By Adam R Jacobson
RBR + TVBR Editor-In-Chief
A June 30 Freedom of Information Act request by the National Association of Broadcasters for a series of “studies, reports, articles, presentations, empirical data, surveys and/or internet sources” used by the FCC’s Media Bureau as the basis for its quadrennial review of broadcast ownership rules has yielded exactly 13 documents that the NAB describes, “to put it mildly, underwhelming.”
In a scathing August 25 letter addressed to Commission Secretary Marlene Dortch, NAB General Counsel Rick Kaplan (pictured, at left) called the documents received “a hollow foundation for research or analysis.”
Kaplan added, “The records prove what broadcasters have long suspected — the FCC has taken a purposeful “head in the sand” approach to its required quadrennial examination of the media marketplace.
RBR + TVBR Observation (full text below, for subscribers): Rick Kaplan has become our new personal hero. Anyone who states in a letter to the Commission that its decision to retain 41-year-old broadcast cross-ownership rules was based on a “particularly lackluster and ultimately arbitrary and capricious effort by the FCC” deserves a toast.