Auction of Cross-Service FM Translator Construction Permits; Notice and Filing Requirements, Minimum Opening Bids, Upfront Payments, and Other Procedures for Auction 100
Request of Auction 100 Applicants Capstar TX, LLC, CC Licenses, LLC, and Citicasters Licenses, Inc. for Waiver of Section 1.2105(c)
We’ve all done it: Facing a situation with some exigency, we do something temporary to get things going again. Our intention is to come back after the crisis is over and apply a proper fix, but life and work gets in the way and we are delayed … or forget about it … or both.Shiny new 1-5/8-inch rigid RF plumbing has replaced the big loops of Heliax pressing on the ceiling tiles.
That one little incident, by itself, is no big deal. The fix may not be neat, but it works, and it doesn’t really compromise the integrity of the facility or its infrastructure.
The trouble is, it happens again. And again. Busy engineers responsible for multiple stations with limited resources are under a lot of time pressure. As we apply quick fixes, we relieve the immediate pressure but cumulatively produce a whole new kind of pressure.
For the past 20 years, I have mostly flown a desk, working at the corporate level and dealing with all the technical and physical plant administrative aspects of the company for which I work; but from time to time, I just have to get out in the field. It’s in the blood.
On several occasions, I have helped out with various projects and fixes at our studios and transmitter sites. Two sites in particular have vexed me with many layers of “quick fixes” for which permanent solutions were never applied.
Earlier this year, I helped out with transmitter replacements at these sites, and I took the opportunity to overhaul the RF plumbing and wiring infrastructure there, clearing layers of quick fixes and shortcuts that had piled up over the years.
For starters, the RF plumbing at one site was done with big loops of 7/8-inch Heliax that extended up from the transmitters to the ceiling grid, sometimes pressing tiles out of place before looping back down to the phasor.
It’s one of those things that we always meant to redo but never got around to. That was now job #1, and we did it up right. The site today is plumbed with shiny 1-5/8-inch rigid, and the big Heliax loops are gone.
Beyond that, we started picking our way through the AC and remote control wiring at the sites, and as we plowed through the transmitter replacements, I occasionally had to shake my head at the things I found. For example, tracing out the audio input wire from the aux transmitter, I found its end stripped and twisted together with two other wires, one for left and one for right, coming out of a distribution amplifier downstream of the analog outputs of the audio processor.
That cobbled-together L+R summing junction worked, but it wasn’t even soldered … and it was in no way insulated — just bare wires hanging deep in the rack. It’s a miracle that it hadn’t shorted out on an equipment chassis and produced an intermittent that would have driven our engineers crazy! I have no idea who was responsible for that “quick fix” but I certainly was glad to get rid of it.
I found all sorts of other issues, many of them related to grounding, including one distribution panel that had no neutral — the 120 VAC circuits were getting their neutral from the ground in the box, which was only provided through the conduit itself.
The biggest irritation about these sites, however, was that there was no documentation on the remote control wiring scheme. I have no doubt that the very capable chief engineer who installed the wiring did in fact carefully document it, but over the years, that documentation was lost, probably as a result of computer upgrades and replacements. But whatever reason, there were no hard copies to be found at the sites — or anywhere.
As a result, anytime problem arose, the current CE had to spend a good bit of time to trace things out and find the cause. It was proof of the old adage that “a stitch in time saves nine.” Taking the time to do things right, document the changes and make sure that documentation is readily available will pay big dividends going forward.
And so it was that we stripped everything down to the bare bones and, with yellow legal pad in hand, started tracing out and documenting the wiring. It was a painstaking process, but as we moved along, we began to see how the underlying infrastructure was all very systematic, symmetrical and sensible.
The command, status and metering connections from the remote control system were terminated on a split insulation displacement block. Similarly, the command, status and metering wiring from the transmitters also terminated on a split block. Since the main would become the aux and a new transmitter would become the main, we had to pull all the cross-connects anyway, so this really was the ideal time to make things right and produce new documentation.
In the end, it really didn’t take all that long. With the pages from the legal pad in hand, we made a spreadsheet with tabs for command, status and metering, showing wire numbers, wire color, function and cross-connect source/destination on each line. All those spreadsheets were printed out, laminated and affixed to the inside of the rack door for easy reference. Then it was simply a matter of making all the cross-connects and testing everything out.
Those laminated spreadsheets will have to be updated from time to time as changes are made, but at the very least they provide documentation of the underlying wiring scheme. To find channel 6-raise, for example, it’s a simple matter of finding that function on the command spreadsheet, identifying the wire number and getting the wire color for confirmation. In seconds, we know on exactly which terminal that function is punched. And that’s the way it ought to be.Laminated spreadsheets documenting the remote control wiring are affixed to the rack door for easy reference.
CAN’T AFFORD TO LET IT PASS
We are engineers. Ask most anyone for a list of characteristics of an engineer and among them will be neatness, precision and organization. And those words are accurate, or they should be.
Certainly, there are some in our ranks who are a little challenged in those attributes, but for the most part, a good engineer wants to see things done neatly, with precision and organization. Yet, again, sometimes the exigencies get in the way and we’re tempted to take the shortcut.
I’ve heard it said that if you have time to do something twice, you have time to do it right. I would agree with that sentiment. Quite often, the reality is that it takes a lot less time to do a task right the first time than it does to apply a quick fix now and make it right later. So look at it this way: By doing it right the first time, you’ll actually save time, and those who come after you will benefit as well.
While he’s not an engineer, singer/songwriter Billy Joel captured the sentiment well:
I’ve gotta get it right the first time
That’s the main thing,
I can’t afford to let it pass
You get it right the next time that’s not the same thing,
Gonna have to make the first time last
Cris Alexander, CPBE AMD DRB, is director of engineering of Crawford Broadcasting Co. and technical editor of RW Engineering Extra. Email him your thoughts and suggestions for articles to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How much can I receive? And what’s covered?
Those are questions that radio broadcasters affected by the TV band repack can get answered when it comes to being reimbursed by the federal government.
At its March meeting, the Federal Communications Commission said that FM broadcast stations, television translators and LPTVs are eligible for reimbursement if their facilities have been affected by a repacked television station, assuming the stations have been in operation for a stipulated amount of time. The commission finalized and released a catalog that details potentially reimbursable costs.
Earlier, Congress had appropriated $1 billion in funding as part of the 2018 Reimbursement Expansion Act. Of the $600 million available in fiscal 2018 and $400 million in 2019, the REA stipulated that up to $50 million be used to reimburse FM stations, and up to $150 million for LPTVs and TV translators.
To help broadcasters keep track of what is potentially reimbursable, the Incentive Auction Task Force at the FCC finalized its cost “catalog.” A draft had been circulated earlier. The catalog is a 20-page document that can be found at https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-19-176A2.pdf.Congress stipulated that up to $50 million be used to reimburse FM stations.
The FCC adopted rules to reimburse both hard and soft expenses for FM stations that must replace or modify equipment, as well as stations that must construct or upgrade auxiliary facilities in order to minimize disruption of service. “Hard” expenses include new equipment and tower rigging; “soft” include legal and engineering services.[Public Radio Not a Fan of FM Repack Reimbursement Proposal]
The goal of the catalog is to give stations a list of ranges for use as estimates when they do not have vendor quotes and to help them establish acceptable price ranges. These provide guidance only, the FCC clarified; they do not serve as price caps, and stations can submit additional cost justification documentation if needed, the commission said.
Earlier, NPR had expressed a concern that the draft version of the catalog limited the range of equipment and services that is potentially reimbursable.
“We reiterate that the cost catalog is a non-exhaustive list of equipment and services,” the FCC said in finalizing the catalog. “It is intended to serve as a reference guide that will add structure to the process of claiming reimbursement by identifying the types of equipment and services that are most commonly required to construct new broadcast facilities, as well as their price ranges.”
For equipment or services not listed in the catalog, the form provides flexibility for users to claim reimbursement for such reasonably incurred expenses.
The final version includes other changes, such as a modification requested by NPR that the initial price range proposed in the draft for “lease negotiations or other legal matters” for FM stations should be equivalent with the range for LPTV and translator stations.[We Wrap Up Our FM Cluster Repack Project]
The FCC also amended the catalog to add a line for FM stations looking to purchase a combined HD importer/exporter, a relatively new type of product that combines an HD Radio importer and exporter into one unit.
The commission also added a broader range of program management and consulting costs as part of the professional services category, since “local public radio stations are likely to need ‘legal, engineering and consulting services to assist with overall planning, determining the specific steps needed to minimize disruption, and procuring equipment, labor and services,’” the report said.
The FCC also updated the catalog amounts for filing fees associated with certain Media Bureau applications that FMs, LPTVs and translators may need to implement changes necessary to remain on the air during the repack.
The author is chairman of Digital Radio Mondiale.
What is 5G? Is it a bird or a plane or yet another good topic for myriads of conferences?
It seems to me, as a “laywoman,” that 5G is an exciting new wireless communication project. It is an improvement on 4G that hopefully will revolutionize our lives by optimizing many of our daily activities, including access to fast internet and video.5G might be complementary to digital broadcasting but not a replacement for it. Photo copyright: Radu Obreja.
5G began as a technology for mobile network operators to deployed. In principle it should ensure faster speeds — great for video then — more volume of data transported with very little delay. Since 5G, when compared to 4G, allows for better, faster, cheaper and more reliable data distribution, it could also optimize other activities in addition to telecommunications. In fact, the new platform may have wide applications in the industry (i.e. control and move equipment in a factory), as nowadays data transport is the currency of everyday life and logistics. Software will program 5G for a lot of applications of which broadcasting will be just one slice.
5G started as a technology developed by mobile operators but it is highly unlikely that the telecom companies will be able alone to roll it out as “a network for everything” at profit. So, there is already talk of private 5G networks and also of repurposing existing terrestrial broadcast networks or using satellites or a combination of all these.Ruxandra Obreja
It is clear that 5G is still a nebulous concept, which is being worked on technically at the moment, with standardization at an advanced stage. 5G has a big chance to become a truly global standard, widely accepted and thus delivering economies of scale.
But, alas, the technology will not be the answer to all our digital prayers. And there are many other “issues.” For example, 5G is a very small-cell application i.e. it works well and fast at short distances. So, it will require even more transmitters than FM, DAB+ or the efficient DRM. More spectrum, even below 470 MHz or just as low as band III, will have to be made available, if we want connectivity for a lot of devices simultaneously.
5G, at least in the beginning, will need a new and very dense (read expensive) infrastructure. This month, authorities halted a pilot project to provide high-speed 5G wireless internet in Brussels due to fear of radiation. Belgian Environment Minister, Celine Fremault, wrote in the Brussels Times on April 1 that the people there “are not guinea pigs whose health I can sell at a profit.”
In addition, the United Kingdom Government recently announced that it has ditched part of its £35 million trial of 5G-based mobile and fixed line fiber technology on a rail route between Manchester and York in northern England. The reasons given were mainly complexity and costs.
Even if we will eventually overcome these hiccups, new receivers will have to be manufactured and sold. A solid business model will need to be defined, too.
5G will progress and offer new opportunities in both content creation and distribution. Some specialists estimate that 5G will become reality in 10 years. According to Darko Ratkay of the, EBU, it would be premature to consider 5G as a replacement of technologies and infrastructure in use (tech-I, tech.ebu.ch/March 2019).
Those who still hesitate to go the digital radio way, invoking the mirage of the 5G, are simply using it as an excuse for their lack of determination and courage. After all, 5G is still in its infancy; it will be great for internet and video but will not deliver the large coverage that digital DRM can do in AM, for example, or what DRM, DAB+ and HD can do for local coverage.
And we have not even touched the question of audio in cars. But neither can 5G and its potential be ignored, as the industry worldwide and the policy makers are behind it, considering it to be the future.
This year 5G broadcasting tests are taking place in Germany and the U.K. The BBC is pioneering live radio broadcasts over 5G mobile networks in the first public trial of its kind in the far away Scottish island of Orkney where 4G/5G mobiles will be used to deliver BBC content.
So, is digital terrestrial audio broadcasting at the moment just a stepping stone to the predicted benefits of 5G? The answer has to be an emphatic no.
Digital radio (DRM and other digital standards) can already distribute rich multi-media content to many, at low energy costs and with clear spectral efficiency.
Radio has been recently declared the most trustworthy medium in both Europe and the US. Duncan Stewart, director of Research with Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications, boldly predicts that 18- to 34-year-old Americans will spend more time listening to radio than watching TV by 2025.
And this might be happening already in the Nordic countries (except Norway) “as radio listening minutes for younger demographics was already higher than linear TV viewing minutes in Sweden and Finland, and was going to crossover in Denmark in 2019.”
Radio is in a good place just now and in the words of Bob Pittman, CEO of iHeart Media,” is hot for the first time in decades.” Radio does not need to be shy and apologetic in the new media landscape, or fear the advent of 5G. Conversation, discussion and discovery are central to this medium that is resilient and has shown how it can reinvent itself digitally.
If you are in a part of the world where 2G and 3G are the norm, where electricity might be sporadic and data plans unaffordable, you can be connected and linked through radio.
Broadcasters, regulators and the industry need to watch, experiment and develop 5G but, before anything else, digital radio has to be available everywhere in good quality and for free.
If you start experimenting and developing digital content and also renew your analog infrastructure by upgrading to digital with DRM, for example, you might be using the good place audio is in just now, while video is planning on the huge boost it will receive with 5G.
By becoming digital and putting your faith in radio, you might be even better prepared to benefit from 5G, too, once it is clearly defined and available.
Codec interoperability … powerful remote control systems … smart engineering management…securing your facility against the unthinkable. All this and more in your latest RWEE, with articles from Tom Hartnett, Paul Shulins, Rick Sewell, John Marcon, Frank Eliason and Cris Alexander.FACILITY MANAGEMENT
Physical Security in the Broadcast Plant
The hard truth is that your radio station conceivably could become the target of a shooter or other person looking to do harm. What can you do today to keep your people and your facility safe?TECH TIPS
Professional IP Audio Codec Compatibility
Codecs of different brands can work together if you take the proper steps, writes Tom Hartnett.ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:
- Get the Most Out of Your Modern Remote Control System
- It’s the Repack — Scoot Over!
- Failure Is, in Fact, an Option
Jennifer, Eric and Paul sit down to review the latest research on podcasts from the Infinite Dial and Podcast Consumer reports, which leads to consideration of the transition between analog and digital media, inspired by Vinylthon. From 78s to CDs, and music memories to smooth jazz, just how great is this episode? Ask Dr. Science. […]
Announcement Of Effective Date For Streamlined Reauthorization Procedures For Assigned Or Transferred Television Satellite Stations
The wheels are in motion for submitting information about a radio station’s satellite earth station usage.
The Federal Communications Commission has finalized the deadline for all radio stations to submit information about earth station and satellite usage as May 28, 2018.
Way back in July 2018, the FCC started the process of collecting information for earth station and satellite licensees. The goal, plainly stated by Commissioner Ajit Pai at the time, was to “ensure that America continues to lead the world in mobile innovation” and pursue a spectrum strategy that “calls for making low-band, midband and high-band airwaves available for flexible use,” he said.
The process marches on now that the FCC has finally finalized the deadline for radio stations to detail their use of the spectrum in the 3.7–4.2 GHz band. The goal is to gather feedback on current usage to determine the viability of transitioning some or all of the 3.7–4.2 GHz band to terrestrial fixed and mobile broadband services.
By the May 28 deadline, operators of fixed satellite service (FSS) earth stations in this band must certify the accuracy of their license info, including call signs and file numbers as well as detailed info on satellite operating capacity. Temporary or transportable users must also provide details such as how often the link is used.
The FCC has some fairly specific guidance on how to file the information. FSS stations must submit the information using the “Pleadings and Comments” link here. For fixed, temporary fixed or transportable earth station licensee, file certifications as a pleading type “C Band certification” for each call sign. And also: temporary fixed and transportable earth station licensees and space station licensees must file the additional earth station and space station data requested above using the pleading type “Other” for each call sign.
The mood from broadcasters on the issue has been one part dubious, one part hopeful. The National Association of Broadcasters has called on the commission to “tread lightly” when it comes to potentially repurposing spectrum for the commercial wireless industry, said NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton when the initial order was released. Since nearly every American depends on C Band satellite spectrum to receive radio and television programming, he said, the FCC must move carefully.
Other broadcasters, like National Public Radio have also expressed concern about impact the move could have on the continued affordability, reliability and availability of existing C Band operations.
The post With Earth Station Filing Deadline Set, FCC Will Eye Potential C Band Opportunities appeared first on Radio World.
Our mention of the Ion Trap magnet (March 13 column) brought back some very old memories for a number of readers.
NHPR’s Stephanie Donnell, WA1YKL, wrote that she had not even heard the term “picture tube” in many years. She also recalled a thing called a “purity ring,” used on color picture tubes. And if you have a weak CRT, Stephanie still has a B&K CRT Rejuvenator.
Stephanie shared another story of interest about an old Ferrups UPS, on which the AC output had died. The only logged fault displayed was “Low AC Output.” After checking for the usual things like fuses and signs of damage or burns, she called Eaton Tech Support, who recommended she check the tank cap.
It took Stephanie a second, but she quickly realized this was the large, nonpolarized electrolytic capacitor that made up a resonant “tank,” along with the additional secondary winding on the AC power transformer. With the UPS switched off and unplugged and with the capacitor disconnected, Stephanie attempted to check the capacitor and saw that it was shorted. A quick inspection of the capacitor did not reveal anything unusual, and there wasn’t any leakage.
What she saw when setting the capacitor top on a flat surface was a very noticeable wobble. The top of the new replacement capacitor was very stable. Checking against a business card (see Fig. 1) revealed a subtle outward bulge in the otherwise flat surface.
While this was far less noticeable than what has been seen with electrolytic capacitors when they have similarly failed, it provided further proof of the condition of the capacitor. A new 10 uF 660V capacitor was ordered from Eaton, installed and the UPS was back in operation.
This issue with the UPS brought back some of the things recalled about power supply regulators. The old UPS uses a “ferro-resonant” or what is sometimes called a “constant voltage” transformer, kind of an ugly stepchild of power supplies. Their regulation is based on the resonance of an extra secondary winding in the transformer, and the capacitor that is connected to it. The capacitor and the extra secondary form a resonant tank circuit that works in conjunction with the AC Line frequency. Their efficiency is often quite low, compared to other power supply designs. But one advantage is that they are very simple.***
Broadcast engineer and Radio World colleague Dan Slentz has been surfing the web again and found more useful sites.
Formerly expensive Digital Audio Workstation Cakewalk software is now free. It’s good for mixing music (CDs and albums), allowing you to compose, record and then edit material. Here’s the site to visit: www.bandlab.com/products/cakewalk.
And here’s a novel reason to become associated with an educational facility or nonprofit. AutoDesk, maker of AutoCAD drawing/drafting software, offers their full software suite to .edu organizations. This is not a “lite” version but the full-blown AutoCAD, and you can choose any version, including a network-applied version for educational nonprofits.
If you are associated with an .edu, check out this link: www.autodesk.com/education/free-software/autocad.
Dan also suggests Workbench readers take a look at Wireshark. It’s said to be the world’s most widely used network protocol analyzer.
Wireshark lets you see what’s going on in your network at a microscopic level. Its feature set includes deep inspection of hundreds of protocols. Wireshark is multiplatform, running on Windows, MacOS and Linux, along with many other operating systems. Network data can be browsed using a GUI. Wireshark also provides VoIP analysis. A Wireshark user guide can be downloaded from the site: www.wireshark.org.
And Dan’s latest find is the MixerFace R4, a portable two-mic (with phantom power) mixer and mobile recording interface, featuring high-quality mic preamps, High-Z (guitar) inputs and balanced outputs. Dan says that it would work great with a cell phone doing a call-in, or using Cleanfeed. The device lets you record pro-quality audio on your smartphone. An internal long-lasting rechargeable battery makes it ideal for interviews or remotes “on the road.”
It’s manufactured by CEntrance, which has been around for two decades providing products primarily to the music/performing industry. The MixerFace R4 sells for between $349 and $599, depending on options. Here’s the link for more information or to order: https://centrance.com/mixerface.***
“Thumbs” Feebleman is the editor of the Munn-Reese Broadcast Engineering Consultants e-newsletter (www.munn-reese.com). In a recent issue, Thumbs cautioned owners of new translator construction permits to read the CP thoroughly.
Many new CPs are conditioned with special requirements, like intermodulation and spectral measurements. You may also need to complete a partial proof on a nearby AM array.
Remember, your new translator is licensed under Part 74 of the FCC Rules and Regulations; however, at the very beginning of Part 74 is a paragraph that refers many requirements back to Part 73. Although your translator is licensed under Part 74, it is a Part 73 device!
Radio World’s popular Workbench column relies on your tips and ideas. You’ll help fellow engineers and qualify for SBE recertification credit. Send tips and high-resolution photos to email@example.com.
John Bisset has spent 49 years in the broadcasting industry and is still learning. He handles western U.S. radio sales for the Telos Alliance. He is SBE certified and is a past recipient of the SBE’s Educator of the Year Award.
I’m Michael O’Shea. I serve as president of Amaturo Sonoma Media Group, owners/operators of five market-leading radio stations in Sonoma County in California Wine Country.
My community, Santa Rosa, was devastated in October a year and a half ago, when vicious wildfires swept through our city at 2 a.m., literally evaporating 7,000 homes, 100 businesses and killing 43 of our citizens.
My AM-FM news/talk station KSRO, on the air with continuous service for over 80 years, was the only true “first informer.” And when the power was off, land lines dead, cable TV off the air, cell service off due to bandwidth starvation and many cell towers melted in the fire, there were only two ways to seek help in the middle of that terrible night: 1) knock on your neighbors door; and 2) local radio.
My station, with auxiliary generators buzzing to keep our signal viable, literally saved lives that night, at a time when ALL other forms of communications were simply GONE. After the initial 72 hours of true emergency and the next months-long period of initial recovery, local radio (and KSRO) stepped up and served its community at the highest level possible.
We were awarded two Marconi Awards at the NAB’s Radio Show in Orlando in September as a result of our lifesaving efforts.
As a recent article in Broadcasting & Cable pointed out, when it’s Armageddon time and we need immediate lifesaving information the most, that is when infrastructure is most likely to become disrupted. We are so increasingly dependent on the smart phone in our hand 16 hours a day for virtually every source of info. When there is nothing but a little dial going round and round trying to find something to re-transmit is when we are most vulnerable.
Then the “old-school” Walkman or other small radio with batteries (fished from an old gym bag or tackle box in the garage) becomes a literal life line. I heard this exact story from hundreds of my listeners after our disaster.
I helped produce a documentary short film about our fire emergency and how the community pulled through to get through. Our skilled director pointed out how local radio was as important in those wicked moments as the firefighters and sheriff’s deputies banging on the doors of sleeping residents.
Our film, “Urban Inferno, the Night Santa Rosa Burned,” is on the international film festival tour now, winning festivals in Las Vegas, Chile, Australia and India.
I’m posting here a short clip from the film, and a full YouTube HD version. I’m asking my industry colleagues to share it with anyone who could make a difference in appreciating what local radio has done for decades and continues to do today.
Michael O’Shea is president of Amaturo Sonoma Media Group in Santa Rosa, Calif. Radio World welcomes commentaries on this or any relevant industry issue. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Groups that filed a legal challenge to the FCC’s media ownership deregulation under FCC Chairman Ajit Pai have told the court that the FCC ignored its obligation to the public interest, and an order from a federal appeals court, to study the impact of its moves on diversity.
That came in a reply brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
The groups said the FCC ignored the impact of the broadcast incentive auction — where owners gave up their licenses for pay — on the amount of broadcast diversity. The Third Circuit had instructed the FCC to consider the impact of the broadcast incentive auction on diversity, it did not. The FCC has said that was also reasonable because not all the facts were in. While the auction was over by the time it made its 2017 decision to deregulate, the repack was not.
“The Third Circuit has told the FCC on multiple occasions to examine how its media ownership rules impact race and gender ownership diversity,” said Michael Copps, former FCC chairman and special advisor to Common Cause, one of the petitioners. “The FCC has not only failed to assess the impact of its rules on minority ownership but has also abandoned its rules all together. We urge the court to reverse this unlawful decision and require the FCC to fulfill its statutory mandate to promote race and gender diversity in media ownership.”
“The FCC and intervenors [broadcasters and others filing briefs in support of the commission] ignore petitioners’ core points and this court’s mandate about the agency’s obligation under the public interest standard …,” the petitioners told the court. “The FCC tries to have it both ways — claiming it has addressed race/gender ownership diversity yet insisting it cannot. Neither is true: the FCC must heed its obligation to at minimum do no harm to race/gender diversity by apprising itself of knowable facts. The FCC cannot justify reliance on an insubstantial record.”
It was in response to the FCC’s defense of the decision filed with the court last month. The FCC had told the court that it did gauge the effect of its 2017 broadcast deregulation on media ownership diversity and found it would have “no material impact.”
The FCC’s deregulatory moves came as part of its congressionally mandated quadrennial review, which also had to be responsive to a Third Circuit remand of its previous review, part of a years-long legal challenge to media deregulation stretching back to the early 2000s.
Indicating, Goldilocks-like, that its decision was neither too regulatory nor too deregulatory, but justifiably “just right,” the FCC told the court that it had reasonably updated its rules in light of increased competition and its public interest analysis, which included that the old rules were doing affirmative harm. The FCC also suggested the groups did not even have standing to bring the suit, something they countered in their reply as well. In fact, it asked the court for permission to provide additional supporting material for its standing.
The FCC launched a program to encourage established broadcasters to help minorities and women get into the business, but the groups told the court that did not cut it. “The FCC is left only with the Incubator Program to meet its obligation [to diversity in broadcasting], whose eligible entity definition is without “a sufficient analytical connection” to the statutory goal of race/gender diversity.”
The brief was filed by Prometheus Radio Project, Media Mobilizing Project, Free Press, Office of Communication, Inc. of the United Church of Christ, National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians-Communications Workers of America and Common Cause.
The Communications and Technology Law Clinic Institute for Public Representation Georgetown University Law Center is representing petitioners in the legal challenge.
The post Prometheus, Et al, Fire Back at FCC Over Ownership Dereg appeared first on Radio World.