April 22, 2014Reefer Madness, Redux
Last fall it seemed that the big, new advertising issue confronting broadcasters was how to deal with the emerging legalization of medicinal cannabis and the emerging acceptance of recreational marijuana, also trending toward legalization. In an October article last fall I discussed the trend and the legal issues, including the revised policy of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Despite the trend toward legalization at the state level and the attempt to moderate the impact of federal law, represented by the Department of Justice's Cole Memorandum, a reasonable analysis still required the conclusion that accepting cannabis advertising in any form, for medicinal or recreational purposes, remained a dangerous proposition. Even where state law permits use and possession, the Cole Memo standards would still require an extensive case-by-case analysis of the state regulatory scheme and each advertiser's commercial policies to determine that the accepted advertising could be defended under the relevant state's specific "strong and effective" regulatory scheme.
March 11, 2014Don't Mess With EAS
The recent very large forfeitures against Viacom, ESPN, NBC Universal and Turner Broadcasting for misuse of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) warning sounds should come as no surprise to broadcasters. Perhaps another "wake-up call" was needed. Simply put: You don't ...
February 11, 2014AM Broadcasting Revitalization
"Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated" is a quote attributed to the great American humorist Mark Twain. In fact, Mark Twin really said, "The report of my death was an exaggeration." Either way, this statement is one that is likely to be embraced by ...
January 28, 2014SoundExchange Deadline This Friday
AM and FM broadcasters who stream their signals on the Internet are due once again this Friday to pay performance royalties for the music they stream. Many broadcasters are still unaware that their ASCAP, BMI and SESAC licenses do not provide them with all of the ...
January 14, 2014Digital Station IDs
What is the proper way to identify HD channels? This question comes up for both television stations broadcasting multiple channels, and radio using iBiquity HD to broadcast multiple streams. The FCC rule governing station identification, Section 73.1201, is fairly ...
December 10, 2013What About Advertising E-Cigarettes?
Come On, Everyone Else's Doing It It seems that not a week goes by without a call inquiring about advertising for e-cigarettes. From the intensity of the advertising campaign, America has conquered tobacco by replacing it with nicotine vapor from the electronic age. ...
November 5, 2013Reefer Madness: Controversial Advertising Issues
The big broadcasting issues confronting Washington policy makers range from retransmission consent and newspaper-television cross-ownership to the "performance tax" and political advertising. But the everyday issues facing broadcasters in the trenches these days are ...
October 15, 2013FCC Post-Shutdown: What Now?
Remember that old greeting, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you"? Well, not too much lately! But, after two weeks of a shutdown FCC, and only days away from a U.S. financial default, perhaps a little help may be in the wings. It appears that Senate ...
July 30, 2013The Dangers Of Broadcast Internships
Did you catch the item about the venerable broadcast journalist Charlie Rose and his PBS program interns? Sued by his interns, it cost Charlie Rose at least $250,000 to settle the lawsuit involving a program that may have been created, at least partially, in ...
July 16, 2013Zombie Alert! Are You Ready For The Next Attack?
Recent stories regarding the false EAS Zombie Alert should be of continuing concern to radio and television broadcasters. The perpetrator(s) of the Zombie Alert have still not been identified and the potential for a reoccurrence of that Emergency Alert System abuse, ...