FCC ownership docket open for business


The Federal Register has done its thing with the latest FCC proposal for the quadrennial review of media ownership rules. And now that the FCC has had its say and the feds have made it available to the public, it’s the public’s turn to weigh in.

We’ll just let the FCC explain what it wants comments on: “On December 22, 2011, the Commission adopted and released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the 2010 Quadrennial Regulatory Review – Review of the Commission’s Broadcast Ownership Rules and Other Rules Adopted Pursuant to Section 202 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. In the 2010 Quadrennial Review NPRM, the Commission seeks comment on proposed modifications of the broadcast ownership rules, as well as certain aspects of the Commission’s 2008 Diversity Order that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit remanded and directed the Commission to address in the same proceeding. In addition, the Commission seeks comment on potential changes to the broadcast attribution rules.  The Commission set deadlines for filing comments and reply comments at 45 and 75 days, respectively, after publication of the 2010 Quadrennial Review NPRM in the Federal Register.”

The Federal Register published 1/19/12, setting up these two deadline dates:

Comments: 3/5/12
Reply comments: 4/3/12

As a refresher, the FCC has pretty much put forth the same proposal that former Chairman Kevin Martin did late in 2007. It would allow local broadcast/print combinations in the top 20 DMAs and otherwise leave most local caps alone. Additionally, it will look at revising its diversity rules, as noted above. It also is looking at whether SSAs between in-market, separately-owned television stations are in the spirit on the rules.

RBR-TVBR observation: Stakeholders, you have your assignment. Now get going! Only losers wait until the last minute to turn in their assignment.