FCC moves to promote diversified broadcast ownership

The FCC adopted a Report and Order on Dec. 18 intended to expand opportunities for new entrants and small businesses, including minority- and women-owned businesses, in the broadcast industry.

The new rules will help eligible entities with access to financing and availability of spectrum. The R&O lays out several actions, including:

  • Changing construction permit deadlines to allow “eligible entities” that acquire expiring construction permits additional time to build out the facility;
  • Revising the commission’s equity/debt plus (“EDP”) attribution standard to facilitate investment in eligible entities;
  • Modifying the commission’s distress sale policy to allow a licensee — whose license has been designated for a revocation hearing or whose renewal application has been designated for a hearing on basic qualifications issues — to sell its station to an “eligible entity” prior to the commencement of the hearing;
  • Adopting an Equal Transactional Opportunity Rule that bars race or gender in broadcast transactions;
  • Adopting a “zero-tolerance” policy for ownership fraud and “fast-track” ownership-fraud claims and seeking to resolve them within 90 days.

For more information, visit: www.fcc.gov.