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."

Sumner Redstone Built Media Empire and Long Reigned Over It

Sumner M. Redstone, the billionaire entrepreneur who saw business as combat and his advancing years as no obstacle in building a media empire that encompassed CBS and Viacom, died at his home in Los Angeles. He was 97. Beginning with a modest chain of drive-in movie theaters, Redstone negotiated, sued and otherwise fought to amass holdings that over time included CBS, the Paramount film and television studios, the publisher Simon & Schuster, the video retail giant Blockbuster and a host of cable channels, including MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.

Deletion of Items from August 6, 2020 Open Meeting

The following items have been adopted by the Federal Communications Commission and deleted from the list of items scheduled for consideration at the Thursday, Aug 6, 2020, Open Meeting.

Common Antenna Siting Rules (MB Docket No. 19-282); Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative (MB Docket No. 17-105): The FCC will consider a Report and Order that would eliminate the common antenna siting rules for FM and TV broadcaster applicants and licensees.



Thu, 08/13/2020 - 18:00

Television executives from E.W. Scripps, Tegna and the National Association of Broadcasters will assess what progress the industry is making toward diversity and inclusion both in front of and behind the camera and in its news coverage of minority communities during a TVNewsCheck Working Lunch Webinar. 

Remarks of FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly Before the Media Institute's Luncheon Series

The First Amendment protects us from limits on speech imposed by the government—not private actors—and we should all reject demands, in the name of the First Amendment, for private actors to curate or publish speech in a certain way. I shudder to think of a day in which the Fairness Doctrine could be reincarnated by some other name, especially at the ironic behest of so-called speech “defenders.” Further, like it or not, the First Amendment’s protections apply to corporate entities, especially when they engage in editorial decision making.

The Trump Campaign’s Legal Strategy Includes Suing a Tiny TV Station in Northern Wisconsin

President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign filed defamation lawsuits against three of the country’s most prominent news outlets: The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN. Then it filed another suit against a somewhat lower-profile news organization: northern Wisconsin’s WJFW-TV, which serves the 134th-largest market in the country.

FCC Announces Tentative Agenda for August 2020 Open Meeting

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced that the items below are tentatively on the agenda for the August Open Commission Meeting scheduled for Thursday, August 6, 2020:

C-band Auction Procedures – The FCC will consider a Public Notice that would adopt procedures for the auction of new flexible-use overlay licenses in the 3.7–3.98 GHz band (Auction 107) for 5G, the Internet of Things, and other advanced wireless services. (AU Docket No. 20-25)

The Need For Speed

When it comes our August meeting’s main attraction, repurposing C-band spectrum for 5G, we feel the need — the need for speed. I circulated final draft procedures for a C-band auction to be held on Dec 8, 2020, and we will vote on them at our August meeting. They spell out the many details of the auction — competitive bidding procedures, application requirements, and deadlines governing participation in Auction 107. To spur the deployment of ultra-fast, world-leading 5G networks, we need to make C-band spectrum (among other spectrum bands) available as quickly as possible.

Post-Incentive Auction Transition Successfully Meets 39-Month Deadline

The Federal Communications Commission announced that the post-incentive auction transition has successfully reached the July 13, 2020 deadline established for television stations to move off their pre-auction channel assignments. This milestone signals that all of the valuable low-band airwaves sold in the ground-breaking broadcast incentive auction are now available for wireless mobile broadband services. This newly licensed 600 MHz band spectrum is already benefiting millions of US consumers, as it is being used to provide wireless service, including 5G, across the country.

Chairman Pai Remarks on Post-Incentive Auction Repack

To meet the booming demand for mobile broadband that was being fueled by the smartphone revolution, Congress empowered the Federal Communications Commission to conduct a first-of-its-kind, two-sided auction that would allow spectrum used for broadcast TV to be repurposed for wireless services. In April 2017, we closed the bidding in the incentive auction, which yielded $19.8 billion in revenue. Roughly $10 billion went to broadcasters as incentive payments for giving up their spectrum.

Lawsuit contends Michael Pack has broken federal guarantees of broadcasters' journalistic independence

New US Agency for Global Media CEO Michael Pack swept into office like a man on a mission, firing the top executives and advisory boards of federally funded international broadcasters.