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Major Regulatory Moves, New Emergency Resources for Stations

- Sales, Management, Legal

The FCC has waived or adjusted certain regulations to help broadcasters respond to the rapidly accelerating pandemic, as other federal agencies have begun explaining how businesses and individuals can tap some of the assistance Congress is rolling out. Additional sales and management resources are available from TAB’s general counsel, the Jackson Walker law firm, and other Associate Members.

Shared News Services – The FCC last week issued a public notice assuring Radio and TV stations that they may share news content and news-gathering resources on an emergency or ad hoc basis during the coronavirus crisis without reducing their arrangements to writing or putting them in their online public inspection file as “shared service” agreements, as long as the sharing is temporary and not part of implementing a long-term formal agreement. TAB’s FCC counsel, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, explains.

Essential Planning – If you haven’t already started planning how to ensure your station will stay on the air during a potential quarantine order, see this guidance from David Oxenford with Wilkinson Barker Knauer. Note that in Texas “shelter in place” or other quarantine-type orders are strictly local at this time, rather than statewide, and they all treat broadcasters as “essential businesses” that are exempted from the orders.

Local Broadcast Sales Strategy Webinar – Perk up here because this FREE program will NOT be archived.  Our friends at LBS have lined up an all-star panel of experts to help you build your strategy for getting your advertisers back on their feet.  The hour-long webinar is Thursday, March 26.

Register here

TV Repack Extension – Texas stations in Phase 9 of the repack can breathe a sigh of relief as the FCC is permitting stations in that phase to request extensions into Phase 10, the final stage of the repack. Oxenford once again has all the details.

SBA Loans – Small businesses devastated by the pandemic can apply for long-term, low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.  Economic Injury Disaster Loan Eligibility/Application

Other Economic Assistance for Business – Congress is hammering this out now. It will involve several different bills. The NAB is part of a large coalition representing various industries and is focused on negotiating some kind of assistance for broadcasters. TAB will soon be surveying members to quantify job and revenue losses to date to inform Congress’ efforts.

Legal Insights – Stations needing insight into a variety of circumstances related to the pandemic can visit Jackson Walker’s Covoid-19 Microsite. It includes webinars created specifically for this emergency and touches on issues such as general business concerns, contracts, employee benefits, labor law or healthcare. The site is being regularly updated.

New PSAs – GSDM co-founder Roy Spence partnered with actor Matthew McConaughey to produce a new English-language TV PSA and social/web version for the pandemic, plus a Spanish-subtitled TV version. They’re uploaded to Extreme Reach and captioned. No word yet on a Radio version.

Questions? Contact TAB’s Oscar Rodriguez or call (512) 322-9944.

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