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.
January 7, 2014 |
Aereo, the start-up company that transmits local broadcast television signals via the Internet, said it has raised $34 million in a new round of financing that it will use to expand its service, which is currently available in 10 cities. Among Aereo's new backers is Gordy Crawford, a well-known figure in media circles who retired last year from Capital Research and Management, where he oversaw the firm's entertainment and media investments for decades. Crawford is very close to media mogul Barry Diller, whose company IAC is a key investor in Aereo.
January 1, 2013 |
It's New Year's Day, a time for new beginnings. So here are some resolutions I'd like to offer on behalf of some of our friends in the business world. Cable and satellite companies should resolve to throw their lobbying clout behind urging lawmakers to forbid the bundling of channels by broadcasters. As it stands, companies like Disney and Fox can insist that a Time Warner Cable or a DirecTV satellite take most or all of their channels as part of any programming deal, regardless of whether subscribers want them.
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.
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.
August 20, 2013 |
As the dispute between CBS and Time Warner Cable drags on, frustrated viewers are pushing for more extreme responses by government. Last week, three of Time Warner's customers in Southern California sued the company, arguing that it had committed fraud by not reducing its rates during the blackout. This week, L. Gordon Crovitz , a prominent columnist at (and former publisher of) the Wall Street Journal, essentially called on Congress to let cable operators carry the broadcast networks for free, contending that government regulation was responsible for such blackouts.
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.