Senate Passes CALM Act

WASHINGTON: By unanimous consent, the Senate has passed the Commercial Advertising Loudness Mitigation, or CALM, Act.

The bill must be reconciled with the House version, which was passed last December, something not expected to happen until after the November elections. It will then be sent to the president for his signature.

The CALM Act directs the FCC to enforce loudness standards set by the Advanced Television Systems Committee in November 2009 to ensure that cable and broadcast stations do not air excessively loud commercials.

The commission will have a year to devise new rules, and the bill includes provisions for granting waivers to operators that demonstrate financial hardship.

The bill, S.2847, was passed yesterday, Sept. 29. It was introduced to the Senate by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and co-sponsored by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), John D. Rockefeller (D-W.V.), and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).

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