Industry News


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Report: Marketer Subpoenaed As Part Of Media Buying Probe.


In a sign that a federal investigation into U.S. media buying practices is ramping up, a federal grand jury has subpoenaed records from a large marketer. Ad Age reports the subpoena came after the Association of National Advertisers last fall announced that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had approached the group seeking cooperation in its look into “non-transparent” ad buying practices.

The trade group, which represents large national advertisers, earlier released a white paper on how marketers could cooperate, “but there's no evidence that any marketers have voluntarily come forward,” Ad Age says.

After the unnamed advertiser was subpoenaed, it approached ANA for guidance on how to deal with it. “One of these people described the client as having a mid-nine-figure media budget and that the subpoena seeks two years of financial records, e-mails and other communications between the client and its agency,” Ad Age reports, citing an unnamed source.



Cell Tower Training Bill Introduced

John Eggerton, Radio World

House Energy & Commerce Committee member Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) has introduced a bill, the Communications Jobs Training Act of 2019, that would boost training for cell tower workers.

That comes as the FCC, over the objections of various local government officials, has taken various steps to pave the way for swifter and easier deployment of such towers with the avowed goal of closing the rural digital divide and winning the race to 5G service that will make wireless broadband a stronger competitor to wired.

The bill (HR 1848) would instruct the FCC to administer a grant program establishing and/or expanding job training for tower “service, construction and maintenance.”



FCC Requests 1% Less In 2020 Federal Budget, Trump Asks For Spectrum Fees

The Federal Communication Commission has submitted its budget request for the fiscal year that begins October 1and it would take the belt in another notch. The FCC is asking for 1% less than what Congress approved in the current year with a request that totals $335,660,000. That’s $3.95 million less than what the FCC received in the federal government’s 2019 budget. The outline says the budget is designed to create a “lean, accountable, more efficient Commission.”

The Media Bureau, the part of the FCC that has the most contact with radio stations, would receive$19.6 million in funding under the budget blueprint. If approved, that would be a 1.6% increase from the 2019 budget approved by Congress that allocated $19.4 million to the Media Bureau. Nearly all the Bureau’s funding goes toward personnel expenses.



Senators Press AT&T/DirecTV for Small-Market, Remote Area TV Signals

Say company should find way to serve those markets with their own or nearby affiliate signals
John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable

A quartet of senators has asked AT&T to make the investment to get DirecTV to the dozen remaining smaller markets where DirecTV continues to import TV station signals from New York and L.A. network affiliates rather than the relevant hometown affiliate.

The senators are also concerned about importing those distant network signals into remote markets without that affiliate, rather than importing nearby affiliate signals with more locally relevant content.

The missing 12 markets are Alpena, Mich.; Bowling Green, Ky.; Caspar-Riverton, Wyo.; Cheyenne, Wyoming/Scottsbluff, Neb.; Grand Junction, Colo.; Helena, Mont.; North Platte, Neb.; Ottumwa, Iowa; Preque Isle, Me.; San Angelo, Tex.;Victoria, Tex.; and Glendive, Mont.



NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll Finds Half of All Regular Media Consumers Still Watch Broadcast Network Regularly

A.J. Katz, AdWeek

Cable might seem like king these days, but Americans still turn to broadcast network news when they want to know what’s happening in the world of politics. At least that’s according to one recent poll.

According to a February 2019 (Feb. 24-27) NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey of 900 Americans asked about media consumption along with general questions about politics, half said they watch broadcast network news regularly; 34 percent watch Fox News; 32 percent watch CNN; 25 percent watch MSNBC; 20 percent read conservative outlets; and 19 percent read progressive outlets.