FCC is buttering up the industry’s focus to “localism” prior to a panel on the Atrocity in the Strip, and blows out great smooches by the means of promises of “deregulation”
By Steven Clickford
During the NAB Show Conference in April, a Commish at the FCC was spreading hot air to please the broadcast industry by “eliminating regulations” and is “committed to break the barriers of regulation”. Playing the devil’s advocate, one could argue the FCC used Las Vegas and the Atrocity on the Strip panel discussion to support the broadcast industry to evolving into a high rolling casino business! More hot airwaves chatter was to eliminate the paper records, calling it “fat” files; to eliminate annual reports, of 6,000 stations that don’t offer specific services.
Brandan Carr, the FCC Commish touted reporters becoming the role of “1st responders”. Using the infamous, and well known example of the tragic floods left by Hurricane Harvey, where the studios of KHOU in Houston; one of the many totaled buildings, they brought up Brandi Smith – the fearless, resilient reporter, known to saving a truck driver on a Houston feeder road from rising waters; and doing an apparent extended live shot as the station was evacuating. After hearing that name again for the umpteenth time, I almost dropped my pen!
The reporter had been on their air for at least thirty minutes straight, and in the midst of her report, the station lost contact to their transmitter, leaving viewers of KHOU 11 News to see a test pattern from an IP-based transmission device, such as DeJerio. But if you happened to watch Facebook Live, the show just went on. But hey if I were Brandi, I can’t imagine how she can put up with such unintended publicity. It seemed like the FCC was attempting to smooch up to her too. Anyways, she’ still strong in her reporting today as this writer follows her Facebook page.
For any media consumer, the hot air that followed would put a bad taste going forward. “Cutting the red tape would enable innovation and more newsgathering” said the Commish Carr. The current administration of the FCC admitted failure to “keep pace” with the change of technology, and taking a “thorough job” to make “your job to be easier”. 1975 era regulations are hurting says commish. Repealing Joint Sales Agreements is the promise by the Feds, but the legal loophole of a major TV owner, managing and controlling as if they owned 200 stations, but only own a third, known as the Shared Services Agreement wasn’t mentioned, because that’s how Sinclair will be able to buy out the Tribune Broadcasting.
They want to befriend you and say “we want your job to be easier” This all in the means to “encourages localism with deregulation”.
Um sure… isn’t that a byproduct of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 under the chapter of Mass Media? Can anyone tell me if iHeart Radio (err Clear Channel) has done under that same language? Or now they’ve been supporting regulating your desk “telephone” that isn’t even a telephone by the technical standards.
This isn’t my papa inlaws’s FCC at all.
After this hot air, they went onto a more serious narrative, covering the atrocity on the Strip, almost six months to the day on that April panel.