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TAB: Your Resource on Political Broadcasting and Election Questions

For more than 20 years, TAB has been committed to being THE resource for Texas broadcasters, providing answers to FCC political broadcasting questions and those regarding the political season.

TAB’s response has been multi-pronged – workshops, webinars, legal guides, political forms, political date schedules, a timely political news email and the vaunted TAB legal hotline.

Political Broadcasting Webinar
Over the years TAB has staged many FCC political broadcast rule seminars in Austin (and at one point, a five-city tour) featuring FCC specialist attorneys working for TAB Associate Member law firms and two different heads of the FCC’s political broadcast bureau. TAB now provides this same information via webinar, so sales and news staff no longer have to give up a large chunk of a day to travel to the workshop location.

This year’s webinar, which is FREE to TAB member stations, takes place this Thursday, Nov. 30 at Noon CT.

It features attorney David Oxenford of TAB Associate Member law firm Wilkinson Barker Knauer and Bobby Baker, the chief of the FCC's Political Broadcast bureau.

In this two-hour session, Baker and Oxenford will discuss candidate on-air appearances including the news exceptions to the political broadcast rules; candidate and third party political advertising; sponsorship identification for such advertising; political file recordkeeping; political advertising sales practices; and lowest unit charge/lowest unit rate (LUC/LUR).

Stations should take advantage of this opportunity to reexamine the FCC’s political broadcast rules before the FCC’s political window opens in Texas on Jan. 20, 2018.

Political Legal Guide & Hotline
Oxenford is the author of TAB’s Legal Guide to Political Broadcasting which is available here.

The guide is Texas broadcasters’ chief referral resource on the FCC’s political broadcast rules governing political advertising sales practices and on-air content such as appearances in news programming.  If the guide doesn’t answer your question, the TAB Legal Hotline likely can do so.  The hotline is a valuable TAB member service which provides general legal guidance on FCC regulations and Texas state law. 

Stations seeking to utilize the hotline should call TAB at 512-322-9944 and ask to be directed to the appropriate hotline attorney.  The hotline is staffed by TAB’s FCC legal counsel Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, as well as TAB Associate Member law firms Haynes Boone LLP, Jackson Walker LLP and Sedgwick LLP.

Political Disclosure Form
Speaking of calling, member stations used to phone TAB to request a copy of the NAB’s industry-prevalent political forms.  Our job is to help broadcasters, but we could not do so in this case, as the political forms are a copyrighted document.  Recognizing the need for an alternative, TAB asked Pillsbury’s Scott Flick to create TAB Political Forms which capture all the information the FCC requires related to candidate and issue advertising.

TAB provides the forms free to TAB member stations as an important member service.
Click here to download.

Political Window Calendar
We also have created a free document outlining the 2018 FCC political dates and offices up for election next year.  Click here to download.

Political Updates
Newsroom and sales staff can keep up with the latest developments that could impact the election season by taking advantage of the TAB Political Update email newsletter.

Started more than six years ago, the Political Update email provides up to the minute details on political races and other news affecting political advertising and station news coverage.  General managers, news directors and local sales managers at TAB member stations are automatically subscribed and have already received the first two Political Update emails sent this year regarding the 2018 elections.  If there someone at your station who should be receiving them, send TAB their email address and we’ll add them to the distribution list. 

The first two issues are archived in the Members section of the TAB website.
Click here to download.

Questions?  Contact TAB's Michael Schneider or call (512) 322-9944.


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