Category Archives: March 2016

MAB on Capitol Hill

Call on Congress
L to R: Chris Warren, Midwestern Broadcasting Company; Congressman John Moolenaar (R-4th); Pete Iacobelli, Heritage Broadcasting; and Kevin Dunaway, Heritage Broadcasting.

MAB’s Executive Committee and some Board members traveled to Washington D.C. February 22-24 for the 2016 National Association of Broadcasters State Leadership Conference (NAB SLC).

Call on Congress
L to R: Ed Fernandez, E.W. Scripps Television and MAB Board Chairman; Congressman Bishop (R-8th), Peter Tanz, Midwest Communications.

The conference agenda included presentations by NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith on what Washington policies have in store for broadcasters and digital media companies in 2016, the importance of using social media as an advocacy tool, and policy updates presentation from the NAB government relations team.

L to R: Ed Fernandez, Rep. Dave Trott (R-11)
L to R: Ed Fernandez, Congressman Trott (R-11th)

The MAB Executive Committee met with members of Michigan’s Congressional delegation and their telecommunication staff to discuss the need to oversee the FCC as the agency implements incentive spectrum auction procedures set up by Congress. In addition, discussions took place about broadcasters’ opposition to the performance tax and advertising restrictions, preserving the integrity of the free market process in the retransmission negotiations, and reforming media ownership rules to reflect the competitive marketplace.

Google Won’t Participate in the Spectrum Auction

According to a report in FierceWireless, Google said it will not bid for 600 MHz spectrum licenses in the FCC’s upcoming spectrum incentive auction scheduled for March 2016. Google will join Sprint, Charter Communications and other tech heavyweights in sitting out the event.

“Like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we’ll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate,” a Google representative told Reuters. Google also did not participate in the FCC’s AWS-3 auction a year ago that brought almost $45 billion in total winning bids.

Security Upgrades Coming for the Capitol Building

The Michigan State Capitol building could see more, and better, cameras and traffic barricades under plans discussed by the Capitol Commission last week. While metal detectors were not part of the discussion, the Commission also considered replacing the building’s back-up generator, including air monitoring, as part of an ongoing review of the physical plant. To support these and other projects, the commission is expected to back budget legislation currently being drafted to fund the improvements.