Is it true that the Federal Communications Commission has zero tolerance when it comes to violation of rules set earlier? Will the violator who asks for permission be exempted? The answer to both is No way! The decision of the Media Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission passed recently clearly proves this fact. The whole situation came to light in New York when two commonly-owned entities decided to exchange stations. They made use of the third license for this swap.
The parties decided to execute a time brokerage agreement which would permit them to commence operating as if the swap had occurred with the permission of the Commission. Normally executing a TBA is noncontroversial. However in this case, by executing the TBA, the buyer exceeded the limit of the maximum number of stations under common control. The Commission has the power to refuse to grant the assignment application of the buyer. Here this assignment application filed with the commission contained a temporary waiver request to get control of the stations. However, they parties involved did not wait for the Commission to grant the waiver and went ahead to implement the TBA without obtaining the Commission’s consent.
The commission without any hesitation denied the waiver request. The parties were also charged a forfeiture of $20,000. The lifeline given to the parties was that their assignment applications were rejected without any prejudice. So they could reapply for the same. However the next time they were asked to wait for the Commission to consider the waiver and grant permission before commencing operation of TBA. This incident is a gentle reminder to all FCC licensees that “business expedience is not synonymous with the public interest.” Business enterprises should not forget that they have to move through the proper channel and wait for The Federal Communications Commission to grant permission as and when required.
Read More: Emergency Alert System 2016- Are You Ready For The Test?
The Emergency Alert system was put into place in the United States on January 1, 1997. It is a National warning system designed to enable the President of the United States to communicate with the people of the United States within 10 minutes. The people are warned of local weather emergencies using EAS. Tests are conducted on a regular basis to determine and make sure that all the systems are in order and the country is prepared for emergencies. The most recent test is on September 28th, 2016 at 2pm.
It is mandatory that all EAS Participants have to take part in the EAS test. They need to review whatever information they have submitted in the EAS Reporting system to make sure no changes are required. In case any alterations are to be made, the last date to do this is September 26th. On the day of the test, all the EAS participants will be asked to submit an initial report regarding their experience with EAS. They need to confirm that they have received the EAS signals from the respectively assigned monitoring sources. The participants should also convince the Committee that they have responded in accordance with FCC rules.
Yet another report has to be submitted by the participants before November 14th.The Post-test reports i.e. Form three asks for information as to how the EAS Participant has performed during the test. It serves as a better platform to know if there were any complications during transmission of signals or any other aspects of the Test.
In May 2016, e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems have been declared as tobacco products. The new guidelines prohibit advertisements of E cigarettes which target minors. Also, advertisements exhibiting health benefits of E-cigarettes have been banned. Hence all broadcasters should immediately scrutinize the content of the promotional materials and make sure that they comply with all FDA rules.