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Columbia, SC 29201

803-732-1186

          

 

               2019 STAR Awards

              Saturday, August 17th

            Hilton Columbia Center

                 6:00 - 10:00 p.m.

             Click here for tickets

          and additional information.

 

              

    MAY 2019 SCBA MIDDLEBURG MATTERS

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      MIDDLEBURG MATTERS

NEWSLETTER

 

TO TAKE A LOOK AT OUR MAY NEWSLETTER

click here!

             

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SCHOLARSHIP NOW AVAILABLE

Reporting Workshop for

Rising Stars

 

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Sept. 13
TEACHING DATE: Oct. 13-16
LOCATION: The Poynter Institute

For additional information please click here.

             

                                                                                                                  CommLawCenter

 

 

New Post: Next National EAS Test Is August 7, and Comes With a Twist

Posted May 29, 2019

By Lauren Lynch Flick

Last week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) formally notified the FCC that FEMA has scheduled the next nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) for August 7, 2019 at 2:20 p.m.  FEMA states that this year's test will differ from the nationwide tests that have been conducted over the past several years in that it will be issued through the National Public Warning System, composed of FEMA-designated Primary Entry Point facilities, to test the readiness of the EAS to function in the absence of Internet connectivity.

In other words, the August test is dependent on the ability of EAS to operate without a 'net, reaching EAS Participants solely by over-the-air means. The initial report from FEMA and the FCC following the 2018 Nationwide EAS Test noted that almost 60% of participants received the test announcement first via the Internet-oriented Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), a significant increase from 41.9% in 2017.

Also unique this year is the timing of FEMA's announcement.  For the 2016, 2017 and 2018 tests, FEMA and the FCC announced the date of the proposed test in July and held the test in September with an October backup date.  As a result, the 2019 test will be performed significantly earlier in the year compared to prior tests.  The choice of this date is interesting in that it falls at the end of peak tornado season for much of the Midwest, and the beginning of peak hurricane season in the Southeast.  Last year's test was postponed to the backup date in October because of Hurricane Florence, which made landfall in September.  This year's date may, however, present a challenge to full participation in the test by student-run college stations, which may not operate during summer recess.

In terms of related regulatory obligations, broadcasters have generally been required to file an FCC Form One 30 days in advance of the actual test.  That filing is usually followed by a Form Two filing on the day of the test and then a Form Three filing 45 days after the test.  The exact information sought on the forms often varies year-to-year, but the filing system itself has found a permanent home on the FCC's electronic EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS).  ETRS has not yet been updated to provide information for the 2019 Nationwide EAS Test, so the required forms (including submission due dates), updates in requested information, and any changes to the way in which the forms are to be filed have not yet been made available.

Being so broadcast station-dependent, this year's test will place an even brighter spotlight on radio and TV stations, as any failures in receiving and relaying the National Periodic Test announcement may be laid at the feet of broadcasters.  Stations should therefore be alert to the imminent announcement of filing due dates and other information surrounding this year's Nationwide EAS Test.

Stations should also take this opportunity to ensure that their EAS equipment is not obsolete, is fully installed, is in working order, is set to monitor the correct EAS sources, and has had the latest software updates downloaded and installed.  It would also be a good time to review EAS procedures with station staff to avoid past problems such as continuing to run program audio behind the test message.  Each of these were identified as points of failure in FEMA's reports following the prior Nationwide EAS Tests.

More Recent Posts from Comm Law Center

 

             

Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program (ABIP)

 

ARE YOU MISSING OUT ON AN IMPORTANT SCBA MEMBER BENEFIT? IS YOUR STATION DUE FOR AN ABIP INSPECTION?

 

Benefits:

  • All SCBA member stations can participate in this FCC-endorsed voluntary inspection.
  • Completing the ABIP insures a station that it is in compliance with FCC regulations.
  • Stations holding ABIP certificates are exempt from routine FCC inspections for a period of three years.

 

How It Works:

  • To enroll in the program, contact the SCBA office at 803-732-1186 or paula@scba.net.
  • SCBA will forward a contract with an estimated inspection date.
  • Stations must return the signed contract with payment prior to the inspection.
  • Upon successful completion of the inspection, stations are issued a certificate that is posted in the station and the FCC is notified of the certification.
  • If the station does not pass inspection, a grace period of 150 days from the date on the contract is provided to allow the station to make necessary corrections to successfully complete the inspection.
  • Stations may choose to notify the FCC when they enroll in the program, and immediately begin the immunity protection. Or they may choose not to notify the FCC of their enrollment, in which case the station has no protection from inspection.

All stations should take advantage of this valuable service. Be certain your station is in  compliance and immune from routine FCC inspection.

 

If your station currently holds an ABIP certificate, check the renewal date and schedule your next inspection well in advance to avoid any lapse in immunity.

 

          

Important Reminder: Activate and/or Update

Your Online Public Inspection File

 

As of March 1, 2018, all radio and television stations were required to transition their public inspection file to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) online public file system. However, despite the year-old deadline, a substantial number of broadcasters have not yet activated their online public file or have failed to keep their public file up-to-date.

 

These stations are at risk of substantial FCC fines. While the FCC has emailed warning notices to some stations, we strongly urge you not to wait for an FCC notice. Stations should immediately confirm that they are complying with the FCC’s rules.

 

Ensuring that your station’s online public file is online and complete takes on added importance as we enter the license renewal cycle. Renewal applications require stations to either certify that their public file has been complete and up-to-date at all times during the license term or disclose violations. In addition to substantial fines, an incomplete online public file can lead to extensive delays in the license renewal process.

 

Of particular concern is the failure to upload the quarterly issues/programs lists, which demonstrate how a station has addressed the needs and interests of its community. These lists must be placed in each station’s online public file on a quarterly basis, going back to the start of the current 8-year license term. Failure to comply can be extremely costly. The FCC recently fined five radio stations $10,000 to $12,000 each for lacking copies of the issues/programs lists in their online public files. In addition to the issues/programs lists, stations should promptly upload their annual EEO public file reports, children’s television reports, political broadcasting information, and all other required materials.

 

If you have questions, please contact your station’s legal counsel or the NAB legal department at 866.682.0276.

     

IMPORTANT JUNE-AUGUST DEADLINES:

 

CommLawBlog

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for June-August

By FHH Law on May 28, 2019 12:00 pm

Broadcast Deadlines: June 1, 2019: License Renewal Pre-Filing Announcements – Radio stations located in North Carolina and South Carolina must begin broadcasts of their pre-filing announcements with regard to their applications for renewal of the license.  These announcements must be continued on June 16, July 1, and July 16. Radio Post-Filing Announcements – Radio stations...… Continue Reading

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More to read:

FCC Considers Repurposing the 1675-1680 MHz Band
Peter Tannenwald Honored by WAMU Radio
New Developments in Broadband – April
Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for May-July
Now Available: “Navigating the Online Public Inspection File” Webinar

 

                  

 

CommLawBlog

 

A Word of Caution to Broadcasters Pertaining to E-Cigarette and Vaping Advertisements

By Frank Montero on Feb 06, 2019 01:40 pm

Last month I participated in a webinar with my colleague Dan Kirkpatrick where we addressed the issue of advertising controversial products. While the topic of marijuana advertising (which we discussed in our webinar) gets much attention these days–especially with the recent decision by CBS to turn down a cannabis ad for the Super Bowl–we also...… Continue Reading

             

Broadcasters Seek New Business Opportunities Amid Legalization of Industrial Hemp Products (Including CBD Oil)

By Seth Williams on Feb 26, 2019 09:28 am

There’s a green wave coming in the form of expanding marijuana legalization across the US, and many of the people trying to take advantage of this green wave are also trying to turn it into another kind of green: money. Broadcasters are also looking to take advantage of these new revenue opportunities, but because marijuana...… Continue Reading

 

 

        

2019 New OPCONs

NEWS RELEASE

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Derrec Becker or Kim McLeod

Phone: 803-737-8500  |  Social: @SCEMD

 

State, Counties Update Operational Condition Levels

 

Columbia, S.C. (Thursday, May 9, 2019) – Prior to the start of the 2019 Hurricane Season, the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, in coordination with county emergency management officials, is updating the state’s emergency operational condition levels, or OPCONs. Now, agencies will coordinate, prepare and respond to major emergencies based on three levels of readiness instead of five.

 

The new levels are designed to simplify the steps agencies take in order to fully activate emergency resources. The three OPCONs and their definitions are more compatible with the majority of state and federal emergency management organizations nationwide, making the state’s processes and procedures easier to understand for teams deploying into South Carolina during a disaster.

 

The OPCONs and their definitions are now as follows (infographic with specific colors can be found here):

 

OPCON THREE - Normal Daily Operations

Agencies coordinate, plan, train and exercise as warranted. Incidents are monitored by the State Warning Point and local emergency managers.

 

OPCON TWO - Enhanced Awareness

A disaster or emergency is likely to affect the state. Emergency Operations Plans are implemented. The State Emergency Operations Center is partially activated if necessary.

 

OPCON ONE - Full Alert

A disaster or emergency is imminent or occurring. The State Emergency Operations Center is fully activated. All agency personnel are activated or available for activation.

 

“Residents can expect to see a streamlining in the way we activate state and local resources, particularly the state and local emergency operations centers,” says SCEMD Director Kim Stenson. “The new system brings us more in line with how other states operate and simplifies the steps we take before a major emergency is in full effect.”

 

All State Emergency Response Team agencies and county emergency managers in all 46 counties have instituted the new OPCON levels.

For questions regarding the new OPCONs, please contact Derrec Becker or Kim Mcleod at pio@emd.sc.gov or (803) 737-8500.

 

Derrec Becker, SC CEM

Chief of Public Information & External Affairs

South Carolina Emergency Management Division

Mobile: 803.530.2193 | Office: 803.737.8500

Online: scemd.org  |  Social: @SCEMD

Skype: SCEmergency

"South Carolina's emergency management program minimizes loss of life and property damage from all-hazard incidents."

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SCBA's Job Bank
The Internet is the most efficient and effective recruiting tool today!  Stations, post your job openings on the Job Bank and view resumes for all job categories.  Interested in a broadcast career?  Learn about the types of broadcast jobs available and post your resume.  SCBA Job Bank postings are for Equal Opportunity Employers.  Post Jobs

PEP Update

SCBA member stations are in partnership with governmental agencies to deliver public education messages throughout the state.  Many SCBA programs and services are made possible by proceeds from the PEP program.  Stations air PEP spots in the best times available and as often as possible.  Read More

Tips for Non-Profit Organizations

For local radio and television stations across South Carolina, community service is more than a passing concern.  It is a way of doing business.  Every day in South Carolina, from the biggest cities to the smallest towns and everywhere in between, broadcasters are going to bat for community charities, educating residents about important local issues, and delivering lifesaving information and relief in times of crisis or disaster.  Non-profit groups across the state know they can turn to their local radio and television stations for a helping hand.  The tradition of community service by South Carolina broadcasters is unmatched by any other industry and one that we pledge to uphold in the years ahead.  If you want to gain exposure for your charitable organization, school or other civic group, SCBA provides these guidelines for working with the media. Read More

 



 

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