NCE

New LPFM, NCE and Public Notice rules take effect October 30, 2020 as changes have received OMB approval.

In Thursday’s edition of the Federal Register, the Federal Communications Commission has announced that it has received approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on various rule changes involving information collection and/or changes to forms.

19-3: FCC Denies Reconsideration on "Secondary Grants" in MX Groups.

The Federal Communications Commission has denied a Petition for Reconsideration filed in MB Docket 19-3 (the NCE/LPFM administrative rulemaking proceeding) on procedural grounds, upholding the long-standing “one winner per group” policy when resolving mutually exclusive (MX)/competing applications where multiple applications could not be granted due to contour overlap (NCE) or distance separation (LPFM) requirements.  

The Petition, filed by Discount Legal called for the Commission to re-look at “secondary grants”, which are situations of where, after eliminating less than qualified applications or applications that did not meet FCC requirements would create a “stray” applicant that would otherwise be grantable if the unqualified applicants are removed. 

Some new LPFM rules take effect on July 13.. others are still on deck.

Several changes to the FCC Rules from the recent LPFM Technical Change Order (MB Docket 19-193) were published today in the Federal Register.  Many of the rules will take effect on July 13, 2020.  Some rules, which require a change to FCC forms or other changes to information collection need to go through another step with the US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) before they are effective.  The various rules that will go into effect on July 13 include:

Sharing of EAS decoders.

Public Notice Requirements When Certain Applications Are Filed

Revised October 30, 2020

In the early 1960s, in the aftermath of the payola scandals in radio and the fixed quiz show scandals in television’s golden era, Congress passed legislation that required broadcasters to be more transparent to the public. At first, many of the laws were very restrictive and burdensome and would get eventually legislated away over time. One portion of the law that has survived is enshrined in Section 311(a) of the Communications Act, which reads:

Guidance to stations: School closures due to COVID-19

Due to concerns over COVID-19 (Coronavirus), Harvard University and the entire University of Maryland system have announced that live classes will not resume after spring break.  In addition, some school districts, smaller colleges and priviate educational institutions have announced closures of campuses.

19-3: Prior to meeting, FCC adopts Report and Order on LPFM & NCE administrative rule changes

In an early vote prior to the December 12 open meeting, the Federal Communications Commission has adopted a Report and Order on MB Docket 19-3.  A majority of the items in this docket spell out the ground rules for future filing windows for new noncommercial educational (NCE) and low power FM (LPFM) broadcast stations.  The FCC has officially addressed the timeline for future filing windows.  REC is promoting a timeline that calls for the window for new NCE FM stations to take place in mid to late 2020 (following Auction 106 and the conclusion of the TV repack) and for LPFM stations, in ear

REC's first statement on AM-FM Act

REC Networks has had a chance to review the language of the Ask Musicians For Music Act of 2019 or AM-FM Act as submitted by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10).  

The intention of the bill is to put into place a method where the recording industry would obtain payment in connection with music played on terrestrial radio.  Historically, radio has been on a statutory exemption as it was perceived that radio acutally promotes music.  When you look at today's post 80-90 environment with stations so heavily narrowcasted and the lack of local talent (i.e. DJs) and more of a public expectation of "more music and less talk", especially when faced with competition by "non-radio" (streaming) services, with the exception of a small number of noncommercial and commercial stations that still care about the music, radio is not promoting music. When was the last time you heard a DJ say what label a certain song is on?  For many years now, the recording industry had relegated that task to Walmart.  

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