October 12, 2000 |
Less than a month before election day, a federal appeals court threw out long-standing rules that require broadcasters to give candidates a chance to respond to personal attacks and political endorsements. The immediate effect of the repeal of the rules, which already had been suspended through the remainder of the 2000 campaign season, is unclear. But broadcasters, who had long argued that the regulations have a chilling effect on free speech, celebrated the court's decision.
March 31, 2014 |
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.
September 26, 2013 |
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.
December 13, 2012 |
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.
June 12, 2012 |
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.
September 28, 2012 |
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.
October 5, 1996
Congratulations to the TV Campaign '96 Coalition for trying to convince local commercial television stations to provide daily coverage of election issues ("Most L.A. TV Stations Refuse to Set Aside Time for Issues," Calendar, Sept. 23). It is dismaying, but not surprising, to learn that some broadcasters feel they have no role to play in encouraging the development of a more knowledgeable electorate. By shirking this responsibility, broadcasters are violating the public trust that should accompany their licenses.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 26, 1992
So after spending years bullying the networks into accepting guidelines for the depiction of violence, Sen. Paul Simon (D-Ill.) now bemoans that the guidelines "lack teeth" because they can't be enforced by law. Damn right! Maybe he's forgotten, but there's a thing called the First Amendment that prevents government from proscribing what its citizens may see and say. Ultimately, there's only one solution--abolish the FCC (at least as far as it has power to control content). After over half a century of operating by leave of the government, let broadcasters take their rightful place alongside book, magazine and newspaper publishers and let the public truly decide what it wants.
April 16, 2014 |
There will be no tie in the Supreme Court battle of Aereo vs. the broadcasters. Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito, who previously had recused himself from participating in the case, will take part in it after all, according to SCOTUS Blog , which tracks the Supreme Court. Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for next week. Alito had given no reason for recusing himself from the case, but one possible reason is that a justice or his family has stock in some of the companies involved in the dispute.