FCC Media Bureau says it will closely examine sharing agreements | House STELA language on JSAs faces Democratic opposition | FCC chairman brings lobbyist background to Comcast-TWC review
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March 13, 2014
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FCC Media Bureau says it will closely examine sharing agreements
Broadcasters have been notified by the Federal Communications Commission's Media Bureau that license transfers and other station transactions will now include reviews of any shared-services agreements. The Media Bureau was criticized by Republican FCC members Michael O'Rielly and Ajit Pai, who said the unit has overstepped its authority by making a policy change. NAB said the Media Bureau notice "raises very serious procedural and substantive concerns." Broadcasting & Cable (3/12), TVNewsCheck (free registration) (3/12), Radio Business Report (3/12)
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Business & Industry Report
House STELA language on JSAs faces Democratic opposition
Several top Democrats say they are opposed to a Republican-backed provision of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act that would defer by at least several years the Federal Communications Commission's plan to sharply curtail joint-sales agreements. House communications subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., said during a STELA hearing that he was "very concerned about the FCC's recently announced plans to dump joint sales agreements into their local media ownership calculations." TVNewsCheck (free registration) (3/12)
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FCC chairman brings lobbyist background to Comcast-TWC review
Comcast executive David Cohen, a skilled negotiator who helped shepherd the cable giant's acquisition of NBCUniversal through the regulatory process, may be meeting his match in Federal Communications Chairman Tom Wheeler, who will oversee the upcoming review of Comcast's Time Warner Cable takeover. Wheeler was formerly a lobbyist for the cable and wireless industries. "You can't kid a kidder. Having been a lobbyist, [Wheeler] knows all their tricks," said Blair Levin, a fellow at the Aspen Institute. Chicago Tribune (tiered subscription model)/Reuters (3/12)
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Lawmaker: Performance fees shouldn't be dictated by Congress
Congress should not play a role in determining performance fees for radio stations and should leave such arrangements to the private market to sort out, writes Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif. "The market is already moving to address performance royalties," Rohrabacher writes. "The [Recording Industry Association of America's] attempt to thwart these market forces replacing it with government policy is cronyism in its purest form." Investor's Business Daily (3/12)
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Report shows broadcasters' support of local, national charities
Broadcasters over the past month have helped local and national charities in ways big and small. The initiatives include radiothons for the Children's Miracle Network and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital by Entercom and Townsquare stations, respectively, as well as a personal effort by an Ithaca, N.Y., radio host to replace funds that were raised for a local children's cancer charity and then stolen. Radio World (3/12), Radio Ink (3/12)
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Related Industry News
Distributors are resisting high fees sought for SportsNet LA
The only pay-TV provider to add the Los Angeles Dodgers' regional sports network SportsNet LA to its lineup is Time Warner Cable, which was involved in its formation. The rest are said to be balking at the record fee sought by the channel -- more than $4 per subscriber per month, with the potential to rise to more than $5 in a few years. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (3/12)
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People & Personalities
Gannett exec receives First Amendment Leadership honor
Gannett Broadcasting President David Lougee was honored with the First Amendment Leadership Award at a Radio Television Digital News Foundation event on Wednesday. Lougee used his acceptance speech to connect free speech rights with the rights of content creators. "Fostering free expression requires that content creators be able to control their content," he said. Broadcasting & Cable (3/12)
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  • Read more about the RTDNF First Amendment Awards
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