Tag Archives: FCC

Entercom Petitions FCC For Change In Contest Rules

It’s about time radio spoke up!  Entercom has filed a petition with the FCC, asking for changes to the rules involving disclosure of information for radio contests.  If you’re not aware, radio stations *should* broadcast full general contest rules once per day in rotating dayparts.  These rule announcements often run close to or in excess of sixty seconds – an eternity in today’s PPM world.  Additionally, any contesting that deviates even slightly require additional announcements in the dayparts when these contests run.

The broadcaster suggests that contest rules being posted on a station’s website should be enough to meet FCC requirements. According to Entercom’s petition, “Americans expect to instantly access information at their fingertips by merely logging on to a website, conducting a Google search, or using an app on their smart phone.”

The petition continues, “Relying on broadcast announcements for material contest information may have been an acceptable way to attempt to inform the public about the terms of a contest when the Contest Rule was enacted in 1976, but it is certainly not the case today, especially when there are superior methods that are simple to implement.”

Read the rest of the story at FMQB.com here.

Nationwide EAS Test – TODAY

If you’re in broadcasting, you’re now well aware of today’s nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System.  But, as you might expect with such a large scale test originated by the federal government, there have been several changes.  The length has gone from 2 minutes to 3 minutes to longer to now 30 seconds, and that’s just one example.  So, what can you realistically expect from today’s EAS Test at 2:00pm ET?

  • The test will be approximately 30 seconds long and will look and sound very similar to the frequent local tests of the Emergency Alert System
  • It will be transmitted via television and radio stations within the U.S., including Alaska, Hawaii, the territories of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa
  • An audio message will interrupt television and radio programming indication: ‘This is only a test,’ though text may not indicate this same message on the screen on every television channel
  • Organisations that serve people with disabilities or people with limited English proficiency should be aware that they may receive requests for information or assistance from broadcasters or other communications service providers and emergency managers in the days leading up to, during, and after the test
  • When the test is over, regular programming will resume
  • IMPORTANT:  Remember to report results and problems to the FCC as required.Source: The FCC

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are spearheading an aggressive public education campaign reminding Americans not to panic when they lose television and radio service for a few minutes on Wednesday during a test of the Emergency Alert System.  Although the public alert mechanism is decades old and often tested and used at the local level, it has never before been tested on a nationwide scale.   This first-ever test will occur at 2:00pm EST and will occur simultaneously across the U.S. and its territories, lasting up to three-and-a-half-minutes.

The EAS is a national alert and warning system established to enable the President of the United States to address the American public during emergencies. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service, governors and state and local emergency authorities also use parts of the system to issue more localized emergency alerts.

Deja Vu at the FCC

Greater Media CEO Peter Smyth comments on two recent FCC rulings in his current internal blog.

I’m having a déjà vu as I follow the recent proceedings of the FCC in Washington.

You may have missed the most recent chapter, since it was right before the holidays. Let me share it with you. Kevin Martin, chairman of the commission, and a one vote majority has pushed through a relaxation on the cross-ownership rules in the top 20 markets. This change essentially allows broadcasters and newspaper owners in those markets to consolidate. The second interesting development was the notice of proposed rulemaking that would reinstitute regulation of local content for radio stations. Specific items to be monitored and mandated include the type and amount of local programming, how stations are staffed and advised, and perhaps even explanations of how music is chosen for the radio station. On one hand, the government wants not only to deregulate media cross-ownership but also to deregulate satellite radio to form a monopoly, and on the other hand, they want to re-regulate local radio.

The irony of these contradictory positions is breathtaking.

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