Howard Stirks Settles Retrans Complaint for $100,000

TV station group Howard Stirk Holdings (HSH) has agreed to pay $100,000 and adopt a compliance regime to settle an FCC charge that it had breached its duty to negotiate retransmission consent agreements in good faith. HSH admitted to the good faith violation as part of the settlement. 

The FCC's Media Bureau chief, Michelle Carey, said it would be in the public interest to adopt the consent decree and settle the matter. 

The FCC last fall upheld a complaint by AT&T against Stirks and several other TV station groups for failure to negotiate retransmission consent in good faith. All the groups were represented by Duane Lammers of Max Retrans, which was also cited in the complaint. AT&T sued Lammers, though that suit was thrown out.

"We find that Defendants’ actions, including a persistent refusal to negotiate, an unreasonable delay of negotiations, and a failure to respond to AT&T’s proposals, violated each of the per se good faith standards raised in AT&T’s complaint," the FCC said at the time it upheld the complaint.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.