Wish to file an opposition to the FCC’s Second Report and Order that completed the 2010 and 2014 Quadrennial Reviews of the nation’s media ownership rules?
You now have until Feb. 3 to do so.
The FCC’s Media Bureau made the decision Wednesday (1/11), and it’s a small victory for Prometheus Radio Project and Media Mobilizing Project and a minor defeat for the NAB.
Here’s the background: On Aug. 10, the FCC adopted its Quadrennial Review Order, which some expressed displeasure with, as it was past on a party-line 3-2 vote and largely kept in place the Commission’s nearly 42-year-old media cross-ownership restrictions.
That led several parties, including the NAB, to file petitions for reconsideration of the order. These were filed Dec. 1, and on Dec. 30 a summary of the Commission’s Public Notice regarding the filing of these petitions was published in the Federal Register. This set the clock at having a deadline for oppositions as Jan. 17, and the deadline for replies to oppositions as Jan. 24.
The deadline for filing replies was later changed to January 27, 2017, to allow for a full 10 days after the time for filing oppositions had expired, consistent with the Commission’s rules.
That wasn’t good enough for Prometheus and MMP, and wanted the deadlines shifted to Feb. 16 and Feb. 24, respectively. They argued that the holiday season and their current schedule made it difficult to best counsel clients on the matter.
The NAB, in turn, opposed this request from Prometheus and MMP, arguing that the public interest would not be served by any further delay in Commission action regarding the broadcast ownership rules.
In this instance, the FCC Media Bureau finds that “the need to develop a full and complete record in response to the petitions provides good cause for waiving the Commission’s rule to allow for additional time.”
But, it said, “that a shorter, one-week extension of time is warranted in these circumstances and that such an extension will not unduly delay the Commission’s consideration of the reconsideration petitions.”