Broadcast and Media

Lerman Senter advises commercial and noncommercial broadcast and media clients on regulatory compliance, transactions, and business issues. Our clients include major commercial and noncommercial radio and television station group owners, smaller local broadcasters, minority and women station owners, national and international television and cable television programming networks and producers, venture capital and private equity firms, and financial institutions and lenders with media-related interests.

Lerman Senter attorneys provide a broad variety of broadcast-related services, including:

Federal Regulatory Issues

  • Preparing FCC applications for facilities modifications, channel and/or community of license changes, temporary and experimental authorizations, assignments and transfers of control, and license renewals.
  • Advising on FCC attribution matters, multiple ownership rules, and foreign ownership compliance.
  • Counseling on FCC licensing matters such as private carrier coordination, tower registrations, and historic and environmental preservation.
  • Advising on issues related to the spectrum incentive auction, including the repack transition process and channel sharing.
  • Helping clients participate in rulemaking proceedings by preparing comments and reply comments, and coordinating ex parte meetings and letters.
  • Monitoring and participating in agency proceedings and advising clients of decisions and proposed rulemakings issued by the FCC, FTC, NTIA, FEMA, and OMB.

Compliance Issues

  • Responding to FCC inquiry letters, investigations, notices of apparent liability, and negotiating consent decrees.
  • Developing compliance programs, seminars, and manuals that address EEO requirements, sponsorship identification, public inspection files, payola and plugola, indecency, political broadcasting, closed captioning, noncommercial underwriting restrictions, children’s television programming and commercial limitations, and website terms of use and privacy policies.
  • Advising on contests, promotions, and events, including reviewing contest rules and advertising copy, complying with social media platform requirements, and preparing releases, indemnification agreements, and contracts with vendors and co-promoters.
  • Advising noncommercial stations on compliance with underwriting limits, donor acknowledgements, and fundraising, including review of scripts.

Transactions

  • Assisting with the acquisition, merger, sale, leasing and financing of broadcast and media-related properties, including preparing, reviewing and negotiating asset and stock purchase agreements, joint sales and shared services agreements, operating agreements, local marketing agreements, merger agreements, financing documents and closing documents.
  • Preparing FCC applications for the sale and transfer of broadcast stations and other FCC-regulated entities.
  • Drafting and negotiating network affiliation agreements, employment and talent contracts, sports rights agreements, syndication agreements, programming, sales and license agreements, tower and studio leases, and related business documents.
  • Preparing and negotiating retransmission consent carriage agreements.

Litigation

  • Preparing formal petitions to deny and informal objections against adverse filings.
  • Appealing FCC and other agency decisions to courts, including drafting briefs and responsive filings and representing clients in the United States Circuit Courts of Appeals.
  • Participating in administrative law hearings at the FCC and other federal and state agencies.

Business Operations

  • Advising on employment-related questions such as hiring, termination, progressive discipline, and equal employment opportunity.
  • Preparing copyright and trademark registrations, cease and desist letters, and licensing agreements.
  • Reviewing agreements with vendors, promotional partners, telecommunications carriers, and e-commerce and Internet service providers.

Representative Matters

  • Represent financial institutions in financing and syndicating loans for mergers of broadcast companies.
  • Represent television broadcasters in negotiating and implementing channel sharing agreements.
  • Represented CBS Corporation in split and merger of CBS Radio with Entercom Communications.
  • Represented Journal Communications in merger with E.W. Scripps Company.
  • Represent Sinclair Broadcast Group in repack of more than 100 television stations in connection with the FCC’s broadcast incentive auction.
  • Represented Gold Gate Private Equity in acquisition of Neustar.
  • Handled FCC aspects of merger between Greater Media and Beasley Broadcast Group.
  • Represented Bain Capital in acquisition of Clear Channel Communications.
  • Represented Citadel Broadcasting Corporation in FCC aspects of $2.2 billion restructuring.

We welcome you to contact us for more information about our broadcast and media practice.

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