Here are some interesting news items about the broadcasting industry.

From NAB’s Smartbrief (click the links below each summary for details):

Comcast and other cable companies, under a policy change reportedly being considered by the Federal Communications Commission, could gain the power to boost fees without needing an OK from local authorities. Broadcasters are concerned that the shift would let cablers move TV stations to more expensive tiers, NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton said. Gary Resnick, chairman of an FCC advisory panel, said the rule change would “make things worse for consumers, not better.”

Suddenlink Communications is being acquired for $9.1 billion by European telecom Altice, which is reportedly also interested in Time Warner Cable. The Suddenlink deal is the first in the U.S. for Altice, which is led by French billionaire Patrick Drahi. Altice’s talks with Time Warner Cable reportedly are preliminary and may not lead to a deal.

The Federal Communications Commission will be able to get the most participants in the incentive spectrum auction if it establishes a target of 126 MHz of spectrum ahead of the deadline to apply to participate, Fox, Ion, Univision and Tribune told the agency during a meeting last week. The station groups have already shown an interest in participating “at the right price and under the right conditions,” while also looking to continue to operate, as well as to start sharing channels, John Eggerton writes.

The Federal Communications Commission has issued a $1 million penalty against iHeartMedia for a 2014 incident in which a false emergency alert was broadcast to more than 70 radio stations during the nationally syndicated “Bobby Bones Show.” IHeartMedia’s settlement with the FCC calls for the company to enact a compliance plan and remove the simulated emergency alert tones from its audio production archive.

In a SmithGeiger study for NAB, local and national broadcast news received the highest brand rankings from 57% of the public, compared with 52% for digital and 40% for cable. The research also showed that about two in three people receive news from a broadcast platform at least weekly and that nearly four in 10 tune in daily. Also, nearly four in 10 visit a broadcast website at least weekly.

Boston radio station will drop Rush Limbaugh show for second time.

From All Access:

Why listen to radio?

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