Category: Member Resources

Analysis Finds 35% Increase In Local Broadcast TV News Over Past Decade


Television stations significantly increased the number of local news telecasts and hours of news content they aired over a 10-year period, according to an analysis of Nielsen data conducted by the National Association of Broadcasters.

NAB examined the number of programs classified by Nielsen as “local news” as well as the hours of local news aired across the country, comparing data from the same month (November) in 2011, 2016 and 2021.

NAB’s findings show that 154,445 local news telecasts aired in November 2021, an increase of nearly 16% from November 2016 and 35% from November 2011. In addition, more than 107,000 hours of local television news content aired in November 2021 across the country, an increase of more than 16% from November 2016 and over 40% from November 2011.

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FCC Shares Cyber Warnings About Russia


All communications companies should heed a recent security advisory, it said

“The commission urges all communications companies to take the recommended actions to protect their networks from cyber threats, to detect and notify CISA of cyber threats impacting communications services and infrastructure, and to share threat information with CISA and other industry stakeholders, as appropriate,” it said in an announcement.CISA is the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

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Citing lack of diversity in media ownership, members of Congress urge FCC to do equity audit


People of color own and control 6% of the nation’s full-power TV stations, 7% of commercial FM radio stations and 12% of commercial AM radio stations but make up more than 40% of the U.S. population.

Congressional leaders and a media advocacy group are urging the Federal Communications Commission to examine how policy decisions and programs have disparately harmed Black Americans and other communities of color.

In a letter sent to the acting FCC chair, Democratic U.S. Reps. Jamaal Bowman of New York, Yvette Clarke of New York and Brenda Lawrence of Michigan along with Media 2070 said the FCC should conduct an assessment to “address and redress” the harm the agency’s policies and programs have caused Black and brown communities and identify “affirmative steps the agency commits to taking to break down barriers to just media and telecommunication practices.”

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Are other advertisers hurt by political commercials? You might be surprised…


Fascinating new research that we plan to highlight in our association’s weekly member newsletter.  Feel free to do the same – since it bucks conventional wisdom and might be useful ammunition for TV sales staff.  The source is the school of business at Indiana University:


According to new research from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, companies that run ads immediately after political TV commercials should not worry about the spillover of political opinion tainting their messages.

“Our investigations provide insights into the previously unexplored ad-to-ad spillover effects and, more broadly, provides insights into how political messages influence consumers.  Nonpolitical ads that follow political ads benefit through a reduction in audience decline and an increase in positive post-ad chatter,” says I.U. assistant professor Beth Fossen.

Political spending on TV and digital outlets is expected to be about $7 billion this fall.

“The insights from this research enable advertisers to advocate for the inclusion of ad positioning in ad buys and, specifically, negotiate that their ads follow political ads.  Our results may also encourage advertisers outside of the television context to experiment with advertising next to political content, an experimentation that may be especially beneficial for online advertisers given that they commonly blacklist political topics to avoid having their ads appear near political content,” says I.U. associate professor of marketing Girish Mallapragada.

Details on the I.U. study – which might be useful to station advertisers squeamish about the political season – can be found here.

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Why TV Dominates Political And How Adding Radio Can Reach More Voters


TV will once again reap the largest piece of political advertising this year, according to forecasters. But rather than trying to convince media buyers to buy radio in place of TV, broadcasters are embracing a strategy of adding radio to a TV buy to deliver more of what campaigns want: registered voters.

An analysis from Nielsen of a series of local media buys for political campaigns in 2018 found that a 20% reallocation from TV to AM/FM radio resulted in an average 22% reach lift among registered voters. The simple explanation for the boost, according to Pierre Bouvard, Chief Insights Officer for Westwood One and parent company Cumulus Media, is that AM/FM radio reaches voters without cable and light TV viewers. Declining TV ratings are also a factor, he says.

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Security Issues Concerning Operation of EAS Equipment


I hope everyone is staying safe and abiding by the guidance concerning Covid-19. Second, most broadcast operations are now being handled off-site, which could create security problems. Hackers know this and can take advantage of these opportunities.

Login and Password
It stands to reason that engineers should review the station security features including firewalls, passwords and any access to the open internet by station equipment. One area of concern is the EAS equipment, including any RBDS encoders. Creating secure login information is vital to blocking hackers from getting to the system. While I visit stations as part of the ABIP program, I still find some that are still using the default password that came with the unit. It is not difficult to create secure passwords and change them regularly.

Thankfully, most EAS devices force you to change your password when you first configure your device. Some EAS devices also periodically remind you to change your passwords. When you first install your EAS device, you need to change that default password. If you haven’t done this since you first installed your device, take this as a reminder to go change it as soon as possible. If your device didn’t prompt you to change your password, that is also probably a clue that you are running old software on the EAS device that needs to be updated.

Other reasons to change your EAS device passwords:

  1. When you have changes in personnel. Even when changes in status happen on friendly terms, it is a wise idea to “change the locks” on key station equipment – including EAS equipment – when staff or contractors quit, retire or are terminated.
  2. After a security incident, such as evidence of unauthorized access to EAS device (even internally).
  3. You suspect someone who should not have access might know the password.
  4. You somehow logged into the EAS device from outside your station, or from a shared or public computer. First, you should not access your EAS equipment from outside the station, unless you are using a secure link (such as a virtual private network). Fix that right away. Then change your passwords.
  5. It’s been a year or more since you last changed the password.

Network Connections

Although it is tempting to place the EAS equipment on an outside static IP address, this gives an open door to those wishing to do harm. If you don’t have an IT staff or someone who understands IT systems, you might ask, “How can I check to see if my EAS device is directly accessible from the Internet?”

  1. The easiest way to see if your EAS device might be directly connected to the Internet is this check: Are you accessing the device from a remote location – from home, or an off-campus hotspot, from your smart phone, etc. If you are, and it always “just works,” then your device is on the internet, and you might not have a firewall. A firewall usually requires you to access the device from a known IP address, or to connect through a VPN or other access limiting system. If you’ve never heard of these, and haven’t spent any time setting it up, you need to investigate if you have a firewall.
  2. Check the IP address of your EAS device. This will be the address you use to check your logs. Some EAS devices will display their IP address on their front panel – check with your manufacturer.

Some IP addresses are non-routable, and some are routable. If you have a non-routable address, then you are not directly connected to the internet – but you might still have a problem. Sometimes your network will have a device that is redirecting connections from an external routable address to your non-routable internal address. Such a device will often also have firewall capabilities. The non-routable addresses will always look like one of these:, through, and If you have anything other than these, then you are probably directly connected to the Internet. You NEED A FIREWALL. Find out of you have one.

The firewall will permit only certain IP addresses that you select from getting from the outside internet directly to your EAS device. You usually need to limit such access to just the HTTPS port (443). SSL will add additional protection against outsiders gaining information by watching the flow of data between you and your EAS device. Even if you are going to permit remote access to your EAS device, only give access to just the ports you need; not all the ports, because an IP address can be spoofed.

For the best protection for your EAS device, a firewall should reject ANY incoming connection to your EAS device it receives from the Internet. If you must permit remote access, the best choice is to only permit a connection to the HTTPS port (443). Some EAS devices will use different ports for different things, and you might want to allow access on these ports, but start with a locked down system, and know what you are doing when opening any other ports.

Software Updates
As with all computer devices that connect to a network, keeping the firmware and software updated is important. EAS device software updates contain modifications to meet FCC rule changes, they also contain critical security patches, functional updates and bug patches.

  1. FCC compliance updates. The FCC has modified its rules several times over the past few years, changing the way alert time is handed for national alerts, adding EAS event codes, modifying FIPS names, and other rules. If you are not updating your software, you run the risk of not being complaint with current FCC rules.
  2. Security patches. Security patches address vulnerabilities that bad guys might use to gain unauthorized access to your EAS equipment. And, let’s face it, anything connected to the Internet – even behind a firewall – should be treated as vulnerable. It is very wise practice to keep current with these security updates.
  3. Bug patches and functional updates. From time to time, EAS manufacturers find a flaw or a bug in their software and issue a software update to address it. They also release helpful improvements and new features.

Should you have questions about the EAS equipment configuration, contact the manufacturer directly. Should you have questions regarding your firewall or network configuration, you may want to consult with an IT consultant or the manufacturer of that equipment.

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A guide to taking care of yourself and your newsroom in times of coronavirus


The coronavirus pandemic threw a ginormous flaming curveball at the news media industry, from turning newsrooms remote to eviscerating whole streams of revenue. It’s really easy to panic when you don’t know what the next day or even the next hour will bring, much less how to plan for it.

As the outbreak worsened, journalists in the Journalists of Color Slack channel started talking about their anxieties and decided they wanted to jump into action to help their colleagues, from freelance reporters to editors and managers.

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COVID-19 Response Toolkit now available from NAB


The National Association of Broadcasters has created an online Coronavirus Response Toolkit to help broadcasters cover COVID-19 developments accurately and effectively.

NAB added new downloadable COVID-19 public service announcements Thursday. The PSAs are available in both English and Spanish, and scripts are available to stations who want their own talent to read the information.

Additionally, the toolkit features editorial guidelines, including lists of trusted resources and social media accounts to ensure stations point listeners in the right direction for COVID-19 information.

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2019 NASBA FCC Filings



For those of you doing annual reports or the like, below are summaries of the 2019 FCC filings made on behalf of the State Broadcasters Associations through NASBA.  The result of the Regulatory Fee filing was an across the board reduction in 2019 radio reg fees that averaged a 10% fee reduction.  The EEO proceeding is still ongoing.

Scott R. Flick | Partner
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

In the Matter of Review of EEO Compliance and Enforcement in Broadcast and Multichannel Video Programming Industries, MB Docket No. 19-177.  Comments filed on November 4, 2019.  Your Association, in combination with the state broadcasters associations of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, filed extensive Reply Comments in this proceeding noting the questions raised by federal appellate courts as to the constitutionality of the FCC’s EEO Rule, and the corresponding need for the Commission to more narrowly tailor the rule to meet constitutional requirements and thereby lessen the burden on broadcasters.  Additionally, the Reply Comments advocated eliminating the FCC’s program of random annual EEO audits of broadcasters, as such audits are costly, burdensome, and have proven unproductive for both the FCC and broadcasters, as they have merely confirmed what is already known—that broadcasters have an excellent record of compliance with the EEO Rule despite the extensive paperwork burdens that entails.  The Reply Comments also opposed numerous proposals submitted in the proceeding that would have only served to make the EEO Rule more burdensome without any countervailing need or benefit.

In the Matter of Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2019, MD Docket No. 19-105.  Comments filed on June 7, 2019.  Your Association, in combination with state broadcasters associations across the country, filed extensive Comments in this proceeding advocating for significant reductions in the FCC’s proposed regulatory fees for radio and television stations in 2019.  The Comments argued that the FCC’s proposed regulatory fees were in part based on defective data, and that the process used to allocate fees among the various industries regulated by the FCC unfairly shifted FCC “overhead” costs to radio and TV stations in the form of higher regulatory fees.  The Comments also argued that the FCC had failed to release adequate information to determine how it had allocated various costs among regulated industries, and that more transparency in the process is required to meet the FCC’s statutory obligations, as well as to permit outside parties to analyze the process and bring errors to the FCC’s attention.  Finally, we noted that Congress had last year passed the RAY BAUM’s Act of 2018, which altered the FCC’s congressional instructions for setting and collecting regulatory fees, and that the FCC’s proposal for 2019 regulatory fees failed to comply with those new requirements to the detriment of broadcasters.

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Politicians Coming After Radio


As the NAB battles to prevent radio stations from having to pay for the music they air, legislation has been introduced that may pave the way for radio managers to have to dig deep into their wallets. It’s called the AMFM Act. Here are the details…

The Ask Musicians for Music Act was introduced by Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) in the House and Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) in the Senate. The AMFM Act gives music creators control of their own work by requiring broadcasters to obtain consent before playing their music. Under the AMFM Act, artists who want to allow terrestrial radio to continue to use their work for free can choose to do so. Artists who seek compensation for their work can exercise their right to negotiate rates for the use of their sound recordings from broadcasters. Both bills provide special treatment by protecting small, public, college, and other non-commercial stations.

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