Gazing Into the Crystal Ball - What Washington Has In Store For Broadcasters in 2011

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Every year, about this time, I dust off the crystal ball to offer a look at the year ahead to see what Washington has in store for broadcasters. This year, like many in the recent past, Washington will consider issues that could fundamentally affect the broadcast industry - for both radio and TV, and affecting the growing on-line presence of broadcasters. The FCC, Congress, and other government agencies are never afraid to provide their views on what the industry should be doing but, unlike other members of the audience, they can force broadcasters to pay attention to their views by way of new laws and regulations. And there is never a shortage of ideas from Washington as to how broadcasters should act. Some of the issues discussed below are perennials, coming back over and over again on my yearly list (often without resolution), while others are unique to this coming year. Issues unique to radio and TV, and those that could affect the broadcast industry generally, are addressed below.

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