Promoting and Advocating for the Broadcasters of Nevada, While Serving the Public

Nevada Broadcasters Association

In the News Archive

(May 17, 2019) KUNR Public Radio in Reno Joins Mountain West News Bureau

Collaboration Expands Regional News Coverage

RENO, Nev. – KUNR Public Radio has joined the Mountain West News Bureau, a regional reporting collaboration of public radio news stations. KUNR, a service of the University of Nevada, Reno, joins five current member stations in serving the Rocky Mountain states of Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming and Utah—and now Nevada’s high desert and the Sierra.

The Mountain West News Bureau provides original reporting from its combined network of public radio newsrooms led by Boise State Public Radio in Idaho and including KUNR (Reno), KUER (Salt Lake City), Wyoming Public Media (Laramie), KRCC (Colorado Springs), and KUNC (Greeley, Colo.). Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and the station partners.

“Collaboration is a force multiplier; together stations can do more and innovate faster to provide the local journalism that is part of the bedrock of public media’s valued service to our country,” said Kathy Merritt, CPB senior vice president, journalism and radio.

“The growth of the KUNR newsroom over the past several years is impressive,” said Tom Michael, general manager of Boise State Public Radio and managing director of the Mountain West News Bureau. “We are proud to include KUNR in the collaboration. We look forward to sharing regional reports for the listeners in Reno and to hear more stories from Nevada.”

Western Issues Include Land, Water, Growth, Culture

Each partner station has a dedicated reporter who contributes stories about the unique issues in the urban and rural areas of the Rocky Mountain/Sierra Nevada region. They also collaborate with national programs, including American Public Media’s Marketplace, NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well as other public media programs. The four main areas of editorial focus are:

  • Land and water resource management
  • Regional growth
  • Issues in the rural West
  • Western culture

The stations work together to highlight these issues for a broad range of listeners. As in other regional journalism collaborations across the country, the project’s journalists are based in station newsrooms, sharing news content for audio and digital platforms across the region.

“From the Sierra to the Rocky Mountains and throughout the surrounding areas, we share common Western concerns and region-specific issues,” said KUNR General Manager David Stipech. “KUNR is excited to contribute to the news bureau’s tradition of sharing relevant, relatable stories with regional and national audiences—the way public radio does so well.”

Since its inception in early 2018, the Mountain West News Bureau has produced more than 700 stories or news reports for regional or national distribution, several of which have been recognized with prestigious industry awards.

 
   

 

                                                                       ###                                                                        

Media Contact: 
David Stipech 
General Manager 
KUNR Public Radio   
dstipech@kunr.org 
775-682-6300

KUNR is an award-winning NPR-member station with a growing presence in providing local and regional news to 70,000 weekly listeners throughout Northern Nevada, Eastern Nevada and the Eastern Sierra. Licensed to the Nevada System of Higher Education, KUNR has for more than 55 years broadcast from the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno, a land grant institution and top tier research university with an enrollment of nearly 22,000. KUNR is part of the university’sReynolds School of Journalism, one of 110 fully-accredited journalism and mass communication programs in the United States.

 

Links for more information: www.kunr.org      www.journalism.unr.edu     www.unr.edu    www.cpb.org

 

KUNR Public Radio / Mail Stop 0294 / University of Nevada, Reno / Reno, NV 89557 / www.kunr.org

 


 

 

 

 

 (Las Vegas, Nevada) Nevada Broadcasters Association (NVBA) President Mitch Fox announced today that the Findlay Automotive Group will receive the prestigious Community Achievement Award at the organization’s annual Hall of Fame Gala on August 24th at the Four Seasons Hotel.

 “Under the leadership of COO/CFO Tyler Corder, the Findlay Automotive Group has redefined philanthropy as one of the most community-minded companies in the state of Nevada,” said President Fox. “The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association and so many other non-profits have benefited by the generosity of this company. In addition, Findlay partners with our member stations as part of that outreach. Findlay Automotive Group was an easy choice to be the recipient of the Community Achievement Award at our annual Hall of Fame Gala.”

 The Findlay Automotive Group now consists of 34 dealerships in 6 states and every one of those dealerships is heavily involved in financially supporting charitable organizations in their respective areas. Employees also donate their time to assist non-profits. As COO and CFO, Tyler Corder has served as President of Safe Nest, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the American Red Cross of Southern Nevada and is actively involved in other Nevada charities.

This year marks the 24th Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame Gala and will take place on Saturday, August 24, 2019 at The Four Seasons Las Vegas. All money raised at the Hall of Fame Silent and Live Auctions benefits the Nevada Broadcasters Foundation’s Tony and Linda Bonnici Broadcasting Scholarship Fund which provides tuition scholarships to students attending Nevada’s Colleges and Universities.

To purchase a sponsorship, reserve a table or place an ad in the program, please call (702) 794-4994.                                                       

About Nevada Broadcasters Association

The mission of the NVBA is to promote and advocate for the Broadcasters of Nevada while serving the public. We help improve and preserve, on a national and statewide basis, an economic, legal and regulatory environment that best enhances the ability of each Station to be financially strong, to remain free from governmental control of programming, and to excel in the public service roles that each Station plays in Nevada.  The NVBA offers a robust Public Education Partnership program providing government agencies and non-profits, the ultimate in public outreach and awareness. We seek to educate Nevada’s local, state and federal officials along with other community leaders about important broadcasting issues, concerns and challenges, in an effort to create increasingly strong and healthy communities.

About Nevada Broadcasters Foundation Scholarship Program

The Nevada Broadcasters Foundation (NVBF) and the Tony & Linda Bonnici Scholarship Fund finds the very best broadcasting and journalism students in Nevada and empowers them to pursue their dream by awarding scholarships. The Foundation awards full tuition scholarships to the next generation of Nevada’s broadcasters. This scholarship is unique in that it is a scholarship by broadcasters for broadcasters.

For more information about NVBA and NVBF, please call 702-794-4994, or visit http://nevadabroadcasters.org.

 Media Contacts:

Mitch Fox  Mitch@NevadaBroadcasters.org  

Eric Bonnici Eric@NevadaBroadcasters.org  

702-794-4994

                                                                                                                                                                   ###

(Las Vegas, Nevada) The Nevada Broadcasters Association will present the Lifetime Achievement Award to broadcast veteran Ralph Toddre during the Association’s Annual Hall of Fame Gala on Saturday, August 24, at 7pm at The Four Seasons Las Vegas.

Toddre first began his long broadcasting career in 1975, working as the Operations and Programming Manager at KLAS TV, a Landmark Communications Company.

In 1986, Ralph became Vice President and General Manager for Sunbelt Communications Company where he developed plans for a new Yuma television station. The station began operations less than six months after its conception.

Ralph returned to Nevada where he became Vice President and General Manager of KRNV News 4 in Reno and later, President and C.O.O. for Sunbelt Communications Company/Intermountain West Communications Company in which he managed operations for twelve NBC and FOX affiliate broadcast stations in five western states, including Nevada, Arizona, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.

As the father of three, two of whom were diagnosed with Autism, Ralph was inspired to become a leader in the State of Nevada and across the nation emphasizing the specific needs of children and families affected by the condition. He began this mission in 2006. by co-founding the Autism Coalition of Nevada with his wife, Meredith.

This year marks the 24th Hall of Fame Gala and will take place on Saturday, August 24, 2019, at The Four Seasons Las Vegas. All money raised at the Hall of Fame Silent and Live Auctions goes directly to support the Nevada Broadcasters Foundation’s Tony and Linda Bonnici Broadcasting Scholarship Fund which provides tuition scholarships to students attending Nevada’s Colleges and Universities. One hundred forty-five (145) scholarships have been awarded over the past seven (8) years to talented and dedicated students of broadcasting in Nevada.
To purchase a sponsorship, reserve a table or place an ad in the program, please call (702) 794-4994.

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.

The FCC yesterday released two public notices about the procedures to be used in the upcoming radio license renewal cycle. These actions were previewed by the FCC at the NAB Convention last week (see our article here). As we wrote here and here, the license renewal cycle begins with the filing of license renewal applications by stations in Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia and West Virginia that must be submitted by June 3 (as the June 1 deadline falls on a weekend, the deadline is extended to the next business day). Stations in these states should already be running their Pre-Filing Announcements on the 1st and 16thof the 2 months preceding the renewal filing (see our articles here and here).

The first of yesterday’s notices announces that the renewals will be filed in the FCC’s LMS database which was first used by radio broadcasters in connection with the filing of their last set of Biennial Ownership Reports. In addition to the license renewal form (now FCC Form 2100, Schedule 303-S), broadcasters will also have to submit a Broadcast Equal Employment Opportunity Program Report (LMS Form 2100, Schedule 396). The Public Notice says that the forms will be available by May 1. It also notes that, over time, other radio forms will migrate to the LMS database as the FCC leaves behind CDBS, the database that it has used for broadcasting for well over a decade.

The second Public Notice provides some more details about the renewal process. It makes clear that all stations, whether or not they have 5 full-time employees, will need to file both Schedule 303-S and Schedule 396. In connection with the EEO filing, stations with fewer than 5 full-time employees are only certifying that they have that number of employees, and reporting on whether there have been any EEO proceedings filed against them. The FCC also reminds broadcasters of their pre-filing announcement obligations referenced above and of their general duty to keep their online public file complete and up to date, confirming that if the online file is not complete by renewal time, fines are possible (see our articles here and here). For stations in the first renewal group, applications can be submitted any time after May 1.

Radio station operators should carefully review these new forms and their revised instructions and familiarize themselves with the workings of LMS if they have not already used that system. The upcoming renewal period is rapidly approaching, and these public notices make clear that the FCC will be closely monitoring your compliance with its rules.

(Las Vegas, Nevada) Nevada Broadcasters Association President Mitch Fox announced today that Nevada Congressman Mark Amodei will be honored with the prestigious President’s Award, during the Association’s Annual Hall of Fame Gala on Saturday, August 24, 2019 at 7pm at The Four Seasons Las Vegas.

“Congressman Amodei has always been a friend to Nevada’s broadcasting industry,” said President Fox. “His long-standing support for our issues was made even more evident when he was the first member of Nevada’s Congressional Delegation in 2019 to become a co-sponsor of the Local Radio Freedom Act.”

Congressman Amodei understands the importance of local radio and television, which provide free news and information, children’s programming, Emergency and Amber Alerts and public service announcements highlighting Nevada’s non-profits.

In Congressman Amodei’s words, “I consider local broadcasting to be necessary infrastructure, like a gas or electric utility. You really can’t live without it.”

The Nevada Congressman was first elected to the Nevada Assembly in 1996, representing Carson City. In 1998 he ran for the State Senate and served three terms. In 2011 Amodei was elected to Nevada’s Second Congressional District. He has served on the House Judiciary, Natural Resources and Veterans Affairs Committees and currently serves on the House Appropriations Committee and two of its subcommittees.

This year marks the 24th Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame Gala and will take place on Saturday, August 24, 2019 at The Four Seasons Las Vegas. All money raised at the Hall of Fame Silent and Live Auctions benefit the Nevada Broadcasters Foundation’s Tony and Linda Bonnici Broadcasting Scholarship Fund, which provides tuition scholarships to students attending Nevada’s Colleges and Universities.

To purchase a sponsorship, reserve a table or place an ad in the program, please call (702) 794-4994.

About Nevada Broadcasters Association

The mission of the NVBA is to promote and advocate for the Broadcasters of Nevada while serving the public. We help improve and preserve, on a national and statewide basis, an economic, legal and regulatory environment that best enhances the ability of each Station to be financially strong, to remain free from governmental control of programming, and to excel in the public service roles that each Station plays in Nevada. The NVBA offers a robust Public Education Partnership program providing government agencies and non-profits, the ultimate in public outreach and awareness. We seek to educate Nevada’s local, state and federal officials along with other community leaders about important broadcasting issues, concerns and challenges, in an effort to create increasingly strong and healthy communities.

About Nevada Broadcasters Foundation Scholarship Program

The Nevada Broadcasters Foundation (NVBF) and the Tony & Linda Bonnici Scholarship Fund finds the very best broadcasting and journalism students in Nevada and empowers them to pursue their dream by awarding scholarships. The Foundation awards full tuition scholarships to the next generation of Nevada’s broadcasters. This scholarship is unique in that it is a scholarship by broadcasters for broadcasters.

For more information about NVBA and NVBF, please call 702-794-4994, or visit http://nevadabroadcasters.org.

Media Contacts:

Mitch Fox Mitch@NevadaBroadcasters.org

Eric Bonnici Eric@NevadaBroadcasters.org

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the next Quadrennial Review of the FCC’s ownership rules was adopted in December and was published today in the Federal Register, starting the 60 day period for public comments. Comments on the NPRM will be due on April 29 with reply comments due on May 29. The FCC is looking at numerous issues, including one issue, the rules setting out the limits on the number of radio stations that one company can own in a market, that has not been reviewed in depth in recent Quadrennial Reviews. On the TV side, the FCC is again looking at local TV ownership (specifically combinations of Top 4 stations in a market and shared services agreements) and also at the dual network rule restricting common ownership of two of the Top 4 TV networks. In addition, the FCC is reviewing additional ideas on how to increase diversity in broadcast ownership. Today, let’s look at the FCC’s questions on the local radio ownership rules.

The review of the radio ownership rules may well be the most fundamental issue facing the Commission in this proceeding, as no real changes have been made in those rules since they were adopted as part of the 1996 Telecommunications Act. As we wrote here, the marketplace has certainly changed since 1996 – which was at least a decade before Google and Facebook became the local advertising giants that they now are; and before Pandora, Spotify, YouTube and many other web services offered by tech giants became competitors for the audience for music entertainment. And spoken word entertainment competition was also virtually non-existent – “audiobooks” were a niche product and the concept of a “podcast” would have been totally foreign when the current rules were written. So what are some of the questions about the radio ownership rules that are being asked by the FCC?

The current rules allow one entity to own up to 8 stations (no more than 5 of which can be in one “service” – either AM or FM – the “subcaps“) in the largest markets – markets with 45 or more stations. The limits on station ownership, and ownership in any service, decrease in steps depending on the number of stations in the market. In any market no matter how small, one owner can hold an AM and an FM, but once past that minimum, in the smallest markets, one owner cannot own more than half the stations in the market. Most fundamentally, the FCC asks in the NPRM if these limits are still justified or whether some other limits would be more appropriate. The NAB, for instance, has proposed that there be no limits on AM ownership at all, nor any limits on ownership of stations in markets below the Top 75 rated markets. In the Top 75 markets, the NAB proposes that one owner be allowed to own up to 8 FM stations, and up to 2 more if it successfully incubates a new broadcast owner (see our article here for more on the NAB proposal, and our article here for more on the FCC’s incubator rules).

In connection with this broader question of the limits to adopt, the FCC asks for comments on many more specific issues including:

  • Most fundamentally, the FCC asks whether “broadcast radio” is the relevant market to review when assessing whether the ownership limits still operate in the public interest, or if radio is no longer its own silo, but instead part of a broader media marketplace. In short, do radio stations only compete against other radio stations, or do they compete for listeners and advertising dollars with other media?
  • How do consumers view digital media? Do they see it as a substitute for local radio? Is it just free digital services that compete with radio, or are subscription services also competitors?
  • Would greater consolidation give broadcasters the ability to compete with other media, particularly digital media for listeners and advertisers? If so, how would more consolidated ownership promote more competition with the new media?
  • Would allowing one owner to acquire more stations in a market promote local programming or would it result in less localism?
  • Does In-Band-On-Channel Radio (more commonly known as HD radio, allowing one station to broadcast multiple digital program streams) already provide an effective way for broadcasters to get more voices in a market?
  • If the current limits on ownership are not retained, what limits should be substituted? Should ownership limits be based on numerical caps in markets with a particular number of stations, or should some other limitation (e.g. market or revenue share) be used? Should all stations count the same toward any limits (e.g. should a lower power Class A station count the same as a high power Class C FM station)? Should AM count the same as FM?
  • What effect would any change have on minority ownership of broadcast stations?
  • What would be the costs and financial benefits of allowing one owner to own more stations in a single market?

Obviously, the FCC is raising many issues in this proceeding, and parties have 60 days to provide the FCC with information to help guide its decision. The FCC asks for specific examples to illustrate the changes in the marketplace, and empirical data to back up assertions made in the proceeding. Expect the review of the radio ownership rules, where many broadcasters feel very strongly about the issues and the need for reform, to be a hot topic in Washington for the remainder of the year.

And watch for our summary of the other issues in the Quadrennial Review NPRM in the next few days.

As we wrote here, at the FCC’s December meeting, the FCC was scheduled to adopt an order eliminating the requirement that broadcasters post a physical copy of their licenses and other instruments of authorization at their control points or transmitter sites. In fact, the Commission adopted that order before the meeting, and it today published the order in the Federal Register, meaning that it is effective as of today. This order was adopted as part of the FCC’s Modernization of Media Regulation initiative. As a station’s licenses are now generally available online, the FCC stated that they saw no reason to require that they be posted at station locations not normally accessible to the public. So there is now one less regulatory requirement for broadcasters to worry about.

Yesterday, we wrote about upcoming deadlines for broadcasters, and noted that the FCC was going to be releasing an order providing further details on the deadlines for pleadings and other documents that were due during the government shutdown. That Public Notice was released on Tuesday, and further postponed many filing deadlines which fell during the shutdown. Filings that were due at the very beginning of the shutdown, from January 3-7, will still be due today, January 30, as noted in prior FCC releases. However, for documents due January 8 and after (in fact, through February 7), the new filing deadline will now be February 8. There is also a new deadline for updates to the online public file, including the Quarterly Issues Programs lists that were due in station’s public inspection filed by January 10, which will now be due by February 11. Quarterly Children’s Television reports to be filed at the FCC would presumably be due on the 8th, with other children’s television documents (including information about compliance with advertising limits in children’s programs), which are only placed in the public file, would have the February 11 deadline. Comments in proceedings such as the FCC’s proceeding on Class A AM stations will be covered by the new February 8 filing deadline. Responsive pleadings addressing any of the documents extended by this FCC order will also be extended to follow these new revised filing deadlines.

At the same time, the FCC announced that it would move the date of its February meeting up one week – the be held on February 14. The agenda for that February meeting is here – addressing all the issues that had been teed up for the January meeting. The January 30 meeting (now scheduled to begin at 12:30 pm ET) will end up being comprised of nothing more than announcements. For broadcasters, as we wrote yesterday, the FCC will likely abolish the need for filing the FCC Form 397 EEO mid-term report at its February 14 meeting. The FCC will also vote on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking looking at the process for issuing new construction permits to noncommercial broadcast stations and LPFMs. Presumably, the February 14 date was to insure that the meeting would occur before the next potential shutdown, which could occur on February 15 if no budget deal is reached. So, for now, broadcasters have some more time to file documents that were delayed by this year’s first government shutdown.

Updated; 1/30/2019, 10:10 AM to note the different deadline for public file updates.

Just back from the shutdown, the FCC released an order denying the appeal of two LPFM advocacy groups who had appealed the denial of their petition seeking to block hundreds of new FM translators that will rebroadcast AM stations. We wrote about prior rejections of this petition by the Media Bureau here and here. Yesterday’s order rejected the petitioners’ application for review seeking consideration by the full Commission of the Bureau’s decisions. The petitioner had based their claim on an allegation that new translators could put undue limits on LPFM stations changing transmitter sites. But the petitioner never showed that any translator would specifically affect any LPFM station seeking to change site (and likely could not, as many new translators are in relatively rural areas where there are likely to be plenty of available spectrum for both translators and LPFM uses). As there had been no specific showing of any harm created by any of the challenged translator applications, and the petitioners had not shown that they represented any LPFM adversely affected by any translator application, the petition was again rejected for lack of standing. Given that so many AM stations are relying on these translators (and likely many have already been granted and built), this action should come as a relief to licensees who received grants of these translator applications.