Broadcasting

Free, over-the-air television and radio; community-based, low-power FM radio stations; public radio and television; and the obligations of licensees to serve the public interest. A key principle of federal communications law is that in exchange for free use of the public airwaves broadcasters agree to take actions to benefit the public. These principles are enshrined in the Radio Act of 1927 and the Communications Act of 1934 in the mandate that "broadcasting serve the public interest, convenience and necessity."

Chairman Pai's Response to Reps. Pallone, Doyle and DeGette Regarding Sinclair Broadcast Group

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States

On August 14, 2017, House Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Communications Subcommittee Ranking Member Mike Doyle (D-PA), and Oversight Subcommittee Ranking Member Diana DeGette (D-CO) wrote to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai regarding reports that suggest favorable treatment of Sinclair Broadcast Group since Pai became Chairman.

Deletion of Agenda Items From September 26, 2017 Open Meeting

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States

The following Agenda items have been adopted by the Commission, and deleted from the list of items scheduled for consideration at the Tuesday, September 26, 2017, Open Meeting and previously listed in the Commission’s Notice of Tuesday, September 19, 2017

FCC Chairman Pai to Lawmakers: Sinclair/Tribune Review Has Been By the Book

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai told House Commerce Committee Democrats that there has been no inappropriate coordination between the Trump White House, Sinclair and the FCC over the Sinclair/Tribune merger -- and that there has been no pattern of preferential treatment shown Sinclair in a deal whose vetting has been by the book and on a timetable common to such transactions, including under other regimes.

Sinclair insiders are sounding the alarm about its plans to transform local news

Location:
Sinclair Broadcast Group, 10706 Beaver Dam Road, Hunt Valley, MD, 21030, United States

Current and former Sinclair employees, union representatives, and media experts have been speaking out in investigative reports about the damage Sinclair is doing to the public’s trust in local news, from Baltimore to Seattle and most recently in Providence

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The Worst Merger Yet

Location:
Sinclair Broadcast Group, 10706 Beaver Dam Road, Hunt Valley, MD, 21030, United States

The more people learn about the frenzied Big Media-Wall Street rush to consolidate our communications ecosystem into a playground for monopolists-on-the-make, the more they dislike what they see. For example, a recent poll shows two-thirds of us are opposed to competition-busting transactions like AT&T and Time Warner, almost equally divided among Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. Less well-known until recently is the Sinclair-Tribune proposal currently pending at the Federal Communications Commission. Sinclair is already publicly bragging that it will get the FCC nod of approval in the months just ahead. I have called Sinclair “the most dangerous company most Americans have never heard of.” Already the country’s largest local TV station owner (173 stations now, 215 post-merger), Sinclair has an insatiable appetite for more.

Democratic Reps Want FCC To Investigate Sputnik Radio Service

Location:
House Commerce Committee, Independence Avenue and South Capitol Street 2123 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC, United States

House Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Communications Subcommittee Ranking Member Mike Doyle (D-PA), and former Subcommittee Ranking Member Anna Eshoo (D-CA) want Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election via U.S. broadcasting.

benton logo

The Worst Merger Yet

The more people learn about the frenzied Big Media-Wall Street rush to consolidate our communications ecosystem into a playground for monopolists-on-the-make, the more they dislike what they see. For example, a recent poll shows two-thirds of us are opposed to competition-busting transactions like AT&T and Time Warner, almost equally divided among Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.

FCC Seeks More Evidence For Sinclair/Tribune Deal Claims

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States

The Federal Communications Commission’s Media Bureau has asked Sinclair to back up a bunch of its pledges to bring its proposed $3.9 billion purchase of Tribune stations within the FCC's current media ownership rules, including the duopoly and national ownership cap, as well as of the benefits of the deal.

Details On Sinclair-Tribune Merger Overdue

Location:
TVNewsCheck, Chatham, NJ, 07928, United States

The Federal Communications Commission has finally gotten around to asking Sinclair how it intends to comply with the national and local ownership rules.

How big tech became the new titan of television

Location:
USA, United States

The geeks are raiding their digital vaults to transform themselves into lords of entertainment – or at least owners of content – and in the process shape what we watch and how we watch. Traditional broadcast and cable networks, giants which for decades shaped popular culture, are scrambling to keep up.

News Services Increase Coverage on Underreported Areas and Issues

Location:
KS, United States

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is awarding $3.3 million to five regional journalism collaborations to promote local news coverage and newsgathering efficiency. The grants will help a total of 23 public media stations coordinate news services as well as produce more community-based, multiplatform coverage of local and regional issues.

Broadcast-Only Homes See Big Rise: Study

Location:
USA, United States

The number of broadcast-only TV homes has increased 41%, to 15.8 million, in the last five years, according to a Nielsen study commissioned by ION Media, a significant holder of full-power UHF broadcast spectrum.

Busy Times Lie Ahead in Telecomm as Pai Lays Out Modernization Plans

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is planning to make some major overhauls at the FCC. Eight months into his term, Pai is preparing to “modernize [the FCC’s] rules to match the realities of today’s marketplace.”

Modernization Month at the FCC

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States

Since becoming Chairman, I have consistently emphasized the need for the Commission’s regulations to match realities of the current marketplace. Our rules must reflect today’s technological and economic conditions, not those of yesterday. And at this month’s open meeting, we will advance this objective by focusing on whether to update or scrap outdated rules. That’s why we’re dubbing September Modernization Month at the FCC.

FCC Announces Tentative Agenda For The September 2017 Open Commission Meeting

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced that the following items are tentatively on the agenda for the September Open Commission Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, September 26, 2017.

Facebook’s Russian Ads Disclosure Opens A New Front That Could Lead To Regulation

Location:
Capitol Building, E Capitol St NE & 1st St NE, Washington, DC, 20001, United States

Facebook is facing a new push to reveal how its vast power is being used after it disclosed that roughly $100,000 worth of political ads were purchased on its platform by fake accounts and pages connected to a Russian troll operation.

Senate Appropriations Approves Level Funding for Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Location:
Senate Committee on Appropriations, Constitution Avenue and 1st Street, NE Dirksen Senate Office Building 138, Washington, DC, 20002, United States

The Senate Appropriations Committee has provided level funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, including for the Ready to Learn early childhood education program, and even $20 million in interconnection funds, according to CPB.

News Use Across Social Media Platforms 2017

Location:
Pew Research Center, 1615 L Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20036, United States

Two-thirds of Americans report that they get at least some of their news on social media

Americans’ online news use is closing in on TV news use

Location:
Pew Research Center, 1615 L Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20036, United States

The gap between the share of Americans who get news online and those who do so on television is narrowing.

This Sinclair-Tribune Merger Is A Rotten Deal For America

Location:
Writers Guild of America East (WGAE), 250 Hudson Street, New York, NY, 10013, United States

Money and influence, the same old story. In a word, this deal stinks, and there’s nothing fair about it.

Remarks of Chairman Pai at 2017 Radio Show

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States

Reducing burdens on broadcasters is a natural segue to my next topic: our across-the-board review of our media rules. Back in May, the Federal Communications Commission launched a comprehensive review of our media regulations.

Newt Minow: Lessons from the Cuban missile crisis

Location:
Chicago, IL, United States

As one of the few remaining members of the Kennedy administration who participated in the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, I was an eyewitness to the crucial role that telecommunications played in averting nuclear disaster ...

Unions Unite Against Sinclair/Tribune

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States

Various unions have lined up against the Sinclair/Tribune merger, concerned, among other things, that the meld's synergies will mean job losses. Asking the Federal Communications Commission to deny the $3.9 billion merger were the Communications Workers of America, the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians and The News Guild.

The Broadcast Incentive Auction: Update on Repacking Opportunities and Challenges

Sep 7 2017 - 10:00am - 2:00pm
Location:
House Commerce Committee, 45 Independence Ave SW 2123 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC, 20515, United States

The Federal Communications Commission is in the midst of reorganizing broadcasters into remaining TV bands following the spectrum incentive auction earlier this year. This hearing will provide members the opportunity to receive an update on the FCC’s repacking process.

NCTA Seeks Regulatory 'Guardrails' on Sinclair/Tribune

Location:
National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), 25 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20001-1413, United States

NCTA-The Internet & Television Association, has stopped short of seeking outright denial of the Sinclair/Tribune merger, but it has major problems with it and suggests the Federal Communications Commission should consider disallowing new duopolies, even where they don't violate rules, and joint retransmission negotiations among commonly owned Sinclair/Tribune stations.

Sinclair/Tribune Foes Remain Unmoved

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States

As expected, the companies and groups that lined up to oppose or strongly criticize the proposed Sinclair/Tribune merger were not ready to bury the hatchet and sing kumbaya in response to Sinclair's vigorous defense of the deal's public interest benefits.

The Realpolitik of the Sinclair-Tribune Merger

Location:
Diffusion Group, 9555 Lebanon Road, Frisco, TX, 75035, United States

The controversy behind the Sinclair Broadcast Group’s $3.9 Billion cash and stock agreement to acquire 42 broadcast stations and other media assets from Tribune Media continues to swirl. If approved, the combined media entity will reach 72% of US households, a figure far beyond the 39% allowed by Congress. Adding fuel to the controversy is that far-right-leaning Sinclair Broadcasting only became compliant with the ‘39% Congressional rule’ when FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, an appointee of President Donald Trump, reinstated the UHF discount rule enabling Sinclair to count only half of its actual audience based on the premise that UHF has a weaker signal than the VHF band. The reality is that, since the move to digital TV, signal issues are a thing of the past, rendering the UHF rule obsolete. So, what’s going on here, and what does it tell us about the future of TV?

Sinclair/Tribune Critics Tell FCC: No Deal

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States

With reply comments due Aug 29 on Sinclair's $3.9 billion proposal to buy Tribune's TV stations, opponents of the deal do not appear to have been persuaded by Sinclair's lengthy defense of the deal's public interest benefits, which was filed at the Federal Communications Commission Aug. 22.

NAB, tech industry throw down over TV white spaces

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States

The TV white spaces (TVWS) debate is cranking back up again thanks to a proposal that recommends that the Federal Communications Commision set aside three 6 MHz-wide TVWS channels for unlicensed use in every market across the country.

FCC TV Ownership Rules and Unintended Consequences

Location:
Walt Disney Co., Burbank, CA, 91521, United States

I have longtime friends who believe that the public interest requires the Federal Communications Commission to strictly limit the ownership of multiple TV stations. I genuinely understand and respect their opinions. But, my personal experience over 40 years in the industry suggests that TV ownership limits intended to enhance diversity may, in fact, prevent the creation of meaningfully diverse competitors.

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