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AIR WAVES official newsletter of the massachusetts broadcasters association
From the Editor
An exchange between Marty McFly and his uncle (the 1955 version) in Back to the Future went something like this:

Marty McFly: [watching a Honeymooners episode in 1955] Hey, hey, I've seen this one. I've seen this one. This is a classic. This is, uh, where Ralph dresses up as a man from space.
Milton Baines: What do you mean, you've seen this? It's brand new.
Marty McFly: Yeah, well, I saw it on a
Marty McFly: ... rerun.
Milton Baines: What's a rerun?
Marty McFly: You'll find out.

When it came to Sound Bites this year, we wanted to make sure it wasn’t a rerun.  As you’ll read below we’ve made a few tweaks to try to give our members the best bang for their buck at the MBA’s annual event.  In 2015 we’re introducing sales seminars specifically targeted to our radio and our television sellers.  We’ve also secured a keynote address from one of radio’s most respected executives.  Our entertainment will see a bit of twist, too.  We know you’ll enjoy the afternoon and evening and can’t wait to see you on November 12.  Register now!

Fall 2015 vol 3 • No. 3
In This Issue
Letter from the Editor

Sound Bites 2015

Exclusivity Rules letter

Legislative Update

Online contest rules

EAS test results
Sound Bites set for November 12th!
Sound Bites, the Massachusetts Broadcasters Associations Annual Meeting and Mingling Event is growing again in 2015.
We’ve dubbed this year the “Year of the Salesperson” and our seminars prove it.  Sound Bites will feature a radio-specific sales seminar from RAB as well as a TV-specific sales seminar presented by TVB.  Our dinner features a keynote address from Greater Media’s Chairman and CEO Peter Smyth, and BMI artist and Massachusetts native Lori McKenna will bring her in-demand country songwriting to grace the Sound Bites stage.

You’ll find invitations in your mailbox shortly but you can get a head start by registering online NOW at!  Click below for more Sound Bites details!

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MA television stations send letter on exclusivity rules
The Massachusetts Broadcasters Association, along with management from six Massachusetts television stations sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler on October 8, asking the Chairman to reconsider his position to eliminate television exclusivity rules.

The MBA delegation argued that “the notion that these rules are outdated is flawed.”  Chairman Wheeler, in a blog posted in August, proposed the elimination of these “outdated” rules.  Media Bureau Chief Bill Lake defended the Chairman’s proposal in a later blog post on September 22.

Elimination of exclusivity rules would inevitably lead to expensive litigation that would cause harm to both broadcasters and cable operators, leading to a diminished ability to be local.  Localism would suffer  not only because of the financial burden of lawsuits but making it easier for cable operators to import distant signals would lead to less effective news, weather and emergency information to Massachusetts viewers.

Read the entire letter here.
Fight continues for important legislation
There are a number of ongoing legislative issues facing broadcasters both in Boston and in Washington DC.

For our television members we are facing an effort by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler to end “exclusivity” rules for local broadcasters.   On the horizon, and getting ever closer, is the FCC’s voluntary spectrum incentive auction.  The auction is slated for the end of March and appears to be on schedule.

For radio, the MBA continues to pursue co-sponsors for the Local Radio Freedom Act, the non-binding resolution against any new type of performance royalty for radio stations.  

Closer to home the MBA is working on two pieces of legislation – the Media Shield Law and an anti-piracy bill for radio.  

New contest rules still on hold
Mid-December adoption at the earliest
Rules adopted by the Federal Communications Commission on September 17 allowing broadcasters to disclose contest information online as opposed to on-air will not go into effect until at least December.  As David Oxenford notes in his Broadcast Law blog on October, 7, the new rules must be reviewed “by the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act.”  The new rules should streamline the broadcast contest process but this is the government and protocols must be followed.  The comment period runs through December 7.

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MA stations fare well during FEMA EAS test
48 survey responses representing 82 stations
A survey of Massachusetts licensed radio and television broadcasters following the September 16 FEMA Regional EAS test suggests that the majority of broadcast stations in the Commonwealth received and forwarded the "NPT" code test without incident.

If you would like to answer the survey, you may do so here.  For resources to help program your EAS equipment to handle future NPT  tests, you can find them on the EAS page of

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