A former television news reporter, Tim Nelson brings his interest and experience in broadcasting, including his knack for asking the right questions and creativity in problem solving, to bear for clients. Tim’s work includes media law, FCC regulatory work, government relations, and corporate transactions, especially for media and communications companies.
Tim has significant experience representing clients in the mass media industry, including television stations, radio stations, newspapers and broadcasting companies. He also represents several broadcaster trade associations. He helps these clients navigate the ever-changing media landscape and its particular legal challenges.
"Each client’s current legal problem, be it big or small, extremely complex or (in the scheme of things) relatively simple, is likely the most important, pressing issue he or she faces at the moment – and, therefore, it’s the most important, pressing issue I am facing, too."
Tim regularly counsels broadcast clients on FCC regulation compliance issues, including political regulations, EEO reports and audits, ownership reports, contests and promotions, licensing, closed captioning, children’s programming, emergency access, cable and satellite royalty proceedings, and public file requirements. Tim has also handled notice and comment proceedings before the FCC, providing written advocacy on hot-button issues of critical importance to his clients, and advocating for reform of certain industries regulated by the FCC.
Tim routinely advocates for his clients on various legislative matters affecting their businesses at the local, state and federal levels. His government relations practice includes working to ensure that laws and regulations are crafted in a manner to permit broadcast companies to continue to serve and inform the public.
Tim works with clients, particularly in the media industry, on a wide range of business transactions, including station and asset sales, mergers, acquisitions, and financing transactions. He drafts and negotiates licensing agreements, with a focus on retransmission consent agreements between television broadcasters and cable/satellite companies, OTT licensing deals, sales agreements, organizational documents, and other business contracts.
Honors & Recognitions
Recognized by North Carolina Super Lawyers as a "Rising Star" in Communications Law (2019, 2021)
Gressman-Pollitt Award (Best Oral Argument, Research/Writing/Advocacy Class), 2010
University of North Carolina School of Law, J.D., 2012, with high honors; Order of the Coif; Comments Editor, North Carolina Law Review, 2011-12; Staff Member, North Carolina Law Review, 2010-11
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.A., 2002, Morehead-Cain Scholar; Outstanding Graduating Senior, Broadcast Journalism Sequence, Journalism School
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th and D.C. Circuits
U.S. District Court for the Western, Middle, and Eastern Districts of North Carolina
- Media MentionCommunications Daily, 03.10.2021
- RecognitionNorth Carolina Super Lawyers, 01.14.2021
- Media MentionTVnewscheck.com, 06.12.2020
- Speaking Engagements02.04.2020
- Press Release10.22.2019
- Press Release08.02.2018
- Press Release02.02.2016
- Speaking Engagements08.02.2018
- Speaking EngagementsTim Nelson Presents at 36th Annual “Representing Your Local Broadcaster” CLE as Part of the National Association of Broadcasters Show04.27.2017
- Client Alert09.04.2015
- PublicationBrooks Pierce Media Attorneys Author Survey of North Carolina Privacy and Related Claims Against the Media07.13.2015
- Client Alert01.14.2015
Professional & Civic
Professional & Civic Activities
Member, North Carolina Bar Association
Member, Federal Communications Bar Association
Co-Chair, Federal Communications Bar Association, Carolinas Chapter (2017-present)
Board member, Follow the Child Montessori School (2013-2016)
Youth soccer coach (Fall 2015, Fall 2017)
My favorite virtues: honesty and integrity
Where I'd most like to live: Raleigh! (But I wouldn’t mind spending summer afternoons at Wrigley Field.)
The natural talent I'd like to be gifted with: I’m not sure it counts as a natural talent, but it would sure be nice to be a scratch golfer.
My heroes in real life: My father.
What I admire most about my clients: Their passion for their work, be it the general manager of a television station, a small business owner, or the general counsel of a large company.