FCC Releases Tutorial on FM Translator Auction Window for AM Stations

David Oxenford - ColorBy: David Oxenford, Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP
www.broadcastlawblog.com

On July 13, The FCC released an online tutorial for the upcoming windows for filing for FM translators for AM stations. The first window will run from July 26 until 6 pm E.T. on August 2, where Class C and D AM stations that did not receive a translator in last year’s 250-mile waiver windows can file for a new FM translator to rebroadcast their AM station. We wrote about that window here.

The online tutorial may be accessed here.

The tutorial references various FCC filing guides to assist applicants in filing their applications. The Public Notice announcing the Tutorial also makes clear that, if an applicant has a pending application to acquire an AM station during the window, the proposed assignee can file the application for the new translator, presumably to be granted upon the acquisition of the station (as these translators are tied to the AM on a permanent basis). The current owner of the station and the proposed buyer cannot both file – only one application per station will be permitted. AM stations planning to take advantage of this window should be well into the process of preparing their applications for the window that opens in less than 2 weeks.

David Oxenford is MAB’s Washington Legal Counsel and provides members with answers to their legal questions with the MAB Legal Hotline.  Access information here. (Members only access).

There are no additional costs for the call; the advice is free as part of your membership.

Police Body Camera Bill Signed by Snyder

Gov. Rick Snyder has signed HB 4427 into law (now Public Act 85 of 2017), which exempts public release of footage from police body cameras if the footage was taken in a person’s private residence. The new law also request that police departments  create rules for disclosure and retention of audio and video recordings from body cameras worn by police officers. The bill was unanimously approved by both chambers of Michigan Legislature.

Public Act 85 exempts the recordings from public-records request under certain circumstances, including if the recordings were made in a “private place.” Recordings also will be kept private during ongoing criminal or internal investigations but only for listed reasons such as public disclosure interfering with law enforcement proceedings or invading personal privacy. Body camera recordings retained as part of civil lawsuits will not be considered public records.

The MAB has serious concerns about this law and testified against this bill in previous legislative sessions. By stating that body-worn camera footage is not a public record,  this law places the recorded content outside the purview of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)  in connection with criminal or internal investigations. Exempting such recordings  removes any chance of impartial, neutral and judicial review of exemptions as provided by the FOIA.  Furthermore, there are unanswered questions about the manner in which the law enforcement will collect, retain, use and disclose these recordings. Each of those issues bears on the public’s right to know.

FEMA Sets Date for Next National EAS Test

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has scheduled the 2017 National EAS Test (NPT) for Wednesday, September 27 at 2:30 p.m. Eastern.

In the event the test needs to be postponed due to a significant event, weather or otherwise, a backup date of Wednesday, October 4, has been reserved.

The test will be conducted in the same way it was in 2016, with both English and Spanish language text and audio. Total duration is expected to be about one minute.

The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission has already released instructions as to how Emergency Alert System participants must register for access to the 2017 EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS).

As a result of feedback regarding last year’s use of the ETRS, the FCC has mandated that filers using the ETRS must use a single account. The Public Safety Bureau also said to expect a further notice soon about the opening of the 2017 ETRS and the date by which EAS participants must file their data.

In the 2016 test, FEMA reported that approximately 88 percent of EAS participants across the country were able to receive and relay the test message.  A few test participants reported complications ranging from equipment configuration issues, equipment failures, failure to update equipment software, audio quality issues, source issues, clock errors and, in some cases, noncompliance with Part 11 rules.

FEMA Appoints New IPAWS Subcommittee

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently announced the names of 31 individuals who will serve on a new IPAWS subcommittee to offer guidance on best standards and operating procedures for the nation’s emergency alert system.

Now part of the FEMA’s National Advisory Council (NAC), the first IPAWS subcommittee meeting will be held August 8 and 9 in Washington, D.C. Members will meet again up to four times per year.

The subcommittee’s appointed responsibilities include providing recommendations for new alerting protocols and operating procedures for the public alert and warning system and submitting a recommendation report on the overall system to the NAC. Any subcommittee report will be shared with other government agencies, including the House and Senate committees on homeland security.

Click here to learn more about the new IPAWS subcommittee and its members. 

 

Advocacy Conference Early-Rate Deadlines Approaching

Don’t miss the speakers at this year’s Advocacy Conference and Annual Meeting, August 22-23 at Crystal Mountain Resort.  Register today to take advantage of discounted room rates at Crystal Mountain (through this Friday, July 21) as well as early-bird conference rates (through July 31).

MAB members will hear policy and advocacy updates as well as attend the MAB Annual Meeting. The evening activities include the banquet, featuring the Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame inductions, Lifetime Achievement Award and the MAPB Public Media Impact Awards.

Speakers at this year’s conference include:

Rob Elhenicky
Partner and MAB Lobbyist
Kelley Cawthorne

Ed Fernandez
VP/Divisional General Manager
E.W. Scripps

Rick Kaplan
General Counsel and Executive VP
Legal and Regulatory Affairs
National Association of Broadcasters

David Oxenford
Partner
Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP

John D. Pirich
Partner
Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohen LLP

Register NOW and Save: Registration

Early-Bird Registration (before 7/31/17)
Member-Full Conference $140
Member- Annual Business Meeting &
Sessions Only $0
Member- Reception/Banquet Only $140
Non-Member- Full Conference $170
Non-Member- Reception/Banquet Only $170
MABF Golf Fundraiser $150

The MAB has secured a discounted group room rate at Crystal Mountain Resort. Part of the charm of this location is the variety of lodging room types available. Click here for a description of the rooms.

Reserve your discounted room at Crystal Mountain by calling the Reservations Department at 855-520-2974 or by clicking here.

Hotel Room Discount Deadline: July 21


See the schedule of events here: Schedule

Questions? Contact Jennifer at
800-YOUR-MAB

Herman, Wertlieb Become Co-Vice Chairs of the Broadcasters Foundation of America

The Broadcasters Foundation of America has voted two of its Board members as Co-Vice Chairs, Scott Herman, Chief Operating Officer of CBS RADIO, and Jordan Wertlieb, President of Hearst Television. The elections took place during the Broadcasters Foundation’s Board of Directors June meeting in New York City.

“As members of our Board of Directors, Jordan and Scott have shared their ideas, energy, and time to advancing our ability to help broadcasters in acute need,” observed Dan Mason, Chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation of America. “Their dedication to giving back to our industry is inspiring, and I look forward to their contributions as Vice Chairs.”

Herman oversees all of CBS RADIO’s 117 over-the-air radio stations operating in 26 major markets throughout the U.S. Herman is currently an active Board Member of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB), having previously held the position of Chairman. He is also a board member of the International Radio and Television Society Foundation (IRTS), National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), and the Broadcasters Foundation of America. Radio Ink magazine has named Herman one of the 40 Most Powerful People in Radio every year since 2008.

Wertlieb has management oversight responsibility for Hearst’s TV stations, digital properties, and two radio stations across 26 U.S. markets. He serves as the Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters’ (NAB) Television Board, is a member of the A+E Television Networks Board and the Broadcasters Foundation of America Board, and is a past President-Chairman of the NBC Affiliate Board.

The Broadcasters Foundation’s Board of Directors is comprised of highly respected broadcast executives who are committed to “giving back” through the Broadcasters Foundation. The members of the Board represent a wide array of broadcast and broadcast-related companies.

For more than 70 years, the Broadcasters Foundation has distributed millions of dollars to thousands of needy broadcasters and their families. Individual donations can be made to the Guardian Fund, corporate contributions are accepted through the Angel Initiative, and bequests can be arranged through the Legacy Society. To learn more or to donate, please contact the Broadcasters Foundation at 212-373-8250 or info@thebfoa.org or visit www.broadcastersfoundation.org.

Marcie Brogan to retire, sell Brogan & Partners to agency’s president, Ellyn Davidson

Ellyn Davidson

Crain’s Detroit Business has reported that Marcie Brogan, the founder of Brogan & Partners Convergence Marketing Agency, is retiring and selling the  company to its president,  Ellyn Davidson, who has been with the Birmingham-based advertising agency for 23 years.

Under a deal finalized in June, Davidson takes ownership of 25 percent of the company immediately, and full ownership will be transferred by January 2019.

The company’s name will not change, and it will be “business as usual,” said Davidson, adding that she aims to preserve the agency’s reputation and keep it independent and woman-owned. Brogan will remain on the company’s board of directors for 10 years.

Marcie Brogan

“The MAB has enjoyed a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Marcie and Ellyn through the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services,” said Karole White, MAB President & CEO. “Congratulations to them both!”

Founded in 1984, Brogan and Partners has 30 employees and serves around 15 clients, including Henry Ford Health System, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Frankenmuth Insurance and Covenant HealthCare.

WMGC-FM Gets Foolish in the Mornings

Foolish

Beasley Media Group classic hip hop “105.1 The Bounce” WMGC-FM (Detroit) has added comedian Foolish  to its morning show, alongside Bigg and Shay Shay.

“Bigg and Foolish in the Morning” kicked off July 5. Foolish has been heard on various Detroit radio stations for the past 17 years.

“It’s our honor to add one of Detroit’s brightest stars to the line-up of Bounce Ambassadors and welcome Foolish into the studio every morning, alongside Bigg, Shay Shay and the rest of the cast of the all new ‘Bigg and Foolish in the Morning,’” program director Al Payne told InsideRadio.com.

WOOD Radio’s John Bry Retires

After 40 years John Bry signed off the WOOD Radio (Grand Rapids) airwaves and into retirement on July 7.

Bry began his career with WOOD Radio in 1977 after working at a radio station in Savannah, Ga. He said a 40-plus year career in the radio industry was never in his plans, as he holds a degree in English, but the intellectual satisfaction of doing the news made him feel connected, in a story posted on WOODTV.com.

“It’s such a trite phrase to say mixed emotions, but it really is,” Bry said. “I’m looking forward to a lifetime of not having to get up at midnight and not having to be awake at 5 a.m.”

 

WCSX Launches ‘Big Jim’s House’

Beasley Classic Rock WCSX-FM (Detroit) has announced the creation of “BIG JIM’S HOUSE” in mornings, featuring Erin Vermeulen, who recently joined Big Jim O’Brien as part of the station’s morning team, according to AllAccess.com.

“I am so excited to welcome all our listeners into ‘BIG JIM’S HOUSE’ with Erin V. and Producer Ryan,” said O’Brien. “This will be my 15th year at WCSX. Everyone on the show has a deep felt love for Detroit and believe in where we’re going. Our house is full of fun and great classic rock!”