WASHINGTON, DC—All around the country, businesses in a wide range of sectors are asking how a Biden Administration will impact the regulatory climate in their industries. This certainly is true in broadcast communications, where industry insiders are debating how President-Elect Biden will shape the FCC.
The FCC is a largely non-partisan body. But the Oval Office does appoint, with a subsequent Senate confirmation procedure, the FCC Chair. Garziglia writes that current FCC Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Geoffrey Starks and former Commissioner Mignon Clyburn are candidates, but Biden’s ultimate choice for the post remains wide open.
“The most significant radio broadcast policies likely to be transformed under a Biden/Harris administration are the local radio ownership rules. Currently, the fate of radio ownership rules is under FCC consideration in the 2018 Quadrennial Review with FCC action effectively stalled by Supreme Court’s grant of Certiorari in Prometheus IV,” Garziglia writes. He said that while a Democrat-led FCC is unlikely to favor relaxing ownership rules, the Supreme Court’s actions in Prometheus IV may impact what the FCC does concerning ownership diversity requirements.
“The Biden/Harris administration is likely to expect that remedial measures to counter systemic racism and sexism will be afforded a greater priority at the FCC. The diversity of broadcast station ownership issue may now be, however, beyond the FCC’s control with Prometheus IV at the Supreme Court,” Garziglia writes.”
He also discusses possible changes to sponsorship ID rules, modifications to the Communications Decency Act, and the need for broadcast industry professionals on the Commission.
John Garziglia represents radio and television broadcasters, offering personalized assistance in all areas of communications and telecommunications law including transactional and contract negotiations for broadcast station mergers and acquisitions, the securing of financing, governmental auctions of new frequencies, license renewals, new stations applications, facility changes, facility upgrades, licensing, and compliance with FCC rules, regulations and policies.