A full list of National issues and concerns facing broadcasters in Michigan

ISSUES AFFECTING BOTH RADIO & TV

Governor Whitmer Bans Flavored E-Cigarettes in State

(9/6/19) The MAB is researching the ramifications of this law on advertising now and in the future. Once we get guidance from our Washington FCC attorney David Oxenford, we will pass on his advice to MAB members. Watch this space.

Whitmer announced Wednesday (9/4) she was moving to ban flavored e-cigarettes in Michigan by issuing an emergency rule that would ban their sale in stores and online. She said she was doing so to protect Michigan’s children, who she said are getting hooked on nicotine through vaping products marketed toward children.

The Governor added that she was confident she had the authority to ban the products and had consulted with both her attorneys and the Attorney General prior to the announcement. She said the state was on “solid legal footing” in doing this and is prepared to defend it in court if necessary. Under the emergency declaration, that rule can exist for six months and can be renewed for an additional six months before going through the state’s administrative rules process, which is overseen by the legislature.

Ensure Viewers and Listeners Keep Access to Programming Delivered Through C-band Satellite Operations

The C-band is a strip of satellite spectrum that radio and TV stations use every day to receive critical content for their broadcasts. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering transferring some or all of that spectrum to wireless companies for new services, which could impact the programming listeners and viewers rely upon.  READ MORE

Prevent Harmful Changes to Advertising Tax Treatment

Congress should not pass legislation that hurts free, local broadcasting by modifying the tax laws to make advertising more expensive for businesses. Advertising is currently treated as an ordinary and necessary business expense – just like salaries, rent and utilities – under the U.S. tax code. This means a business can fully deduct the expense in the year it was incurred. Some in Congress have suggested changing the tax treatment of advertising for specific types of products, such as pharmaceuticals. This change would have a devastating impact on listeners and viewers of local radio and television stations that rely on advertising revenue to survive, raises significant First Amendment concerns and ignores the important consumer benefits that advertising provides. READ MORE


 

TV ISSUES

Ensure Viewers and Listeners Keep Access to Programming Delivered Through C-band Satellite Operations

The C-band is a strip of satellite spectrum that radio and TV stations use every day to receive critical content for their broadcasts. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering transferring some or all of that spectrum to wireless companies for new services, which could impact the programming listeners and viewers rely upon.  READ MORE

Next Generation TV is on the Horizon

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved voluntary use of the Next Generation TV standard. Next Gen TV requires no additional spectrum and no government subsidies. As broadcasters continue to invest in the future of television to benefit viewers, the FCC should maintain a reasonable, flexible framework for Next Gen deployment.  READ MORE

Broadcasters Seek Flexibility in Meeting Children’s TV Programming Needs

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) current children’s television programming rules (sometimes referred to as “kid vid”) are outdated and ineffective. While failing to serve the needs of children, they also undermine local broadcast station’s ability to meet viewers programming demands. These rules should be updated to better reflect today’s marketplace and children’s engagement with video content. READ MORE


 

RADIO ISSUES

A Performance Tax Threatens Local Jobs

Congress should not mandate a performance tax on free, local radio stations that would jeopardize local jobs, prevent new artists from breaking into the recording business and harm the 270 million Americans who rely on local radio.Broadcasters urge legislators to stand up for their local radio listeners by supporting the Local Radio Freedom Act (H.Con.Res. 20, S.Con.Res. 5), which opposes a performance tax.  READ MORE

FCC License Fees

The National Association of Broadcasters is pushing back against the FCC’s proposed 2019 fees for radio stations and seeks a new notice with a better explanation of the planned increases. READ MORE

Expand Access to Emergency Information: Unlock FM

Virtually all smartphones are manufactured with hardware capable of receiving free FM radio signals, but not all phones have this feature activated, either by choice of the phone’s manufacturer or the wireless carrier. However, Apple has not activated this feature on any of its iPhones, preventing their customers from saving battery life and data charges, while also blocking access to a critical lifeline during times of emergency.  READ MORE