The Justice Department is continuing to oppose the AT&T-Time Warner merger, calling AT&T's defense "little more than a revisionist 58-page summary of the district court's opinion" in a federal court filing. The DOJ is asking the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to reverse a lower-court approval of the merger on antitrust grounds.
Kevin Hart has reportedly signed on with Nickelodeon to produce scripted, live-action children's shows through his HartBeat Productions company. Hart is a network favorite who has won several Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards.
Hurricane Michael downed nearly 19% of cell sites and halted cable and wireline services for 264,000 subscribers in affected areas as of Thursday, according to the Federal Communications Commission. In response to the storm, AT&T waived overage charges for wireless customers in the affected areas, Verizon offered free calling, text and data for Alabama and Florida customers and T-Mobile had engineers and crews ready to deploy emergency response equipment as needed.
The Federal Communications Commission continues to assess the damage across Florida, Georgia and Alabama from Hurricane Michael and is reporting 27 FMs, three FM translators and four AMs off the air, as well as 18.8% of wireless towers offline. Those numbers may continue to climb, since the only FCC data collected is from stations able to report their status to Washington, which leaves many Florida stations out of the equation.
National Association of Broadcasters President and CEO Gordon Smith appreciates the bipartisan process that resulted in the Music Modernization Act. He also stands behind the value broadcasters continue to provide, especially during recent extreme weather, where "radio was part of the warning, the reporting and the rescue," he said.
Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan could not garner enough industry partners or money to take NextRadio to the next level, so on Thursday, he announced that the project would be winding down. "Everybody unanimously said, 'We have to have this.' But when it came time for pitching in and helping fund it, we couldn't get enough support," Smulyan said.
A recent Advertising Analytics report notes that in the past month, political TV ads that depict House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and/or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a negative light have aired over 34,000 times. Republican campaigns and affiliated groups have spent $28.4 million on the ads in the past month and will continue to air them because they're deemed effective, Natasha Korecki writes.
Peter Rice, who has signed on as Walt Disney Television's new chairman, will oversee much of the programming on networks including Disney channels, ABC and Fox once the Fox-Disney deal is finalized. Rice will also manage content for Hulu, plus Disney's new streaming service, which is scheduled to go live next year.
The California Consumer Privacy Act allows the state's 39.5 million residents to control whether their personal data can be used by businesses and enables them to sue over data breaches. In a report that surveyed 300 executives at high-revenue companies, PwC found that many respondents are "considering whether to extend CCPA's rights to all of their US employees and consumers for operational simplicity and long-term readiness for potential federal privacy legislation."
Charter Communications has rolled out its DOCSIS 3.1-backed Spectrum Internet Gig to 12 million additional households, putting its deployment at more than 95% complete. The service is being offered to new customers at $104.99 per month.
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