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ENTERTAINMENT
August 19, 2012 | By T. L. Stanley
Howie Mandel wore black high-top shoes - and nothing else - during a remote shoot for NBC's "America's Got Talent. " Krysten Ritter strolled around in the altogether, casually snacking and chatting on ABC's "Don't Trust the B - in Apartment 23. " And Ashton Kutcher greeted visitors on CBS' "Two and a Half Men" in shaggy shoulder-length hair and his birthday suit. These aren't clips from "Networks Gone Wild," but scenes from the recent broadcast season where instances of "full nudity" have skyrocketed.
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ENTERTAINMENT
September 26, 2013 | By Joe Flint
Remember when you had to jiggle an antenna on your TV set to get good reception for a UHF signal? Well, those days are long gone and the Federal Communications Commission thinks it is time to stop treating a UHF channel as a weak sister to a VHF channel. For those of you born after the days of rabbit ears, UHF stands for ultra high frequency and refers to channels above 13. A UHF signal was not as strong as a VHF signal. VHF stands for very high frequency and refers to channels 2 through 13. Why "ultra" was weaker than "very" when it seems that it should have been the other way around will just have to remain a mystery.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 13, 2012 | By Meg James
CALM wasn't easy to achieve. CALM Act, the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation law, which limits the volume of TV commercials, took effect Thursday. It requires broadcasters to ensure that TV commercials maintain the same volume as the entertainment programming in which they are contained. The legislative effort was begun more than four years ago by Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Menlo Park), who was blasted by blaring ads on TV during a family holiday gathering. “This has been a top consumer complaint for decades,” Eshoo said during a news conference Thursday in Washington.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 31, 2014 | By Joe Flint
The Federal Communications Commission approved new rules Monday that will greatly reduce and potentially bring to an end the popular practice of business partnerships between competing local television stations. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said such partnerships have been abused by many broadcasters who have used so-called joint sales agreements to get around the regulatory agency's rules limiting the number of television stations a broadcaster can own. The new guidelines are seen as a blow to several big broadcasters including Sinclair Broadcast Group and Nexstar Broadcasting, two of the nation's largest owners of local television stations.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 25, 2013 | By Joe Flint
Are pay-TV distributors DirecTV, Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications looking to create their own version of Aereo -- the start-up that transmits the over-the-air broadcast television signals to consumers via the Internet? That's what a story from Bloomberg suggests. The motivation is simple enough. If the cable and satellite guys can come up with their own way to distribute broadcast signals to consumers without having to pay broadcasters, it could save them a bundle of money in so-called retransmission consent fees.
NEWS
June 12, 2012 | By Jon Healey
This post has been updated, as indicated below. Unless the Federal Communications Commission swoops in, Tuesday could be a belated day of reckoning for cable TV customers with old-school analog sets. Local television stations shut off their analog broadcasts three years ago, forcing anyone who relied on over-the-air signals to switch to swap their analog TVs for digital ones or, more affordably, buy digital-to-analog converter boxes. The latter cost about $50, but the feds offered to subsidize the purchase of up to two boxes per home, cutting the price to about $10. Most cable TV subscribers, however, didn't have to worry about the change in technology.
NATIONAL
June 21, 2012 | By David G. Savage, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court, in a narrow ruling Thursday, rejected possible fines against the TV networks for having aired "fleeting expletives" or momentary nudity nearly a decade ago. The justices said the broadcasters were not given "fair notice" that lapses would be treated as major violations of the federal broadcast rules against indecency. The justices avoided a broad ruling on the 1st Amendment and whether traditional broadcasters now deserve the same free-speech rights as cable TV and other media.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 9, 2013 | By Joe Flint
News Corp. Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey made big headlines Monday for suggesting that Fox could go from a broadcast network to cable channel to make ends meet.  The implication is that consumers would have to pay to watch Bart Simpson or catch some NFL football on Sunday afternoons. But for all intents and purpose, Fox is already a cable channel and has been for a long time. Yes, about 10% to 15% of the country's TV consumers still get Fox via antennas, but everyone else receives its signals from a pay-TV provider such as Time Warner Cable or DirecTV.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 28, 2012 | By Joe Flint
The Federal Communications Commission has put the wheels in motion to take some airwaves from broadcasters and auction that spectrum for wireless broadband. In a 5-0 vote Friday the FCC issued what is known as a notice of proposed rulemaking, which is a first step toward determining how its airwaves auction will work. Broadcasters are being asked to voluntarily give up some of their spectrum, which will then be auctioned off to wireless companies. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and the wireless industry believe that the nation is running out of spectrum for new platforms and mobile devices, particularly in large urban areas.
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