The Broadcasters' Desktop Resource

News Items Archive: 2018

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5/31/18 – Continuing this important issue: The FCC now reports about 5,000 registrations of C-Band dishes. But Chairman Pai seems to want to give the C-Band to broadband carriers.
Even as many comments are coming it, the FCC needs to know how many FSS receiver dishes are out there for broadcasters’ use. Industry leaders are hoping stations will register and comment to the FCC to end the “sharing” push by the 5G industry.  A quick primer on the C-Band situation.  How to navigate the Form 312 for Satellite Dishes.  Mark Johnson’s Executive Summary of Comments that should spark your Comments to the FCC – WTB 18-122 

5/23/18 – Is the Repack in danger of running out of time? According to industry sources, only 5% of the 957 TV stations involved have been “repacked” in the past year – and there are FM stations that will be affected too. It might even take an extra three to five years to do the job, especially considering some of the dangers shown by the tower collapse on April 19th (see below).

5/22/18 – Word from the FCC reminds radio stations that the Renewal season starts in late 2019, giving stations time to ensure their paperwork and their Onlie Public File submissions are correct and up to date. Recent checks indicate many stations have substantial problems with their Online Public Files. The FCC notice is a wakeup to put things in order as soon as possible.

5/22/18 – The FCC is seeking comment on the FCC Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2018. The FCC has released a lot of information with an NPRM for MD Docket 18-175, including the chart of fees on page 25. Interestingly, some classes of stations are set for fee reductions. In total, the FCC plans to raise $322,035,000 for FY 2018. Curiously, fees were due October 1, 2017, according to page 15. However, this may be a procedural matter, to be readjusted for FY 1018 and/or 2019.

5/21/18 – In addition to the C-Band, the FCC is now considering taking some of the 2.5 GHz band from Education Broadcast Services and giving it to 4G LTE and 5G.

5/10/18 – The FCC has made moves to adopt new rules ending the nearly 90-year-old requirement to post licenses “at the control point.” Noting differences in today’s operations – and easy availability of this information via the Internet – Chairman Pai wants to eliminate these rules.

5/5/18 – A new law presented in Congress would raise fines to $100,000 a day up to $2 million for pirate operators. The FCC also would be required to do enforcement sweeps twice a year and seize transmitters, etc., which might be much more effective that fines.

5/1/18 – The Cumulus reorganization plan was approved by the US Bankruptcy Court in NY. Cumulus plans to emerge from Bankruptcy by the end of the Quarter, leaving some creditors with 14 cents on the dollar as the company sheds over $1 Billion in debt.

4/26/18 – The FCC imposed a freeze “to preserve the current landscape of authorized operations,” while deciding on how much sharing will be permitted. During the freeze, the Commission is opening a 90 day window for existing users of FSS (Satellite to Earth) receive
stations to register or for those no longer in use to advise the Commission.

4/20/18 – Chairman Pai vowed, during his NAB talk, to clarify and simplify dealing with issues of interference caused by translators – many of which moved hundreds of mile during the AM Improvement windows over the past two years. Full power FMs will also need to take a look at this, as part of the NPRM is to reduce protection to contours rather than mileage.

4/19/18 – A 1,980-foot tower for Ozark TV near Fordland, MO, collapsed and killed a tower worker.
You can find an interesting drone-made.

4/17/18 – FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn has stated she wil leave the FCC by May 10th. She says she will stay in “public service,” with many suggesting she plans to suceed her father in Congress for South Carolina.

4/12/18 – Most of the FCC Commissioners addressed the NAB Show, and offered their ideas on what is important – and what they plan to do in coming months. FM translator interference has become an issue… 

3/29/18 – The FCC has now put into operation new rules on AM Proof of Performance.

3/16/18 – Eric Small, known for his ModMinder and other products, was a pedestrian killed Thursday evening when an 80-year-old woman apparently lost control of her car and drove into a Florida supermarket. He was 71.

3/15/18 – The long slow-motion move to Chapter 11 was taken by iHeartMedia late yesterday. The corporation, burdened by some $20 Billion (more or less) in debt since 2008, is trying to shed a large part of it, although some shareholders and debt holders are not happy. Employees of the 850 stations now wait for the next step.

3/15/18 – GatesAir has run into a problem with technology that is causing a delay in the manufacture of their AM transmitters. Several parts/ICs have gone obsolete, and rather than completely run out, and have no ICs for existing customers, the company has stopped production. New designs are being readied, but there is no firm date for resuming AM transmitter production.

3/7/18 – Trying to end a sort of legislative limbo, the US House has passed legislation which would reauthorize the FCC. It still has to go past the Senate, but this would be the first reauthorization in 28 years for the FCC.

3/6/18 – The NAB has announced awards to be given out during the NAB Spring Show. Tom Jones, President of Carl T. Jones Corp. will receive the 2018 NAB Radio Engineering Achievement Award and Clay Freinwald will receive the 2018 Service to Broadcast Engineering Achievement Award

2/22/18 – The FCC eliminated the need for stations to keep hard copies of the Rules for secondary services (Parts 74, 776, and 78). Instead of debate, the Commissioners agreed and approved it on circulation.

2/9/18 – As Cumulus continues down the bankruptcy path, more and more details are leaking out. Last week we found out about a number of air talent who would not be continuing; this week we find that Cumulus owes about $600 million to unsecured creditors, including nearly a million to Broadcasters General Store. GatesAir is owed almost $46k. BMI is owed just under $800k. Of course, all of this pales in the shadow of the $2.4 Billion Culumus owes. The drama continues.

2/8/18 – There is some consideration at the FCC to repurpose part of the satellite C-Band, due to a perception of “little use,” based on the relatively small number of receive dishes that are registered with the Commission. While not mandatory, some consultants are recommending registration to show the Commission that the C-Band is still quite active.

2/8/18 – Is a C4 class coming soon? The FCC is circulating a proposed NRPM to allow many stations in Zone II to increase to 12 kW at 100 meters.

2/6/18 – Jeffrey Wong wants people to know he is the Wong man to blame (pun intended) if anyone wants to blame him for the false ballistic missile alert last month. Wong was actually on another island when the alert was sent on January 13th.

2/5/18 – The last Window for AM stations to seek FM Translators is closed. According to reports, 873 applications were filed, including 688 singletons. The FCC will be happy of that – they can work through the singletons much faster than any multiple set of applicants for a frequency. 

2/5/18 – Cumulus, mired in Bankruptcy Court, has been delisted from NASDAQ. Although shares had been circulating at about 7 cents (an historical thing to hang on the wall?), there is really no value there, while the lawyers fight for the flesh of the company.

2/1/18 – We are now down to one month from the deadline to put Public Files online. There have been some reports of issues on the uploading, so do not wait until the last minute. Get most/all of your files online now.

1/24/18 – FCC Chairman Pai released a summary of the FCC’s accomplishments during his first year in office.

1/24/18 – Less than three years after E. W. Scripps Company bought Journal Broadcast and split the company into parts (Newspaper and Broadcast), it was announced that the company plans to sell the 34 radio stations it owns.

1/19/18 – Albert Schuldinger was named to replace Peter Doyle as FCC Media Bureau Chief. Schuldiner was iBiquity’s (now DTS) legal counsel for some 15 years.

1/13/18 – Hawaii Emergency Management issued a false alarm about a missile attack this morning, declaring it was not a drill (image here). So far, reports have confirmed it hit the EAS, WEA, and local sirens. Apparently it took over a half an hour to issue a retraction, after a Hawaiian Congresswoman (Tulsi Gabbard, D-HI) initiated calling the EM HQ. There are currently conflicting reports why a retraction was not issued immediately, nor exactly how it happened, but officials are conferring.

1/5/18 – The FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, will not be attending CES next week, due to security issues, mainly related to the Net Neutrality issue. So many death threats have been issued over social m edia that Pai’s trip to Las Vegas was cancelled.