Public Policy

Nobodies TV Land
TV Review: Nobodiesby Dominic Patten

Latest Public Policy News


Justice Department Settles Suit Over DirecTV’s Effort To Keep Dodgers Games Dark – Update

UPDATED, 3:30 PM: The Justice Department said today that it has reached a settlement in the case of information swaps involving AT&T’s DirecTV and rival pay TV outlets about talks to broadcast Los Angeles Dodgers games in SoCal. Reuters reported that the deal requires the companies also to monitor some communications that their executives have with competitors and to implement compliance programs. The settlement does not mandate that any pay-TV company to carry Spectrum Sp… Read


Senate Votes To Scuttle FCC’s Broadband Privacy Rules

Comcast, AT&T, Verizon and other broadband providers may soon win back the freedom to use and sell information they collect about customers’ internet surfing habits. The Senate just passed a resolution to scrap a collection of FCC rules — adopted in October, but that have yet to take effect — that require ISPs to secure consumers’ permission to use the data about them. The proposal now goes to the House, and then President Trump, who are expected to approve. The Senate… Read


James Comey: FBI Investigating Trump Campaign Contacts With Russia; Has “No Information” Supporting Wiretap Claims

FBI Director James Comey said today that his department is investigating “any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and any attempts to coordinate.” But he added, in opening comments to a House Intelligence Committee hearing looking at the matter, that “because it is an open ongoing investigation and is classified, I cannot say more.” What’s more, he says, “it isn’t fair to draw conclusions simply because I say I cannot… Read


Disney Settles With Labor Dept. On Employee Overtime Work, “Costume” Expenses

Disney has agreed to pay $3.8 million in back wages to thousands of Florida employees after the U.S. Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division found that the company did not compensate them for duties before and after shifts. In addition officials found that Disney had inappropriately deducted a uniform or "costume" expense that drove pay below the minimum wage. The agency also found that Disney didn’t maintain required time and payroll records. The action affected 16,339… Read


PBS, Hollywood & New York Denounce Trump’s Proposed Cultural Budget Cuts

Update with guilds, Actors’ Equity statements The DGA, SAG-AFTRA, WGA West and East and IATSE and Actors’ Equity are urging the nation’s leaders to preserve funding for the NEA and the CPB. See full statements below. Previous Officials of the Public Broadcasting Service are reminding Congress of PBS’ historically “strong support” among both Republican and Democratic voters – support the organization will need to fend off massive budget cuts proposed by President Donald Tru… Read


Justice Department Says Russian Spies Led 2014 Yahoo Hack

Russians indicted in Yahoo hack

UPDATED with Marissa Meyer statement: The Justice Department today indicted two Russian spies, along with two criminal hackers, for attacking the accounts of 500 million Yahoo users in 2014. The spies are officers of FSB, a successor organization to Russia’s KGB. They “protected, directed, facilitated and paid criminal hackers” to break into Yahoo’s servers and “steal information including information about individual users and private contents of their accounts,” said… Read


Nexstar & Sinclair Forge Alliance To Promote Next-Gen TV Transmissions

Two of the biggest independent TV station owners — Nexstar Media Group and Sinclair Broadcast Group — just announced a potentially important alliance to promote a new standard that could make it easier to meld 4K programming and interactive broadband data in over-the-air transmissions. The companies signed a memorandum of understanding to create a consortium that they’ll jointly own to “promote spectrum aggregation, innovation and monetization and enhance their abilities… Read


Reviewing Al Pacino, Broadway’s Collateral Damage And Air For Sale, Cheap: Gerard & Roth

EXCLUSIVE: Deadline theater critic Jeremy Gerard and Jujamcyn Theatres president Jordan Roth discuss the hottest topics on the Rialto, the only precondition being: no holds barred. GERARD: I'm wondering whether Significant Other, which opened last week on Broadway, will end up as, to use that Vietnam-era euphemism, collateral damage in the aftermath of Charles Isherwood's abrupt departure from The New York Times. I know you loved this play when it opened at the… Read


FCC Chairman: White House Won’t Influence Decisions Affecting News Media

FCC chairman Ajit Pai told a Senate committee today that he has not spoken to the White House about its criticisms of CNN and would “follow appropriate protocols” if administration officials tried to influence the agency’s review of AT&T’s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner. At a Senate Commerce Committee oversight hearing today, Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) challenged the administration’s “bully tactics” against journalists, for example by calling them an “enemy of the… Read


Trump Renominates FCC’s Ajit Pai To 5-Year Term

Looks like Ajit Pai passed his audition: President Trump today renominated the FCC chairman for another term that would expire in mid 2021. His previous five-year term expired last year, but commissioners get to stay for up to a year afterward if they haven’t been replaced. Today’s appointment comes a day before Pai and his two remaining colleagues at what’s normally a five-member commission take questions from the Senate Commerce Committee at an oversight hearing. Pai… Read


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

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


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

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