Whenever the FCC has something on the table for possible rulemaking, the public gets a chance to comment on it. It’s a deadline-defined process, but the clock cannot start ticking until the FCC’s item is published in the Federal Register. That event has taken place in the matter of enhanced disclosure for television stations.
The item goes by the bureaucratically-styled name: “Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Matter of Standardized and Enhanced Disclosure Requirements for Television Broadcast Licensee Public Interest Obligations.”
It made it into the Federal Register 11/22/11. Comments are due 12/22/11, and reply comments are due by 1/6/12.
The FCC said it “…seeks comment on a series of proposals to modernize the way television broadcasters inform the public about how they are serving their communities.”
Among the proposals are moving public files from a cabinet in a back room somewhere at a station facility to an online site maintained by the FCC. It also seeks to reduce the amount of material contained in the file. On the other hand, the FCC is looking into requiring identification of advertising sponsors.
The current FNPRM is strictly aimed at television, but radio broadcasters may want to weigh in as well, since they are next in line for similar treatment.