Nevada’s Broadcasters enjoyed an intimate and exclusive meeting with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. He was open, friendly and very obviously sincere about creating a new environment at the FCC that is broadcaster-friendly. No topic was off limits from the Incentive Auction Repack and how that will affect translators, to EAS field issues, ownership rules, opening the window for license application and internet regulation. (He said he has no interest in regulating programming on the internet).
Tom Axtell of VegasPBS brought a coverage map which showed the translator coverage currently, and another one showing the lack of coverage after the incentive auction repack if a solution to the translator issue is not resolved. This issue came up again when NASBA met with Pai. He is concerned and said this is mostly a policy issue right now but it is definitely on his radar and he will do everything he can to protect broadcasters’ signals and enabling broadcasters to continue reaching our listeners and viewers, especially when it comes to the all-important emergency alerts, news and information.
Tony Bonnici of Lotus Broadcasting asked the perennial question, what is the FCC’s stance on whether broadcasters should or could accept marijuana advertising. To which, Chairman Pai responded that he had not been asked that question, but given the fact that marijuana is still illegal on a federal level, he could not recommend that we accept that category of advertising. He stopped short of saying what, if any, penalties the FCC may impose.
National Alliance of State Broadcasters Associations Also Met with Chairman Pai