temporarily suspending the use of the new FCC Form 323 and, as a consequence, was postponing the January 11, 2010 deadline for the filing of Biennial Ownership Reports for commercial broadcast licensees. The Commission stated that it would announce the reactivation of the new form and the new filing deadline in a subsequent Public Notice. The Order states that the Commission “will temporarily suspend the ability to start a new biennial Form 323 during this interim suspension period but will allow filers to complete and file forms that they have already started should they wish to do so.” The Order also states that the new filing deadline will be at least 90 days from the date that the new form is made available for new biennial filings.
    December 2009
    2009 Fourth Quarter Children’s Television Programming Documentation Advisory
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Christine A. Reilly
    The next Children’s Television Programming Report must be filed with the FCC and placed in stations’ local Public Inspection Files by January 10, 2010, reflecting programming aired during the months of October, November and December 2009.
    December 2009
    2009 Fourth Quarter Issues/Programs List Advisory for Broadcast Stations
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Christine A. Reilly
    The next Quarterly Issues/Programs List (“Quarterly List”) must be placed in stations’ local public inspection files by January 10, 2010, reflecting information for the months of October, November and December 2009.
    December 2009
    2009 Fourth Quarter FCC Form 388 DTV Quarterly Activity Station Report for Certain Television Stations Must Be Filed by January 10, 2010
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Christine A. Reilly
    As previously reported, stations that have not yet completed construction or commenced operation of their final post-transition DTV facilities must continue the required general DTV Consumer Education Initiatives until they commence operation on their post-transition DTV facilities. Such stations will be required to file another FCC Form 388 by January 10, 2010, providing the Commission with the details of the DTV Consumer initiatives that they performed between October 1 and December 31, 2009.
    December 2009
    FCC Announces New Address for Filing of Paper Documents
    Authors: Scott R. Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    Effective December 28, 2009, hand or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission’s Secretary must be submitted at its main building: 445 12th Street, SW, Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554.
    December 2009
    FCC Gives Television Broadcast Industry Little Time to Defend Its Spectrum Allocation; Comment Deadline Is Set at December 21, 2009
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, John K. Hane, Christine A. Reilly
    Earlier this week, the FCC released a Public Notice seeking “specific data on the use of spectrum currently licensed to broadcast television stations.” According to the Public Notice, in other proceedings related to the FCC’s development of a National Broadband Plan some commenters “have expressed concern that the United States will not have spectrum sufficient to meet the demand for wireless broadband services in the near future and have urged the Commission to make available more spectrum for commercial uses.” In response, the Public Notice states that “the FCC is reviewing various spectrum bands to understand if all or a portion of the spectrum within these bands could be repurposed for wireless broadband services.”
    December 2009
    FCC Announces Online Availability of New FCC Form 323 Ownership Report and Provides Interim Response to Concerns Regarding Use of Social Security Number
    Authors: Scott R. Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    Today, the FCC released a Public Notice announcing that as of December 9, 2009, the new FCC Form 323 will become available online in the FCC’s CDBS filing system.
    November 2009
    Assessing the Impact on Radio and Television Stations of the Federal Trade Commission’s Recently Revised Guidance on Endorsements and Testimonials
    Author: Lauren Lynch Flick
    On December 1, 2009, the FTC’s newly-revised Guides on Endorsements and Testimonials will become effective. Broadcasters, including their on-air talent, need to know when a claim is an endorsement/testimonial, what on-air disclosures may be required, and what their obligations are to ensure that claims are truthful and not misleading. These endorsement/testimonial-related issues can arise in a variety of contexts, including when station personnel voice commercials, prepare copy for advertisers, engage in banter regarding a product or service, serve as a spokesperson for an advertiser, or provide content to their station websites.
    November 2009
    Commercial Radio and Television Stations Given Until January 11, 2010 to File Their Biennial Ownership Reports on FCC Form 323
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Christine A. Reilly
    In a Public Notice released by the FCC today, the Media Bureau has announced that it has extended to January 11, 2010, the prior December 15, 2009 deadline for commercial radio and television broadcast station licensees to file their Biennial Ownership Reports on revised FCC Form 323.
    November 2009
    Broadcast Station EEO Advisory
    Authors: Scott R. Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    This Broadcast Station EEO Advisory is directed to radio and television stations licensed to communities in: Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Vermont, and highlights the upcoming deadlines for compliance with the FCC’s EEO Rule.
    November 2009
    Annual DTV Ancillary/Supplementary Services Report for Commercial Digital Television Stations
    Authors: Scott R. Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    All commercial and noncommercial educational digital television broadcast station licensees and permittees must file FCC Form 317 to report whether their stations provided ancillary or supplemental services at any time during the twelve-month period ending on the preceding September 30. The FCC Form 317 is due by December 1, 2009. Electronic filing of FCC Form 317 is mandatory. Paper versions will not be accepted for filing unless accompanied by an appropriate request for waiver.
    10/16/2009
    FCC Announces Filing Freeze for FM Minor Change Applications and Allotment Petitions and Creates Filing Window for Noncommercial Educational FM New Station Construction Permits
    Authors: Scott R. Flick, Paul A. Cicelski
    The FCC issued two Public Notices today which, together: (1) impose a freeze on the filing of all FM commercial and noncommercial educational (“NCE”) minor change applications from 11:59 pm, November 25, 2009, through December 18, 2009; (2) impose a freeze, beginning today, October 16, 2009, through December 18, 2009, on any applications proposing to modify the reference coordinates of 67 vacant non-reserved FM Band allotments listed on Attachment A of the Public Notice (attached hereto), as well as on any petitions or counterproposals that propose a change in the channel, class, community, or reference coordinates of those allotments; and (3) create a filing window for applications for those 67 vacant FM allotments reserved for NCE use.
    10/2/2009
    FCC Postpones November 1 Ownership Report Filing Deadline
    Authors: Scott R. Flick, Paul A. Cicelski
    As we wrote in an earlier Advisory, the FCC adopted an order in April 2009 revising FCC Form 323, its Ownership Report form for commercial stations. It also expanded the types of entities and licensees required to file Form 323, announcing that owners of all commercial AM, FM, TV, LPTV and Class A TV stations would need to file the new form by November 1, 2009. The FCC later suspended its existing biennial Ownership Report filing requirement for stations that were to have filed in June, August, or October of 2009, since those stations would have to file the new Form 323 by November 1, 2009 in any event.
    September 2009
    2009 Third Quarter FCC Form 388 DTV Activity Station Report Due October 10th
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Paul A. Cicelski, Christine A. Reilly
    As previously reported, stations that have not yet completed construction or commenced operation of their final post-transition DTV facilities must continue the required general DTV Consumer Education Initiatives until they commence operation on their post-transition DTV facilities. Such stations will be required to file another FCC Form 388 by October 10, 2009, providing the Commission with the details of the DTV Consumer initiatives that they performed between July 1 and September 30, 2009.
    September 2009
    Noncommercial Stations’ Biennial Ownership Reports: Due October 1, 2009
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Christine A. Reilly
    As we recently reported, the FCC has altered the schedule for the filing of Biennial Ownership Reports by commercial broadcast stations. Those Reports must now be filed by November 1, 2009 and by the same date every two years thereafter. However, the schedule for the filing of Biennial Ownership Reports for noncommercial broadcast stations remains unchanged.
    September 2009
    2009 Third Quarter Issues/Programs List Advisory for Broadcast Stations
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Christine A. Reilly
    The next Quarterly Issues/Programs List ("Quarterly List") must be placed in stations' local public inspection files by October 10, 2009, reflecting information for the months of July, August and September 2009.
    September 2009
    2009 Third Quarter Children's Television Programming Documentation
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Christine A. Reilly
    The next Children's Television Programming Report must be filed with the FCC and placed in stations' local Public Inspection Files by October 10, 2009, reflecting programming aired during the months of July, August and September 2009.
    September 2009
    Broadcast Station EEO Advisory
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Christine A. Reilly
    This Broadcast Station EEO Advisory is directed to radio and television stations licensed to communities in: Iowa, Missouri, Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Guam, American Samoa, Marianas Islands, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and highlights the upcoming deadlines for compliance with the FCC's EEO Rule.
    September 2009
    FY 2009 Regulatory Fees Payment Deadline: September 22, 2009
    Authors: Christine A. Reilly, Richard R. Zaragoza
    Federal Communications Commission has announced that full payment of all applicable Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2009 must be received no later than September 22, 2009. The price of missing the deadline is a 25% up-charge.
    September 2009
    Commercial Stations’ Biennial Ownership Reports: File by November 1, 2009
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Christine A. Reilly
    As previously reported, the FCC released an Order on May 29, 2009, suspending the biennial ownership reporting requirement for commercial radio and television broadcast stations that would otherwise have been required to file their reports by June 1, August 1 or October 1, 2009.
    August 2009
    Paying the Piper: Avoiding Payola/Plugola Violations and Minimizing Liability
    Author: Scott R. Flick
    The volatile combination of broadcast employees concerned about their income and job security, and cash-strapped businesses looking for cheap and effective ways to promote themselves in difficult economic times, creates an unusually fertile ground for payola and plugola violations. Complicating matters are state efforts to prohibit "payola" activities that are legal under federal payola law. Even being accused of payola can be devastating to a broadcaster, and stations must be extremely diligent in uncovering and preventing payola and plugola violations.
    August 2009
    FY 2009 Annual Regulatory Fees’ Current Payment Deadline: September 22, 2009
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Christine A. Reilly
    In its assessment letters to regulatees, the Commission has announced that full payment of all applicable Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2009 must be received no later than September 22, 2009.
    August 2009
    FCC Sets Annual Regulatory Fees for 2009; Payment Deadline Expected in September
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Christine A. Reilly
    The FCC has released its final schedule of Annual Regulatory Fees for FY 2009. It is expected that those fees will become due and payable sometime in September. We will issue a further Client Advisory as soon as the Commission issues a Public Notice announcing the applicable deadline.
    July 2009
    Reminder: Biennial Ownership Reports Are Due August 1, 2009 for Select Noncommercial Educational Radio and Television Stations
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Paul A. Cicelski, Christine A. Reilly
    As we recently reported, the FCC has altered the schedule for the filing of Biennial Ownership Reports by commercial broadcast stations. Those Reports must now be filed by November 1, 2009 and by the same date every two years thereafter. However, the staggered schedule for the filing of Biennial Ownership Reports for noncommercial educational broadcast stations remains unchanged for the time being, subject to a pending Further NPRM. For noncommercial radio stations in California, North Carolina and South Carolina and noncommercial television stations in Illinois and Wisconsin, the reports are due August 1, 2009.
    July 2009
    Biennial Ownership Reports: Filing Deadline Changes to Nov. 1, 2009 for All Radio and TV Stations Nationwide
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Christine A. Reilly
    The FCC has altered the schedule for the filing of Biennial Ownership Reports by commercial broadcast stations. August 1, 2009 is no longer the deadline for commercial radio stations in California, North Carolina, and South Carolina, or for commercial television stations in Illinois and Wisconsin to file their biennial ownership reports. Those Reports must now be filed by November 1, 2009 and by the same date every two years thereafter, by all radio and television sta­tions nationwide.
    7/16/2009
    Drawing the Line: A Guide to Avoiding Illegal Content for the On-Air Performer
    Authors: Scott R. Flick
    As the sources of content available to the public proliferate, attracting and retaining an audience grows more challenging. A common strategy is to use provocative or “attention-getting” on-air elements to increase station awareness among media-saturated listeners and viewers. However, stations must be mindful of the numerous legal restrictions on content, particularly given that illegal on-air content can garner fines as high as $325,000 per violation. In addition, certain types of illegal on-air content can subject a broadcaster to civil and criminal liability, as well as loss of its license.
    July 2009
    Broadcast Station EEO Advisory
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Christine A. Reilly
    This Broadcast Station EEO Advisory is directed to radio and television stations licensed to communities in: California, Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina and Wisconsin, and highlights the upcoming deadlines for compliance with the FCC’s EEO Rule.
    6/11/2009
    FCC Reminds TV Stations Transitioning on June 12 They Must Have Adequate Staff Available to Answer Viewer Phone Calls During the Cut-over and the Entire Weekend
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Paul A. Cicelski
    In its Public Notice released earlier today, the FCC reminded stations of the requirement that television stations that have not yet made the transition to all-digital broadcasting must be prepared to answer calls about the transition immediately after they make the switch from analog to digital. The FCC noted its specific concern that stations have the appropriate staff available to answer calls after business hours and reminded stations that they should be prepared to handle the expected increase in calls, including calls forwarded directly to stations from the FCC’s National Call Center, which will be staffed 24 hours a day. The Public Notice specifically requests that stations not transitioning to digital-only until June 12 should not only staff their customer referral locations the evening of June 12, but should also ensure that the phones are staffed over the following weekend, June 13 and 14.
    2/9/2009
    FCC Issues Procedures Relating to Delay of DTV Transition to June 12, 2009
    Authors: Scott R. Flick, Christine A. Reilly, Emily J. H. Daniels
    Stations seeking to end analog operations on or before February 17, 2009 must file a NEW notice with the FCC not later than Monday, February 9, and air certain required viewer notifications.
    2/9/2009
    Supplement to February 5th Advisory Entitled “FCC Issues Procedures Relating to Delay of DTV Transition to June 12, 2009”
    Authors: Scott R. Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    Members of our Communications Group sought and received clarification from the FCC staff regarding ambiguities in the FCC’s February 5th Public Notice on Procedures Regarding Termination of Analog Television Service On or After February 17, 2009.
    1/26/2009
    Options for Television Stations: Navigating the Uncertainty of a Delay in the DTV Transition Date
    Authors: Paul A. Cicelski, Lauren Lynch Flick, Richard R. Zaragoza
    Legislation has been introduced in the United States Senate which, if enacted, would delay the current February 17, 2009 DTV transition deadline for a period of four months, or until June 12, 2009. A delay in the transition date will inevitably cause uncertainty and raise many questions, such as whether a station’s decision to cease analog operations before the proposed deadline may still go forward as planned.
    January 2009
    Telecommunications Update
    Authors: Glenn S. Richards
    Upcoming Deadlines:
    • FCC Form 499-Q is Due by February 1, 2009
    • Customer Proprietary Network Information Certification is Due by March 1, 2009
    1/6/2009
    2008 Fourth Quarter Children's Television Programming Documentation Advisory
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Christine A. Reilly
    The next Children's Television Programming Report must be filed with the FCC and placed in stations' local Public Inspection Files by January 10, 2009, reflecting programming aired during the months of October, November and December 2008.
    1/6/2009
    2008 Fourth Quarter FCC Form 388 DTV Quarterly Activity Station Report Advisory for Broadcast Stations
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Christine A. Reilly
    The next FCC Form 388 DTV Quarterly Activity Station Report must be filed via CDBS and placed in stations’ local public inspection files by January 10, 2009, reflecting information for the months of October, November and December 2008.
    1/6/2009
    2008 Fourth Quarter Issues/Programs List Advisory for Broadcast Stations
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Christine A. Reilly
    The next Quarterly Issues/Programs List ("Quarterly List") must be placed in stations' local public inspection files by January 10, 2009, reflecting information for the months of October, November and December 2008. The FCC's action adopting the new program report Form 355, which is intended to replace the Quarterly Issues/Programs Lists for full-power and Class A television stations, will not have any effect on this fourth quarter public file requirement.
    January 2009
    Beginning January 5, 2009, the FCC Will Accept Applications for Fill-in Digital Television Translator Stations and Requests for Special Temporary Authority to Avoid Loss of Service in Connection With the Digital Transition
    Author: Richard R. Zaragoza

    On December 23, 2008, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) proposing creation of a new replacement digital television translator service. This service will permit full-power television stations to continue to provide service to viewers who have lost or will lose service as a result of a station’s digital transition. In the NPRM, the FCC announced that it will begin accepting applications in the coming days, although processing of these applications will be withheld pending the outcome of the proceeding. In the interim, the FCC proposed that stations could request Special Temporary Authority (“STA”) to operate replacement television translator facilities during the pendency of the rulemaking proceeding.

    December 2008
    FCC Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Analog Nightlight Program
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Craig J. Saperstein
    On December 24, 2008, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to implement the recently enacted Short-Term Analog Flash and Emergency Readiness (SAFER) Act. The SAFER Act directs the Commission to develop a “nightlight” program to permit stations to continue to broadcast analog signals for 30 days after the February 17, 2009 DTV transition deadline for the limited purpose of providing public safety and digital television (“DTV”) transition information. The Notice describes the FCC’s framework for implementing the nightlight program and establishes an expedited public comment period. The notice was published in the Federal Register on December 31, 2008, thereby establishing Monday, January 5, 2009 as the deadline for comments, and Thursday, January 8 as the deadline for reply comments.
    December 2008
    FCC Enforcement Monitor
    Author: Scott R. Flick

    Topics include:

    • FCC Fines Mississippi Radio Station $13,000 for Failure to Inform Federal Aviation Administration of Antenna Structure Lighting Malfunction and Failure to Maintain a Public Inspection File
    • Commission Fines Nevada Radio Licensee $5,600 for Failing to Enclose Tower With an Effective Locked Fence
    • FCC Fines New Mexico Radio Station $10,000 for Operating from an Unauthorized Location
    December 2008
    For 30 Days After February 17, 2009, Television Stations May Continue Analog Transmissions for Emergency and Informational Purposes
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Craig J. Saperstein
    On December 23, 2008, the President signed into law the Short-Term Analog Flash and Emergency Readiness (SAFER) Act. This legislation, previously passed by the House of Representatives on Dec. 10, 2008 and by the Senate on Nov. 20, 2008, directs the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) to develop a program to permit analog broadcasts of public safety and digital television (“DTV”) transition information for 30 days after the February 17, 2009 DTV transition deadline. Accordingly, stations must await action by the FCC before this post-February 17, 2009 authority will be effective.
    December 2008
    Broadcast Station EEO Advisory
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Lauren Lynch Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    This Broadcast Station EEO Advisory is directed to radio and television stations licensed to communities in: Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York and Oklahoma, and highlights the upcoming deadlines for compliance with the FCC’s EEO Rule.
    December 2008
    FCC Universal Service Fund Proceeding Expected to Impact Telecom Charges for End Users; New Reply Comment Date Established
    Author: Glenn S. Richards
    On December 2, 2008, the FCC extended the reply comment date in its sweeping Universal Service Fund (“USF”) Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (the “FNPRM”) until December 22, 2008. USF is an almost $7 billion program overseen by the FCC that promotes the availability of affordable telecommunications services throughout the United States. Funds are made available to schools and libraries, low-income residential consumers and telephone companies operating in high cost areas.
    December 2008
    Special Advisory for Commercial and Noncommercial Broadcasters: Radio and Television Station Public Inspection File Requirements
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Paul A. Cicelski, Christine A. Reilly
    This Advisory is designed to aid commercial, as well as noncommercial educational, radio and television station broadcasters in complying with the FCC’s public inspection file rules. See 47 C.F.R. §§ 73.3526 and 73.3527. This Advisory tracks the public access, content, retention and organizational requirements of those regulations, as well as summarizes the public information requirements mandated by passage of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002. Previous editions of this Advisory are obsolete, and should not be relied upon.
    November 2008
    Reminder: $1000 Federal Grants Available to Eligible Low-Power Television Stations to Purchase Digital-to-Analog Conversion Devices
    Author: Richard R. Zaragoza
    Reminder: The National Telecommunications and Information Administration has set aside $1,000 per eligible low-power television station, for the purchase of digital-to-analog conversion devices. Individual grants come from a Federal fund limited to $1 million and are awarded on a first-come-first-serve basis until February 17, 2009.
    November 2008
    FCC Enforcement Monitor
    Authors: Scott R. Flick
    Topics include:
    • FCC Upholds $9,000 Fine for Noncommercial FM Radio Station Airing Advertisements
    • FCC Fines New York AM Radio Station $12,800 for Failing to Sign Off at Sunset, Failing to Maintain Daytime Operating Power, Failing to Maintain an Operational Emergency Alert System, and Failing to Maintain a Complete Public Inspection File
    10/1/2008
    EEO in 2008 and Forward: A Legal Guide to the FCC’s EEO Rule and Policies for Broadcasters
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Emily J. H. Daniels
    On November 20, 2002, the FCC released a Second Report and Order and Third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (the “Second R&O”) in which it adopted new equal employment opportunity rules and policies for broadcasters and for multi-channel video programming distributors (the “EEO Rule”). A complete copy of this EEO Rule as it relates to broadcasters is attached hereto as Attachment A.
    September 2008
    2008 Third Quarter FCC Form 388 DTV Quarterly Activity Station Report Advisory for Full-Power Television Broadcast Stations
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Lauren Lynch Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    The next FCC Form 388 DTV Quarterly Activity Station Report must be filed via CDBS and placed in full-power television stations’ local public inspection files by October 10, 2008, reflecting information for the months of July, August, and September.
    September 2008
    2008 Third Quarter Issues/Programs List Advisory for Broadcast Stations
    Authors: Lauren Lynch Flick, Paul A. Cicelski
    The next Quarterly Issues/Programs List (“Quarterly List”) must be placed in stations’ local public inspection files by October 10, 2008, reflecting information for the months of July, August and September. The FCC’s action adopting the new program report Form 355, which is intended to replace the Quarterly Issues/Programs Lists for full-power and Class A television stations, will not have any effect on this third quarter public file requirement.
    September 2008
    2008 Third Quarter Children's Television Programming Documentation Advisor
    Authors: Lauren Lynch Flick, Paul A. Cicelski, Christine A. Reilly
    The next Children’s Television Programming Report must be filed with the FCC and placed in stations’ local Public Inspection Files by October 10, 2008, reflecting programming aired during the months of July, August and September.
    September 2008
    Biennial Ownership Reports Due by October 1, 2008 for Certain Radio and Television Broadcasters
    Authors: Clifford M. Harrington, Richard R. Zaragoza, Christine A. Reilly
    Commercial and noncommercial Radio stations licensed to communities in Iowa and Missouri must file their Biennial Ownership Reports with the FCC by October 1, 2008. Commercial and noncommercial Television stations licensed to communities in the States of Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington and in the Territories of American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands must also file their Biennial Ownership Reports by the same deadline.
    September 2008
    Broadcast Station EEO Advisory
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Lauren Lynch Flick, Christine A. Reilly

    This Broadcast Station EEO Advisory is directed to radio and television stations licensed to communities in: Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Missouri, Oregon, Washington, as well as American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and highlights the upcoming deadlines for compliance with the FCC’s EEO Rule.

    9/4/2008
    FCC Warns Regulatory Fee Filing Payers About Potential "Phishing"
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Christine A. Reilly
    On September 2, 2008, the FCC released a Public Notice Warning Regulatory Fee Filing Payers About Potential “Phishing.”
    8/5/2008
    FCC Releases Updated Version of "The Public and Broadcasting"
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Paul A. Cicelski, Christine A. Reilly
    In July 2008, the FCC released the latest edition of “The Public and Broadcasting” manual, its second update in three months.
    7/25/2008
    Upcoming Deadlines Relating to Cable and Satellite Carriage of Television Stations
    Authors: Lauren Lynch Flick, John K. Hane
    July 31, 2008 is the deadline by which television stations are required to file claims for copyright royalties with the Copyright Office. FCC rules require television stations to make signal carriage elections by October 1, 2008 for the period 2009-2012. The upcoming termination of analog broadcasts makes this year’s carriage elections especially important. In addition, television stations that will terminate analog broadcasting have a special October 1 notice obligation with respect to satellite operators.
    July 2008
    Broadcast EEO Advisory
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Lauren Lynch Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    This Broadcast Station EEO Advisory is directed to radio and television stations licensed to communities in: California, Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Wisconsin, and highlights the upcoming deadlines for compliance with the FCC’s EEO Rule.
    July 2008
    Biennial Ownership Reports Due by August 1, 2008 for Certain Radio and Television Broadcasters
    Authors: Clifford M. Harrington, Richard R. Zaragoza, Christine A. Reilly
    Commercial and noncommercial Radio stations licensed to communities in Illinois and Wisconsin must file their Biennial Ownership Reports with the FCC by August 1, 2008. Commercial and noncommercial Television stations licensed to communities in California, North Carolina, and South Carolina must also file their Biennial Ownership Reports by the same deadline.
    7/15/2008
    The FCC Lifts the Freeze on the Filing of Class A Television Station Displacement and Expansion Applications
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Paul A. Cicelski
    Yesterday, the FCC announced that, effective as of August 4, 2008, it was lifting the freeze on the filing of two types of Class A television station applications: (i) ones to expand authorized coverage through facilities modifications, and (ii) ones to substitute channels where current channels are expected to be displaced.
    June 2008
    FCC Enforcement Monitor
    Author: Scott R. Flick
    Topics include:
    • Texas AM Radio Station Assessed $8,800 Fine for Failure to Maintain a Main Studio and Operation Above Authorized Power Level
    • FCC Fines Arizona Radio Station $6,400 for Emergency Alert System Violation
    • FCC Proposes Fine of $10,000 to Hawaii Radio Station for Violating Radio Frequency Radiation Limits
    6/26/2008
    DTV Consumer Education Quarterly Activity Report (FCC Form 388) Now Available to be Filed in CDBS
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Lauren Lynch Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    The FCC Form 388 is now available in the Commission’s Consolidated DataBase System (CDBS) for electronic filing by July 10, 2008. The Report will cover the period April through June. Once filed, a copy of the Report should be promptly placed in the station’s local public inspection file and posted on the station’s website, if it has one.
    June 2008
    Unlicensed But Not Unregulated: An Overview of the FCC's Regulations Regarding Part 15 Devices
    Authors: Clifford M. Harrington, Tony Lin
    The FCC has long permitted devices employing relatively low level radio frequency signals (“Part 15 devices”), such as garage door openers, cordless telephones, personal computers, and computer peripherals, to be operated without the need for a spectrum license. While such operations are unlicensed, the devices themselves are not unregulated. The FCC’s rules require that the manufacturer or importer of such devices (the “responsible party”) obtain equipment authorization before marketing any such device in order to minimize the potential for harmful radiofrequency interference. Failure to obtain proper equipment authorization can result in monetary forfeitures and/or other sanctions. The FCC r
    June 2008
    2008 Second Quarter FCC Form 388 DTV Quarterly Activity Station Report Advisory for Broadcast Stations
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Lauren Lynch Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    The next FCC Form 388 DTV Quarterly Activity Station Report must be filed via CDBS and placed in stations’ local public inspection files by July 10, 2008, reflecting information for the months of April, May, and June.
    May 2008
    FCC Proposes Fiscal Year 2008 Regulatory Fees
    Author: Richard R. Zaragoza
    The Commission has announced its proposed annual regulatory fees for Fiscal Year 2008. The final fee amounts and filing deadline will be announced in a Public Notice following consideration of Comments to be filed by May 30, 2008 and Reply Comments to be filed by June 6, 2008.
    May 2008
    FCC Enforcement Monitor
    Author: Scott R. Flick
    Topics include:
    • Virginia Radio Licensee Assessed $8,000 Fine for Enforcing Format Restriction Provision in Non-Compete Agreement
    • FCC Proposes to Fine Texas TV Licensee $20,000 for Children’s Television Violations
    • FCC Fines Ohio Non-Commercial Radio Station $9,000 for Airing Prohibited Advertising
    • FCC Fines Mississippi AM Radio Station $1,500 for Operating from Unauthorized Location at Excessive Power Level
    May 2008
    Broadcast Station EEO Advisory
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Lauren Lynch Flick, Christine A. Reilly
    This Broadcast Station EEO Advisory is directed to radio and television stations licensed to communities in: Arizona, the District of Columbia, Idaho, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming, and highlights the upcoming deadlines for compliance with the FCC’s EEO Rule.
    May 2008
    Biennial Ownership Reports Due by June 1, 2008 for Certain Radio and Television Broadcasters
    Authors: Clifford M. Harrington, Richard R. Zaragoza, Christine A. Reilly
    Commercial and noncommercial Radio stations licensed to communities in Michigan and Ohio must file their Biennial Ownership Reports with the FCC by June 1, 2008. Commercial and noncommercial Television stations licensed to communities in Arizona, the District of Columbia, Idaho, Maryland, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming must also file their Biennial Ownership Reports by the same deadline.
    4/25/2008
    FCC Releases Updated Version of its "The Public and Broadcasting" Manual
    Authors: Richard R. Zaragoza, Christine A. Reilly
    On April 24, 2008, the FCC released the latest edition of its “The Public and Broadcasting” manual. Please remove the 1999 version of the manual from your public inspection file and replace it with the new 2008 edition.
    April 2008
    FCC Enforcement Monitor
    Author: Scott R. Flick
    Topics include:
    • FCC Fines Florida Low Power FM Radio Licensee $24,000 for Unlicensed Operations
    • Commission Fines Florida Tower Owner $12,000 for Failing to Post Antenna Structure Registration Numbers and Paint Its Towers
    • FCC Fines California Radio Licensee for Failing to Operate an Aural Studio-Transmitter Link from the Licensed Location
    • Commission Fines Florida AM Radio Licensee $4,000 for Remaining on Air After Sunset in Violation of Its Station Authorization
    4/3/2008
    FCC Releases DTV Consumer Education Form 388 Which Must Be Filed by April 10, 2008

    For Immediate Attention

    As we have previously advised, on March 3, the FCC released a Report and Order outlining new requirements imposed on full-power television stations for educating consumers about the February 17, 2009 transition to digital television service. On March 28, the FCC released a Public Notice announcing that it had received the necessary approvals from the OMB and that the new rules, including reporting requirements, would become effective on Monday, March 31, 2008. As a result of that announcement, full-power television stations must file with the FCC their first FCC Form 388 quarterly report by April 10, 2008. The form must also be placed in the station’s Public Inspec
    March 2008
    DTV Consumer Education and Reporting Requirements Effective Monday, March 31, 2008

    Immediate Attention Required

    As we have previously advised, on March 3, the FCC released a Report and Order outlining new requirements for the education of consumers regarding the February 17, 2009 transition to digital television service. At the time the FCC released the Report and Order, the new requirements, and the form that the FCC adopted for full-power television stations to report on their compliance with those requirements, remained subject to review and approval by the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”). This afternoon, the FCC released a Public Notice announcing that it had received the necessary approvals from the OMB and that the new rules and reporting requirements will become eff
    March 2008
    FCC Admonishes Station Group Owner for Failing to Widely Recruit Under Commission's EEO Rules
    As the result of a random EEO audit, the FCC admonished a publicly traded broadcast station group owner for failing to recruit “widely” for every full-time vacancy.
    March 2008
    FCC Enforcement Monitor
    Topics include:
    • FCC Fines Mississippi Radio Station for Broadcasting a Conversation Without First Informing the Other Party
    • Commission Fines Wyoming Radio Licensee $4,200 for Failing to Enclose Tower With an Effective Locked Fence
    • FCC Fines Louisiana Radio Licensee $10,000 for Tower Lighting and Operating Power Violations
    • FCC Fines Licensee of Florida Low Power FM Radio Station $6,400 for Emergency Alert System Violation
    March 2008
    Broadcast Station EEO Advisory
    This Broadcast Station EEO Advisory is directed to radio and television stations licensed to communities in: Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas, and highlights the upcoming deadlines for compliance with the FCC’s EEO rule.
    March 2008
    Biennial Ownership Reports Due By April 1, 2008 for Certain Radio and Television Broadcasters
    Commercial and noncommercial Radio stations licensed to communities in Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee must file their Biennial Ownership Reports with the FCC by April 1, 2008. Reports for commercial and noncommercial Television stations licensed to communities in Texas must also file their Biennial Ownership Reports by the same deadline.
    March 2008
    New Comment Deadline of April 28th and Reply Comment Deadline of June 11th Announced in the FCC's "Broadcast Localism" Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Proceeding
    Author: Scott R. Flick
    Why should you, as a broadcaster, file comments in the FCC’s “Report on Broadcast Localism and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” in MB Docket No. 04-233 (“NPRM”)?
    March 2008
    2008 First Quarter Children's Television Programming Documentation Advisory
    The next Children’s Television Programming Report must be filed with the FCC and placed in stations’ local Public Inspection Files by April 10, 2008, reflecting programming aired during the months of January, February, and March.
    February 2008
    FCC Announces Special Daylight Savings Operating Conditions for AM Stations During March 2008
    On February 29, the FCC released a Public Notice alerting AM radio stations to the upcoming commencement of Daylight Saving Time, and providing directions for Presunrise and Postsunset Operations during the month of March.
    February 2008
    FCC Enforcement Monitor
    Author: Scott R. Flick
    Topics include:
    • FCC Fines Texas AM Station $8,800 for Failure to Maintain a Main Studio and Exceeding Licensed Power Levels
    • New York Private Land Mobile Licensee Fined for Operating From an Unauthorized Location With an Antenna Placement Exceeding Authorized Height
    • FCC Fines Owner of Antenna Structure $13,000 for Failure to Paint Antenna Structure and Notify the FCC of a Change in Ownership
    • FCC Issues Several Notices for Failure to Notify of Change in Ownership of Antenna Structure and Failure to Transmit Assigned Call Sign
    January 2008
    New Program Reporting and Public Inspection File Online Posting Requirements for Television Stations
    Author: Scott R. Flick
    Television stations will now be required to file FCC Form 355, a new quarterly programming report, as well as post their public inspection files online. These new requirements apply only to full-power and Class A television stations.
    January 2008
    FCC Enforcement Monitor
    Author: Scott R. Flick
    Topics include:
    • FCC Fines Owner of Florida Antenna Structure $3,000 for Failure to Register
    • Commission Fines Florida Licensee $10,000 for Failure to Comply with Radiofrequency Radiation Requirements
    • Utah Licensee Fined $4,000 for Violating Rule on Broadcasting Telephone Conversations
    January 2008
    FCC Releases New Station DTV Transition Readiness Report Form
    Author: Scott R. Flick
    On January 22, the FCC released the new FCC Form 387. At this time, the form is only available for public viewing; the version of the form to be used for electronic filing purposes will be made available at a later date.
    November 2007
    FCC Enforcement Monitor
    September 2007
    FCC Requires Cable Systems to Format Must-Carry Signals to Ensure "Viewability" on Both Analog and Digital Televisions After the Termination of Analog Broadcasts in 2009
    At a late-night meeting on September 11, 2007, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) adopted a “viewability” rule that will govern cable carriage of must-carry stations after analog broadcasting terminates in 2009. The rule requires cable operators to deliver the primary digital stream of a must-carry television station in a manner that will permit it to be viewed by all cable subscribers after the transition to digital television occurs on February 17, 2009. Specifically, cable operators will be required to carry the primary digital stream of a must-carry station, and will be required to either provide the digital signal in analog format as well, or carry the signal only in digital format, but ensure that
    September 2007
    FCC Enforcement Monitor
    August 2007
    Emergency Broadcasting Readiness in the Midst of Hurricane Season
    Obligation to Provide Emergency Information to Persons with Hearing Disabilities
    June 2007
    FCC Enforcement Monitor
    Topics include:
    • FCC Fines Radio Station $4,200 for Lack of Effective Tower Fences
    • FCC Fines Television Station After Discovering Deserted Main Studio
    • FCC Fines Radio Station for Airing Prank Phone Call
    • FCC Officially Increases Maximum Fine for Indecency and Profanity
    June 2007
    FCC Issues Digital Audio Broadcasting Rules for AM and FM Broadcasters
    On May 31 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released an order detailing its new rules for in-band on-channel (IBOC) digital broadcasting by AM and FM radio station licensees. Stations currently providing digital IBOC signals have been operating under interim rules. The new rules impose a relatively light regulatory touch, reflecting the FCC’s belief that broadcasters should have broad flexibility to experiment with new service models and to tailor their service offerings to market demands.
    May 2007
    New Version of FCC Form 398 for First Quarter Children's Television Programming Reports Now Available
    The newly revised FCC Form 398 is now available on the FCC’s website. The completed form should be filed with the FCC no later than between June 1 – 10, 2007, covering the period January 1 – March 31, 2007. The FCC had previously postponed the filing deadline for the first 2007 calendar quarter Children’s Television Programming Reports due to the delay in revising and obtaining clearance for this newly revised form.
    February 2007
    FCC Enforcement Monitor
    1/26/2007
    FCC Enforcement Monitor
    Topics include:
    • FCC Fines Texas Radio Station $8,000 for Violating Commission’s EAS Rules
    • FCC Fines California Tower Owner $13,000 for Violating the Commission’s Antenna Structure Rules
    • FCC Fines Michigan Tower Owner $8,000 for Violating Antenna Structure Lighting Rules
    January 2007
    Music Licensing for Broadcast Commercials
    Author: Cydney A. Tune
    Music can add great value to many forms of programming including commercial advertising and other types of promotions. In this context, music sets the mood, helps convey information about products and services, and makes the commercial message more memorable. In producing a commercial, there are different alternatives for obtaining the music to be used. A composer can be hired to write a new song, or an existing song can be used. The growing trend is to use existing songs for commercials, rather than commissioning new music. What kind of licensing is required in order to use and broadcast an existing song in a commercial?
    December 2006
    FCC Enforcement Monitor
    November 2006
    FCC Enforcement Monitor
    September 2006
    FCC Enforcement Monitor

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