The Federal Communications Commission voted to modernize its broadcast ownership rules and to help promote ownership diversity in the broadcast industry. The Order on Reconsideration:
Radio and television stations’ local content – particularly news – provides great value for audiences on the major technology platforms. However, broadcasters are not fairly compensated for this valuable content because of the way the markets currently operate. The reason for that is simple – these tech platforms have substantial market power in their provision of services, and they use that power for advancing their own growth and benefit to the detriment of local broadcast journalism.
The US Supreme Court let the Federal Communications Commission ease limits on the ownership of local television and radio stations, siding with the broadcast industry and Trump-era regulators in a long-running fight. The Justices unanimously overturned an appeals court ruling that had required the FCC to first study the potential impact on female and minority ownership in the media industry. Republicans and the broadcast industry have been seeking to relax the ownership limits for decades, saying the restrictions are badly outdated.
Broadcasters want to get a cut of those billions of dollars in the Federal Communications Commission's Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. The National Association of Broadcasters is telling the FCC that TV and radio advertising is particularly effective both because they are ubiquitous and because over-the-air broadcasting over-indexes for the eligible population--households with incomes below $50,000.
As the nation grapples with the violent insurrection fueled by President Trump’s lies and divisive rhetoric, as well as a surging pandemic and economic upheaval, the local broadcast media’s job of providing communities with reliable news and information has never been more important. Communities deserve a diverse array of voices and perspectives in the media on critical issues such as economic and racial justice and investigative reporting that holds power accountable. Who owns and presents the media matters.
Content is moving online and the government needs to keep pace. This accelerating shift toward Internet-based platforms is transforming the media marketplace, and the regulatory framework must change accordingly. In 2020, for example, Google and Facebook are each expected to bring in more ad revenue than every TV and radio station in the U.S. combined.
The Federal Communications Commission will hold an Open Meeting on the subjects listed below on Thursday, December 10, 2020:
Regarding the adoption of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on whether to modify the FCC’s FM Booster Rules to permit geo-targeted content to originate from FM booster stations, which could provide a way for small and minority-owned stations to better serve their communities by offering hyper-localized content including alternative language news, weather, emergency alerts, and advertising periodically during the broadcast day:
Rep Jim Hagedorn (R-MN) and KTOE DJ Al Travis Thielfoldt face further questions about the nature of their working relationship as documents raise questions over whether Rep Hagedorn’s campaign paid Thielfoldt for radio interviews. The Free Press recently obtained a series of invoices written by Thielfoldt in his work as a paid advertising consultant to the campaign covering Sept 2019 and the first five months of 2020. In those monthly invoices, Thielfoldt lists dates of interviews he or others conducted with Rep Hagedorn on KTOE as well as interview blocks of time.