Category: Legislative Update

Michigan to Expand COVID Vaccine to those 50+

Effective this coming Monday (3/8), MDHHS is moving forward with the vaccination of Michiganders age 50 and older with medical conditions or disabilities and caregiver family members and guardians who care for children with special health care needs. Beginning Monday, March 22, vaccine eligibility will again expand to include all Michiganders 50 and older. To… read more

GMR Offers to Extend Its Interim License With Commercial Radio Stations – But It Wants a 20% Increase in Royalty Payments

By: David Oxenford, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP Global Music Rights, one of the newest performing rights organization licensing the public performance of musical compositions, has agreed to extend its interim license with commercial radio broadcasters.  That license is set to expire at the end of March (see our article here).  This interim license has been offered and extended for the last several… read more

Cable Companies Win Lawsuit Over Maine’s à la carte Law

The Associated Press reported on Thursday (2/25) that a federal appeals court had rejected Maine’s law requiring cable companies to give subscribers the option of purchasing access to individual cable channels rather than bundled packages. Comcast, joined by Disney, Fox Cable and NBC/Universal, Fox Cable and others, sued the state over the law. The appeals… read more

EEO Audit List and March Regulatory Dates

By: David Oxenford, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP First, the FCC today (2/25) released its first EEO audit notice for 2021. There are radio and TV stations all across the country that are included, including a seemingly high number of noncommercial stations. The FCC has said that they will audit 5% of all broadcast stations each… read more

Sports Betting Advertising Q & A Issued

According to an MAB conversation with the attorney for Michigan Gaming Control Board and based on the rules, broadcasters who are required to be registered for accepting sports betting advertising may do so by company rather than per station. If your advertising comes through an ad agency, it is the agency that must register even… read more

The Return of the Fairness Doctrine – What it Was and Why it Won’t Return

By: David Oxenford, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP It seems like whenever Democrats are elected to serve as President and take control of Congress, there is talk about the revival of the Fairness Doctrine as some panacea for restoring balance and civility to political debate.  In recent weeks, we have seen many articles blaming conservative talk… read more

Lobbying Firms Kelley Cawthorne, Brown Consulting Announce Merger

Longtime MAB legislative consultant firm Kelley Cawthorne has announced a merger with Berton Brown Consulting. The combined firm will remain known as Kelley Cawthorne. The merger also launches a new initiative, Kelley Cawthorne Empower. Led by Berton Brown, the minority-owned consulting group focuses on diversity and inclusion, community engagement and traditionally under-represented entities, in addition… read more

Want a New Radio Station? FCC Proposes Procedures for a July 2021 Auction, Lists Channels to be Sold, and Imposes a Freeze on Certain Applications

6 Michigan Permits in Auction By: David Oxenford, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP The FCC on Tuesday (2/9) announced plans to hold an auction to award construction permits allowing the winners to build new radio stations. The auction notice includes 136 FM channels and, in a new wrinkle, 4 AM opportunities, for which bids will be able to be placed once the… read more