Category: Legislative Update

FCC Looking to Change Public File Obligations

The FCC released the tentative agenda for its May 25 Open Meeting. Topping the agenda is an item that could lift a burden from commercial broadcasters.  The FCC will vote on adopting a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to eliminate the requirement that commercial broadcast stations retain copies of letters and emails from the public in… read more

NAB Petitions FCC for Voluntary Use of Next-Gen TV

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), Consumer Technology Association, America’s Public Television Stations and the Advanced Warning and Response Network filed a joint petition with the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to authorize use of the ATSC 3.0 broadcasting standard on voluntary basis. The groups say the ATSC 3.0 standard will enable stations to broadcast 4K,… read more

FCC Says Pre-Auction Expenses May Be Reimbursed

According to the Broadcast Law Blog, the FCC released a ‘declaratory ruling’ in which the agency states that a TV station’s pre-auction expenses can be reimbursed if that station has to be repacked after the incentive auction. The ruling is designed to expedite the post-transition repacking process. The FCC noted that the reimbursement can only… read more

Committee Considers Public Threat Alert Legislation

Last week, the Michigan House Committee on Communications and Technology, heard testimony on House Bill 5442 – the Public Threat Alert. The bill requires that Michigan State Police (MSP) establish and maintain a public threat alert plan to rapidly disseminate useful information to radio, television, and through wireless emergency alerts (WEA). The bill states that the… read more

Snyder Announces Staff Changes

Governor Rick Snyder (R) recently announced several changes in his Executive Office. This includes: Mike Zimmer, now the director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, into the post of cabinet director; and Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) Chief Deputy Director Shelly Edgerton to LARA director. Elizabeth Clement, currently Snyder’s deputy chief of staff and cabinet… read more

President Signs IPAWS Legislation

Last week President Obama signed the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) Modernization Act of 2015 into law. The new law integrates multiple communication systems like EAS and wireless alerts, promotes local and regional public and private partnerships, and provides redundant alert mechanisms to reach the largest number of people during an emergency. The… read more

MDHHS Faces Major Restructuring

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is making a major realignment in its divisions dealing with public health. The department will create a new bureau of epidemiology and population health as it comes under severe criticism for how it handled a deadly outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease in Genesee County. Advocates for public… read more

FCC Wants to Expand Video Description

According to a legal advisory released by Davis, Wright, Tremaine, LLP., the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) looking to amend its video description rules to increase the amount of required video described programming as well as the number of programmers who must offer video description. Presently, ABC, CBS, Fox… read more

NAB Urges TV Band Repack by Region

According to a report in TVNewsCheck, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) says that the most logical way to conduct the post-auction repacking of the TV band is on a regional basis with the most populated regions going first. The NAB believes such approach would minimize disruption of service to broadcasters and viewers and get… read more