FCCLatest News and Opinion
Posted Monday 7/16/18 at 8:37PM EDT
Sinclair Broadcasting's $3.9 billion takeover of Tribune Media's TV stations looks all but dead
The proposed deal to make the country's largest owner of TV stations even bigger, expanding its reach to nearly three-quarters of U.S. households, looks all but dead after FCC chair Ajit Pai expressed skepticism about Sinclair's plans. As Politico's Margaret Harding McGill explains, "the story of how Sinclair's deal ran into trouble, despite its considerable sway in Republican-led Washington, is a tale of stunning hubris, according to officials inside and outside the FCC who watched the drama unfold. The broadcaster needed to sell stations to stay under federal media ownership limits, but instead it aggressively pushed proposals that would have left it in effective control of some of those spun-off outlets — raising alarms at an FCC that had already relaxed some ownership rules to the company's benefit."
Posted Friday 7/13/18 at 11:36PM EDT
Broadcasters want the FCC to cancel the three-hour minimum requirement for kids' TV programming
With so many options for children's programming, broadcasters want to move their kids' TV programs to little-watched secondary digital channels.
Posted Tuesday 7/10/18 at 11:58PM EDT
FCC may charge you $225 to review a formal complaint
The Federal Communications Commission is set to vote this week to decide that if a consumer isn't happy with the outcome of an informal complaint, they'll be charged $225 to file a formal complaint.
Posted Wednesday 6/06/18 at 6:44PM EDT
Emails show FCC "spread lies" about a fake cyberattack after John Oliver directed his fans to flood its commenting system
The FCC's commenting system crashed after Oliver's Last Week Tonight stunt in support of neutrality last May, but the FCC blamed a series of distributed denial-of-service attacks for the impairment. According to Gizmodo, which obtained FCC documents through the Freedom of Information Act, "as it wrestled with accusations about a fake cyberattack last spring, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) purposely misled several news organizations, choosing to feed journalists false information, while at the same time discouraging them from challenging the agency’s official story."
Posted Thursday 5/24/18 at 4:10AM EDT
FCC has received a lot of complaints over YouTube, which it doesn't regulate
After submitting a Freedom of Information request, Gizmodo's Matt Novak was given 81 pages full of complaints to the FCC over YouTube. "The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which oversees telecommunications like radio, TV, and the internet in the U.S., doesn’t regulate content on online platforms like YouTube," says Novak. "But that hasn’t stopped people from sending complaints about the video site to the federal agency—and they’re every bit as unhinged as you’d expect."
Posted Thursday 5/10/18 at 1:22PM EDT
FCC received only three complaints over 60 Minutes' Stormy Daniels interview
"I tuned in to watch 60 Minutes on Sunday March 25. Somehow Pornhub showed up on my TV. Very disturbing," said one complaint. Another called the segment a "commercial" that was "disgusting" to watch. A third complaint said: "SHAME ON 60 MINUTES!! THEY ARE NOW THE T.V. VERSION OF THE NATIONALENQURIER."
Posted Wednesday 4/04/18 at 5:25PM EDT
FCC received 162 indecency complaints over uncensored news coverage of President Trump's "sh*thole countries" comment
CNN's uncensored use of "sh*thole" led to the most complaints, even though the FCC can't punish the cable news network for using the profanity.
Posted Saturday 1/13/18 at 12:37AM EST
CBS allowing an uncensored “sh*t happens” in 1999 paved the way for this week’s “sh*thole” TV spectacle
The word “sh*thole” was all over TV on Thursday, thanks to President Trump. But as Sean O'Neal points out, there was a time when the word “sh*t” generated controversy when a broadcast network allowed its use in primetime. CBS OK’d Mark Harmon’s doctor character to say “sh*t happens” in an October 1999 episode of Chicago Hope, the David E. Kelley medical drama, citing artistic reasons. The Parents TV Council warned that allowing a broadcast network to say “sh*t” would result in other shows using the profanity. And the PTC was right. ER would eventually say “sh*t.” NYPD Blue would utter “bullsh*t.” Even Howard Stern was outraged that CBS would allow a word that the FCC would fine him for. "The producers felt strongly that the line was important for artistic truthfulness," CBS said in a statement. "We wanted to support their creative vision, but clearly this is not something that will happen on a weekly basis." Ultimately, the FCC bought CBS’ reasoning for airing the profanity.
Posted Thursday 11/16/17 at 7:29PM EST
FCC approves Next Gen TV
The new TV standard will allow for greater interactivity between broadcasters and viewers, including improved picture and sound, along with the controversial ability to directly target viewers with specific ads. ALSO: FCC votes to end the role of forbidding one company from owning a newspaper and a TV station in the same city.
Posted Thursday 11/16/17 at 12:56AM EST
The FCC is expected to vote on Thursday whether to allow broadcasters to collect data on viewers for targeted ads
The proposed “Next Gen TV” is raising privacy concerns.
Posted Tuesday 10/17/17 at 5:29PM EDT
FCC chair responds to President Trump’s tweets, says TV licenses can’t be revoked over content
"Under the law, the FCC does not have the authority to revoke a license of a broadcast station based on the content of a particular newscast," Ajit Pai, whom Trump appointed in January, said responding to the president's tweets last week threatening TV licenses after decrying negative coverage about him. "I believe in the First Amendment. The FCC under my leadership will stand for the First Amendment," added Pai.
Posted Wednesday 10/11/17 at 11:15PM EDT
Why does President Trump keep going after his former network, NBC?
The president may be threatening NBC’s broadcast license because he has been “Peacucked,” which Daniel Fienberg describes as “The impotent sensation that NBC and associated properties are out to get you.” Meanwhile, on Wednesday night, Trump went after network news in general, tweeting: “Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked. Not fair to public!” ALSO: Trump’s license threat is the very definition of Nixonian.
Posted Wednesday 10/11/17 at 2:10PM EDT
President Trump threatens to cancel NBC’s broadcast license over critical reporting
Despite what Trump tweeted this morning, his threat isn’t “remotely credible” because the “FCC generally does not resort to such measures unless a licensed broadcast entity has engaged in severe, illegal conduct.”