Stations Need to Press Boldly Their Agenda
Apr 14, 2014

Harry A. Jessell, TV NewsCheck
Broadcasters should move beyond rhetoric and craft a real National Broadcast Plan, a petition to Congress and FCC laying out what they feel they need to remain competitive with broadband and other TV media and continue to fill their unique role in the mediascape. Here are 10 ideas the NAB — and all TV broadcasters — can use to get started.

In his NAB Show keynote on Monday, NAB President Gordon Smith wondered why the FCC hadn’t developed a National Broadcast Plan to keep broadcasting strong.

"Why is there no focus to foster innovation and investment in broadcasting to ensure our business continues to be a world leader alongside our broadband industries?"

Why indeed?

With funding from Congress, the FCC produced in 2009 the massive National Broadband Plan, policy prescriptions for strengthening the wired and wireless broadband infrastructure.  READ MORE

FCC cracks down on off-limit use of EAS tones.
Apr 14, 2014

On the heels of the FCC slapping three cable TV networks with $1.9 million in fines for airing commercials that included EAS warning tones, the agency says more fines for similar violations are coming. “We have some cases that are still in our pipeline and we are working through them,” Enforcement Bureau associate chief Eloise Gore told the NAB Show last week.

The rulebook is pretty short and clear in prohibiting the use of EAS tones as well as simulations of the real thing. Gore said about a year and a half ago the FCC started receiving complaints from radio listeners and TV viewers about bogus activations that sent them running for cover, including some from Tornado Alley. “Apparently someone decided that’s a good way to get people’s attention,” Gore said. “We don’t want to have any more violations of this rule — it’s too dangerous.”

At issue is what many describe as a potential “boy who cried wolf” syndrome that takes EAS tones from something that gets people to sit up and take notice to noise to be ignored. “The problem is if you have people become inured to hearing this tone and it doesn’t really mean there’s an emergency or an authorized test, then they won’t pay attention when there is one,” Gore said. READ MORE

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