Public Interest Obligations

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

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 And at this month’s open meeting, we will advance this objective by focusing on whether to update or scrap outdated rules.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.

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.

Complaints Filed Against TV Stations for Public File Violations on Political Issue Ads

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

The Campaign Legal Center and Issue One, two political “watchdog” organizations, filed Federal Communications Commission complaints against two Georgia TV stations, alleging violations of the rules that govern the documents that need to be placed into a station’s public inspection file regarding political “issue advertising".

Must We Feud Over Network Rep Rule Again?

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

To the dismay of their affiliates, CBS, Disney and Fox included in their lists of "regulatory underbrush" that the Federal Communications Commission should chop out a request to do away with the 59-year-old network rep rule.

Looking at the record of the Sinclair Broadcast Group megamerger

Location:
Brookings, 1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC, 20036, United States

The Federal Communications Commission has before it the question of Sinclair Broadcast Group’s $3.9 billion proposed acquisition of Tribune Media. It is a major decision, since the resulting broadcast behemoth would hold as many as 233 local television stations reaching into more than 70 percent of American homes.

Sinclair Broadcasting – and 2 Maine TV stations – under fire for pro-Trump segments

Location:
Portland, ME, United States

Marc McCutcheon of South Portland was watching WGME’s evening newscast as he has for half a century when something came on that shocked him ...

Trump FCC deregulation threatens local broadcasting

Location:
Brookings, 1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC, 20036, United States

"There is no other industry in the world like broadcasting,” the CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Gordon Smith told his annual convention. “No other industry has, at its core, such an overarching focus on bringing communities together and serving the public good,” Smith opined. “No other media industry is as dedicated to supporting our local communities.” That “overarching focus” on “serving the public good” is being stealthily watered down, with the industry’s support, by the Trump Federal Communications Commission. In little-noticed decisions, the agency has been removing regulatory requirements to protect broadcast localism, shield a diversity of local voices, and avoid the establishment of a dominant national broadcaster.

Twenty years after Reno v. ACLU, the long arc of internet history returns

Location:
Brookings, 1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC, 20036, United States

Twenty years ago, on June 26, 1996, the US Supreme Court unanimously decided Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, which found the communications decency provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to be unconstitutional.

Remarks of Commissioner Mignon Clyburn at the Disability Advisory Committee Meeting, Washington, D.C

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

I will focus specifically on three proceedings that were circulated during the previous Administration, that if acted upon, can significantly improve the lives of those living with a disability.

FCC Kidvid Rule: What is Your Function?

Location:
Washington, DC, United States

After 20 years, it's time to reconsider the Federal Communications Commission guideline effectively requiring TV stations to air three hours of educational and informational children programming each week.

FCC Launches Review of Media Regulations

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

The Federal Communications Commission issued a Public Notice that begins a review of its rules applicable to media entities, including broadcasters, cable operators, and satellite television providers.

FCC’s Colbert Investigation Has Consequences

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

Stephen Colbert’s late-night jabs at President Donald Trump have drawn plenty of heat, with talk of Federal Communications Commission investigations and threats to creative content. But while the FCC is highly unlikely to take any action, there is still a cost to the regulatory overhang of a government investigation regardless of the eventual outcome.

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Sinclair’s Tribune Purchase, Path Paved By Trump

During the same week that President Donald Trump fired the man in charge of the investigation into the Trump Administration’s ties to Russia, Sinclair Broadcast Group, the largest owner of local television stations in the United States, agreed to buy Tribune Media for $3.9 billion. Sinclair is set to acquire Tribune Media’s 42 stations and a prized asset, WGN America, a basic cable and satellite television channel. With the deal, Sinclair will reach more than 70 percent of American households with stations in many major markets, including Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. The proposed deal was made possible by a deregulatory vote by the Federal Communications Commission last month. It seems as though the Trump Administration is paving the way for this conservative-leaning group to have greater influence over our civic discourse as it allows increasing ownership consolidation in the industry.

Remarks of Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, California Women's Conference

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

The Federal Communications Commission’s most recent report on media ownership, released May 10, revealed that women own just 8.6 percent of the 11,919 broadcast stations in this country.

Groups Petition FCC to Delay Reinstating Obsolete Loophole That Would Usher in a New Era of Media Consolidation

Location:
Free Press (DC), 501 Third Street NW, Washington, DC, 20001, United States
Recommendation:
3

Free Press and a coalition of media-rights groups petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to stay its ruling reinstating an obsolete television-ownership rule.

Sinclair warned its viewers about the media’s ‘fake news.’ Now it’s about to take over some of the nation’s biggest stations.

Location:
Sinclair Broadcast Group, 10706 Beaver Dam Road, Hunt Valley, MD, 21030, United States
Recommendation:
3

Local TV stations rank high in public trust, and that is partly because they avoid delving into divisive topics such as national politics, said Harry A. Jessell, editor of TVNewsCheck. Sinclair executives such as Livingtston see it differently, Jessell said. They believe they are pushing back against what they see as a liberal bias in most news programming. Livingston “sees himself like an old-fashioned newspaper publisher, one with a point of view,” Jessell said.

Rep Eshoo and Others: FCC Should Hold 'RT' to Transparency Standards

Location:
Capitol Building, East Capitol Street, NE and 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC, 20002, United States
Recommendation:
3

On the same day the Senate is grilling former Obama and Trump Administration officials about Russian interference in US elections, a group of Democratic Reps has asked the Federal Communications Commission to apply transparency requirements to RT (formerly Russia Today) broadcasts delivered over the airwaves.

Writers Guild of America Hot Over FCC’s Stephen Colbert 'Investigation'

Location:
Writers Guild of America East (WGAE), 250 Hudson Street, New York, NY, 10013, United States
Recommendation:
3

A Federal Communications Commission spokesperson confirmed that it is vetting the viewer complaints it received about Stephen Colbert's Late Show riff on President Donald Trump, which did not sit well with the creative community.

Commissioner Clyburn Remarks at the Media Solutions Summit

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

In addition to the work needed on independent programming, we continue to fail miserably as a nation when it comes to the state of minority and women ownership in the broadcast space.

Remarks of FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly 2017 NAB Show Panel "FCC: You're Fired?"

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Pai brings with him a love of broadcasting, a love of small businesses, a love of Kansas, and so much more. His selection may prove the catalyst for the regulatory golden age of our nation’s broadcasters.

FCC Reinstates Pre-August 2016 Status Quo in Broadcaster Marketplace

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

The Federal Communications Commission voted to reinstate the so-called “UHF discount” until the Commission can address its national television ownership rule more holistically, in a proceeding to be launched later in 2017.

FCC Gives Noncommercial Stations Greater Fundraising Flexibility

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

The Federal Communications Commission today voted to relax its third-party fundraising restrictions to permit many noncommercial television and radio stations to air limited fundraisers for the benefit of other non-profit organizations.

FCC Eases Reporting Burden for Noncommercial Broadcaster Volunteers

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

The Federal Communications Commission made optional a previously mandatory requirement that compelled the officers and board members of noncommercial educational (NCE) stations to report personal information.

Rep Eshoo to FCC’s Pai: Don't Reinstate UHF Discount or Raise Cap

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

Rep Anna Eshoo (D-CA), former chair of the House Communications Subcommittee, says she has serious concerns about Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai's proposal to reinstate the UHF discount.

Statement of Commissioner Mignon Clyburn on Introduction of Legislation to Enhance Broadcast Ownership Diversity

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

Rep GK Butterfield (D-NC) has hit the nail on the head when it comes to proposing solutions for a more inclusive media landscape. I heartily support and applaud his introduction of the Expanding Broadcast Ownership Opportunities Act (HR 1883).

'Connectivity' Bills from Democratic Reps Targets 'Fake News' Retaliation

Location:
Capitol Building, E Capitol St NE & 1st St NE, Washington, DC, 20001, United States
Recommendation:
3

House Democrats have released a suite of "connectivity" bills April 5 that would, among other things, prevent the Federal Communications Commission from targeting broadcasters "or anyone else" on the basis of viewpoint, toughen FCC political ad disclosure rules, and boost broadcast diversity.

90 years later, the broadcast public interest standard remains ill-defined

Location:
Brookings, 1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
2

The public interest standard has governed broadcast radio and television since Congress passed the Radio Act of 1927. However, decades of successive court cases and updated telecommunications laws have done little to clarify what falls into the public interest. The Radio Act gave local broadcasters monopolies over specific channels of electromagnetic spectrum to reduce interference on public airwaves. In exchange for control over a limited resource, the text of the law instructs broadcasters to operate in the “public interest, convenience, and necessity”. A recently released paper by Center for Technology Innovation Nonresident Senior Fellow Stuart N. Brotman outlines the legislative, judicial, and regulatory history of this public interest standard and offers some recommendations for how it might be reformed.

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