Industry News


Here's the latest from the trades

New Self-Regs For Sports Gambling Ads Mirror Those For Alcohol


As broadcasters chase a new ad category opened up by the surging legal gambling industry, the American Gaming Association (AGA) has issued a new set of self-regulations for sports betting advertising and marketing. The new “Responsible Marketing Code for Sports Wagering,” which has parallels to restrictions placed on alcohol advertising, comes on the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court striking down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which paved the way for the new industry to flourish.

The new code, which applies to both traditional and digital media marketing, includes self-imposed restrictions on target audiences, outlets and branding materials.

The AGA has traditionally represented the $261 billion U.S. casino industry. But with legalized wagering on sporting events a relatively new activity in a growing number of states, the trade association says it’s extending its compliance commitments to address new concerns that have sprung up.



Washington Becomes 11th State with Formal First Informer Status

New bill gives broadcasters access to transmitter, studio facilities during emergencies


More and more broadcasters are playing a larger role when it comes to responding to emergencies now that Washington state has signed a new first informer broadcast bill.

The decision makes Washington the 11th state in the country to pass such legislation. The bill was a culmination of three years of efforts by broadcasters, the Washington State Association of Broadcasters (WSAB) and the state’s Emergency Management Division to ensure broadcasters can gain access to transmitter and studio facilities during time of a declared emergency.



NJBA Concerned About Portions of Translator Complaint Process

FCC recently released draft order to streamline interference resolution process

The New Jersey Broadcasters Association is renewing its concern about how broadcasters in the Garden State might be harmed by new complaint rules being proposed by the Federal Communications Commission.

It was nearly a year ago that the commission proposed new steps to streamline the complaint process around FM translator interference issues. The commission just recently released a new draft Report and Order that clarifies exactly how it plans to streamline the process of resolving conflicts.



CBA to FCC: Rethink Broadcast Market Definitions

“Digital revolution has expanded the competitive marketplace”

Broadcasters are continuing to share their thoughts when it comes to the changes being proposed as part of the upcoming 2018 Quadrennial Review.

The California Broadcasters Association filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission saying that the time has come to rethink the walls that have traditionally defined broadcast markets. Members of the CBA told Commissioner Michael O’Rielly and members from the other commissioners’ offices that the time had come to make a change.

Now, the CBA said, broadcast radio and television are competing with multiple forms of audio and video delivery to consumers; in some cases they are even competing with their own programming, the letter said.

It’s particularly important that the commission understand this issue when reviewing radio subcaps as part of the Quadrennial Review. Over the last few months, a number of broadcasters have weighed in on the elimination of those subcaps. For the CBA, the priority is to discard AM subcaps and AM subcaps only. “Such a revision could be critical to the survival and revitalization of AM radio,” Greg Skall of Womble Bond Dickinson wrote.



The Lo-Fi Voices That Speak for America

Even in decline, AM radio matters more than you might think. A photo and audio tour of the hosts driving the conversation.


For decades, AM radio has felt as commonplace as a utility, such a basic fact of life that it’s taken for granted. But that’s changing: Across America, AM radio stations are dwindling in number and profitability, as better-sounding FM signals become cheaper to broadcast and would-be listeners turn to the internet for entertainment.

Yet even in decline, it has a strength that politicians and media insiders who want to understand America would do well to heed. In 2019, thousands of AM stations remain on the air, many of them thriving—in part because they serve unique sets of people whose voices aren’t always heard loudly. For generations, it was considerably cheaper to buy or start an AM station than any other form of mass media, making ownership more accessible to people of color, immigrants, non-English speakers and those with political views outside the mainstream. Without the line-of-sight restrictions of FM radio, AM radio can also cover vast geographic areas, and so remains a staple of rural media. Even now, if you tune into the right frequency on a clear summer night, you can hear a broadcast from half a continent away—listening in on the kinds of conversations that shape identity and politics far outside the Beltway.