Public Policy

Jordan Horowitz, Warren Beatty

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Business

Time Warner Shares Rise As FCC Chief Says He Probably Won’t Review AT&T Deal

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UPDATE, Tuesday AM: FCC Chairman Ajit Pai confirmed that he sees “no current reason” to review AT&T’s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner. He also told the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Tuesday that he would not be swayed by political pressures — including potentially from President Trump, who has said that he opposes the union. “My role is not to read the headlines and try to make a determination based on who said what and in what forum,” Pai says. “It is the… Read

Business

FCC Chairman Moves To Stop Internet Privacy Plan, Seeking To Match FTC Rules

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP/REX/Shutterstock (5940055i)
Ajit Pai Federal Communication Commission (FCC) Commissioner Ajit Pai, speaks during an open hearing and vote on Net Neutrality in Washington, . The FCC has agreed to impose strict new regulations on Internet service providers like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T. The regulatory agency voted 3-2 Thursday in favor of rules aimed at enforcing what's called "net neutrality." That's the idea that service providers shouldn't intentionally block or slow web traffic, creating paid fast lanes on the Internet
Net Neutrality, Washington, USA

Updated with Clyburn and McSweeny statements: Looks like you can forget about the rules the FCC approved in October to bar Internet providers from monitoring the sites you visit, unless you give permission to do so. Recently named FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wants to stay the initiative before March 2, and try to match the terms more closely with similar privacy rules the FTC has for content providers. If he can’t arrange for a vote by all of the three current commissioners… Read

Business

Time Warner Sells Atlanta TV Station To Meredith, Possibly Helping AT&T Deal

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The case for an FCC review of AT&T’s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner weakened today: The entertainment company agreed to sell its independent Atlanta TV station — WPCH — to Meredith for $70 million. The FCC will have to approve the TV station sale. But if there’s no hitch there, then Time Warner’s agreement with AT&T might not include a license that would fall under the FCC’s purview. That could help the AT&T deal. If the Trump administration opposes it — the… Read

Business

FCC Seeks Comment On Rule To Let TV Stations Test Next Gen Transmissions

UNITED STATES - MAY 12: FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai prepares to testify before a Senate Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee hearing in Dirksen Building on the Federal Communications Commission's proposed budget for FY2016, May 12, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) (CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

Amid a blizzard of decisions released today, the FCC helped to promote a TV standard that could make it easier for broadcasters to meld 4K programming and interactive broadband data in their over-the-air transmissions. Regulators voted unanimously to seek comment on a proposal allowing stations to voluntarily transmit signals using the ATSC 3.0 standard  — an upgrade from the current ATSC 1.0. Commissioners made separate statements on the initiative; the FCC says ones… Read

breakingBusiness

Anna Deavere Smith Wins George Polk Award For Career Achievement

Anna Deavere Smith

Anna Deavere Smith, a MacArthur “genius” whose skills as deep-dive reporter, canny mimic and social activist have merged in such ground-breaking theatrical works as Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992; Fires In The Mirror: Crown Heights, Brooklyn and Other Identities and the recent Notes From the Field: Doing Time In Education, has received the 35th George Polk Career Award, one of the top awards in journalism. Notes From The Field used in-depth interviews with politicians… Read

Business

Steve Mnuchin Confirmed As Treasury Secretary In Party Line Senate Vote

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Mandatory Credit: Photo by J. Scott Applewhite/AP/REX/Shutterstock (7903147f)
Treasury Secretary-designate Steven Mnuchin listens while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee. Mnuchin built his reputation and his fortune as a savvy Wall Street investor but critics charge that he profited from thousands of home foreclosures as the chief of a sub-prime mortgage lender during the housing collapse
Trump Treasury Secretary, Washington, USA - 19 Jan 2017

The executive producer of The Lego Batman Movie, which made $55.6 million at the U.S. box offices this weekend, is about to become the nation’s Treasury Secretary. The U.S. Senate just voted 53-to-47 along party lines to turn the Treasury Department over to Steve Mnuchin, a former Hollywood financier, Relativity Media board member, and Goldman Sachs partner. That means President Trump’s former campaign finance chairman will oversee the nation’s financial affairs including… Read

Business

FCC Spectrum Auction Scores $19.6B, Including $10B For Broadcasters

FCCblackandwhitelogo

TV station owners are due to collect about $10 billion, with an additional $7 billion going to the U.S. Treasury, as the FCC today completed the most important steps of its seemingly endless, and endlessly complicated, auction of broadcasters’ airwave spectrum. Wireless broadband providers committed $19.6 billion for about 70 MHz of spectrum. Some additional spectrum that broadcasters agreed to relinquish will be used for other, technical purposes, and part of the… Read

Business

Tribune Media To Collect $190M From FCC Spectrum Auction

Tribune media featured image grid

Add Tribune Media to the group of TV station owners reporting potential proceeds from the FCC’s airwave spectrum auction. The company says it expects to see $190 million later this year after wireless broadband providers buy spectrum that station owners agreed to relinquish. The amount reflects the FCC's acceptance “of one or more bids placed by Tribune Media or channel share partners of television stations owned or operated by Tribune Media,” it says. It adds, though… Read

Business

Fox Television Says It Will See $350M From FCC Spectrum Auction

Fox Television Stations logo

The FCC told TV stations this week that they can start to talk openly about their expected take from the agency’s airwave spectrum auction — and some, including Fox Television, are beginning to put real numbers on the process. Fox says today it expects to see $350 million in 2017. That reflects the FCC’s acceptance of “one or more bids” the broadcaster submitted to give up some of the airwave spectrum its stations use in undisclosed markets. That’s “not expected to lead… Read

Business

FCC Unveils Policy Changes Favoring Telcos, TV Stations And ISPs

UNITED STATES - MAY 12: FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai prepares to testify before a Senate Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee hearing in Dirksen Building on the Federal Communications Commission's proposed budget for FY2016, May 12, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) (CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

Wireless phone companies and TV stations are among the big winners in a bevy of decisions that the FCC — under its new chairman, Ajit Pai —  released today as it begins to reverse policies supported by his predecessor, Tom Wheeler. Pai halted the agency’s investigation into so-called zero rating programs that enable wireless companies to waive subscribers’ data charges when they access company-owned services. The FCC had challenged the practice as a violation of the… Read

Business

FCC Chairman Scraps Plan To Promote Set-Top Box Competition

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP/REX/Shutterstock (5940055i)
Ajit Pai Federal Communication Commission (FCC) Commissioner Ajit Pai, speaks during an open hearing and vote on Net Neutrality in Washington, . The FCC has agreed to impose strict new regulations on Internet service providers like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T. The regulatory agency voted 3-2 Thursday in favor of rules aimed at enforcing what's called "net neutrality." That's the idea that service providers shouldn't intentionally block or slow web traffic, creating paid fast lanes on the Internet
Net Neutrality, Washington, USA

The FCC has good news this morning for cable and satellite companies, but bad news for their subscribers who hate the set-top boxes they usually must lease in order to watch TV. The agency’s new chairman, Ajit Pai, has removed from its agenda consideration of a proposal that would have made it possible for independent manufacturers to sell boxes that could replace the ones providers supply. The FCC says that 99% of subscribers pay an average of $231 a year to lease the… Read

exclusiveFilm

Female Directors Worry Donald Trump’s EEOC Picks Could Stall Hollywood Probe

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EXCLUSIVE: The ongoing reshuffling of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission could have dire consequences for female film and TV directors who've been hoping that the EEOC's ongoing investigation would address Hollywood's discriminatory hiring practices. "We're all talking about it," said director Rachel Feldman, one of the more than 100 women directors who have been interviewed by EEOC investigators over the past year. "We're all very concerned that Trump's new… Read