Category: Legislative Update

Low Power FM Back In Front of FCC – Another Proposal to Raise Power and Word of a New Filing Window

By: David Oxenford, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP Low Power FM is back in the news this week.  As we noted a week ago in our summary of FCC regulatory actions, a Petition for Rulemaking has been filed by REC Networks asking that the maximum authorized power for LPFM stations be raised from 100 to 250 watts.  The hope among LPFM advocates is that… read more

Copyright Royalty Board Decision on Webcasting Royalties Expected by June 14 – What Will the Streaming Rates for 2021-2025 Be?

By: David Oxenford, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP The Copyright Royalty Board decision on the rates to be paid in the next 5 years by webcasters, including broadcasters who simulcast their programming on the internet, to SoundExchange for the digital public performance of sound recordings is supposed to be released by June 14.  These royalties are collected by SoundExchange from noninteractive webcasters (see… read more

Governor Accelerates State’s ‘Vacc to Normal’ Plan

On May 20, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced an updated ‘Vacc to Normal’ plan, which outlines steps Michiganders can take to emerge from this pandemic. As of June 1, capacity limits will lift for outdoor events. Additionally, indoor capacity limits will increase to 50%, allowing indoor social gatherings such as weddings and funerals to move closer… read more

House Passed Bill to Prevent FOIA Suspension by Executive Order Moves to Senate Floor

Members of the Senate Oversight Committee on Tuesday recommended the full Senate approve a House bill that would prohibit the suspension of Freedom of Information Act requests through an executive order in many cases, according to a report in Gongwer. Jonathan Magry, a staffer for the bill’s sponsor Rep. Steve Johnson (R-Wayland), told the committee… read more

NAB Voices Opposition Against Proposed FCC Radio Rate Hikes

The National Association of Broadcasters is quickly pushing back against a proposal by the Federal Communications Commission to raise the annual regulatory fees on radio stations by an average of eight percent, according to a report in InsideRadio. In a disclosure filing, NAB General Counsel and Executive Vice President Legal and Regulatory Affairs Rick Kaplan… read more

FCC Extends Comment Dates on CVAA – Inquiry About Whether There is a Need to Update Video Programming and Other Accessibility Rules

By: David Oxenford, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP Under the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (commonly called the CVAA), the FCC has adopted many rules designed to enhance accessibility to broadcast communications, particularly those provided by television broadcasters.  In a recent Public Notice, the FCC asked for comments as to how the implementation of the CVAA… read more

Call on Congress Goes Virtual This Year

This past week, your MAB held its annual “Call on Congress” meetings with lawmakers from across Michigan.  Due to the continued pandemic concerns, this years COC was held virtually.  On Wednesday, MAB members were able to speak and discuss broadcast-related issues with staff from Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin’s (D-8th) office, Congresswoman Lisa McClain (R-10th), Congresswoman Rashida… read more

Senator Looks to Add Local Journalism Tax Breaks, Grants to Infrastructure Proposals

Local journalism needs to be part of President Biden’s call for investment in national infrastructure, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) told the NAB State Leadership Conference this week. According to a report in InsideRadio, she plans to introduce legislation that would make as much as $2.3 billion in tax credits and grants available over the next… read more

The First Amendment’s Role in Broadcast and Online Regulation

By: David Oxenford, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP Everyone knows that a fundamental principle of American democracy is the First Amendment – guaranteeing many freedoms to US citizens including freedom of the press and freedom of speech.  It is one of those concepts that underlies our society, but is often mentioned only in passing, and rarely considered in… read more

CDC: Vaccinated Can Take Masks Off Indoors and Outdoors; MDHHS Updates Guidance

The Hill reported Thursday afternoon (5/13) that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released guidance that says if you are fully vaccinated — two weeks past the last required COVID-19 vaccine dose — you don’t need to wear masks indoors or outside, and you don’t need to maintain physical distance. “The science is… read more