June 28, 2016Multiplatform Bonus Spots In The Political Window
As we roll into the 2016 political season, another issue frequently faced by broadcasters selling political time is what to do about bonuses. Broadcasters often offer incentives to commercial advertisers that include bonus spots or other material benefits such as gifts, incentive travel and other goods. This election round, it may present an even trickier issue as broadcasters deploy digital sales teams and introduced mixed packages of digital/broadcast spots, or even, as I hear from some broadcasters, sell digital with "bonus" broadcast over-the-air spots to add incentive to the digital product.
Commission rules limit charges during certain pre-election and pre-primary periods to a legally qualified candidate for elective office to no more than the "lowest unit" charge, or the per unit charge made to its most favored commercial advertiser for the same class and amount of time for the same time periods. With some limited exceptions, a benefit offered to a commercial advertiser that enhances value must be disclosed and made available to candidates on equal terms. Such practices include discount privileges that affect or enhance the value of the advertising, including bonus spots.
June 21, 2016When Your Anchor Runs for Office
With the California primary history and the conventions soon to be, broadcasters across the nation are facing the onslaught of advertising for the general election. While the primaries deal with a limited set of competing candidates for nomination to major federal and ...
The FCC new online public files rules for radio, satellite and cable become effective June 24th, 2016. Initially, only commercial radio stations in the top-50 Nielsen markets with five or more full-time employees will be required to move their public file online. ...
May 31, 2016Can I Interview A Candidate?
We may be in a hot and heavy political season of 2016, but broadcasters know that the world does not stop turning between now and November. As the old saying goes, s... (expletive deleted) happens, and we frequently need to hear from our public officials, even though ...
May 10, 2016The FDA Tobacco Deeming Rules Are Here
The long-awaited FDA regulations "deeming" e-cigarettes a tobacco product have, at last been issued and are to be published in the Federal Register today. While they may have answered some questions, they also leave many unanswered. The regulations "deem" e-cigarettes ...
January 19, 2016Ladies & Gentlemen: Start Your Engines - The FCC AM Revitalization - FM Translator Window Is About To Start
Last October, two years after opening the docket, the FCC issued its First Report and Order in the AM Revitalization docket. As I reported two years ago [See: AM Broadcasting Revitalization,] the FCC sought comment on a variety of proposals to adapt the AM band more ...
November 3, 2015What You Mean, 'We,' Kimosabe?
For those of us old enough to remember when broadcast television and the neighborhood movie house were the only way see a movie, TV or short film, you might remember this then-popular joke. The Lone Ranger and Tonto were surrounded by fierce hostile "Native Americans." ...
June 2, 2015Why Emmis Lost 'Big Boy'
Further Lessons in The Tricky World Of Tying Down Oversized Personalities I have written before about the need to be especially careful when crafting non-compete agreements, especially when it comes to talent. See: Non-Competes: Look This Way Before You Cross The ...
March 10, 2015"Spot On" Music Rights Rules For Radio Commercials
Periodically, the question invariably comes in: Can we use our station's music library to produce commercials for a good client? Many seem to think that their existing ASCAP, BMI or SESAC agreements allow them to use the music they cover for any purpose, whether it ...
February 10, 2015FCC Proposes Online Public File For Radio, Part II
What Are They thinking? In the last article, I warned that the FCC is poised to require radio stations to post their ('formerly "local") public files to the FCC online public file Internet portal. Taking this step would expose over 15,000 local radio stations, some ...