In exchange for obtaining a valuable license to operate a broadcast station using the public airwaves, each radio and television licensee is required by law to operate its station in the “public interest, convenience and necessity.” This means that it must air programming that is responsive to the needs and problems of its local community of license. In addition, how other media facilitate community discussions.
The Federal Communications Commission has historically been over-obsessed and too reliant on the belief that the number of broadcast voices in a market is directly tied or correlated to the issue of license ownership, which is a false assumption. I firmly believe that our ownership rules have not worked. It’s why I was so pleased to support the Chairman’s order [in 2017] to eliminate some of these rules.
[Editorial] Consider this a plea to Alden — owner of Digital First Media, one of the largest newspaper chains in the country — to rethink its business strategy across all its newspaper holdings. Consider this also a signal to our community and civic leaders that they ought to demand better. Denver deserves a newspaper owner who supports its newsroom.
The nation’s biggest conservative broadcaster is putting words in its anchors’ mouths. Critics blame the FCC.
Critics say the Federal Communications Commission is responsible for enabling and emboldening the right-leaning Sinclair Broadcast Group in ways that could ultimately hurt conservatives and liberals alike.The FCC eliminated the “main studio rule,” a federal requirement that radio and TV stations operate a physical studio in the areas where they were licensed. In voting to repeal the rule, FCC Chairman Pai said technological advances make it no longer necessary for stations to keep the lights on in a physical studio; many broadcasters, including NPR, agreed.
On the morning of April 2, President Donald Trump tweeted, "So funny to watch Fake News Networks, among the most dishonest groups of people I have ever dealt with, criticize Sinclair Broadcasting for being biased.
On local news stations across the United States, dozens of anchors gave the same speech to their combined millions of viewers. It included a warning about fake news, a promise to report fairly and accurately and a request that viewers go to the station’s website and comment “if you believe our coverage is unfair.” It may not have seemed strange until viewers began to notice that the newscasters from Seattle to Phoenix to Washington sounded very similar. The script came from Sinclair Broadcast Group, the country’s largest broadcaster, which owns or operates 193 television stations.
On March 22, the Federal Communications Commission will vote on an order to streamline environmental and historic preservation reviews for 5G facilities deployment. Reps. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Raul Ruiz (D-CA) wrote FCC Commissioner Brandan Carr, who is spearheading the FCC proposal, to ask him to reconsider, saying the order will short-circuit safeguards for tribal lands. The proposed order would render the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) toothless when it comes to protecting "tribally-significant" sites.
[Commentary] The Federal Communications Commission is expected to vote on a measure which would exempt 5G infrastructure from environmental and historic reviews. And more than a dozen states have passed laws stripping their local governments of any meaningful say on issues relating to where to put the 5G boxes. A smarter approach would bar localities from turning the permitting process into a cash cow, but would give them input on where 5G boxes go and what they should look like. This kind of buy-in might seem burdensome.
[Commentary] The Senate Commerce Committee held three hearings this week on infrastructure.
In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission Next Century Cities is pushing back on the FCC's efforts to exempt some wireless deployments from local historic or environmental reviews, saying they are being scapegoated unfairly as impediments to broadband deployment. Three dozen mayors and other elected officials signed the letter defending local decisionmaking in 5G small-cell deployments.
[Commentary] The proposed acquisition of Tribune Media by the Sinclair Broadcast Group is under consideration by the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department. Approval would likely trigger a hemorrhage in local reporting and voices and a sharp decline across much of the nation in balanced coverage of politics and government.