FCC Provides Details on Ownership Reporting Rules

WASHINGTON: The FCC recently confirmed changes to its ownership reporting requirements for commercial broadcast stations. Those rules were revised in May, requiring all commercial stations, including LPTVs and Class As, to file an FCC form 323 every other year. A subsequent challenge by the National Association of Broadcasters was turned down by the FCC’s Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking released Oct. 16.

The Notice ratified a Media Bureau decision to push the filing deadline from Nov. 1 to 30 days after modifications to Form 323 are approved by the Office of Management and Budget. Those revisions are still in progress, though some are established. Each filing must have an FCC Registration Number, as well as all officers, directors and shareholders disclosed on the forms.

A requirement that all minority shareholders must file has been changed. The Further Notice granted the NAB’s request for reconsideration on the item, and seeks more feedback on how precisely to handle minority shareholder ownership. The comment period is 30 days after publication in the Federal Register; the reply comment period is 45 days after publication.

FCC media ownership dockets include: 07-294, Promoting Diversification of Ownership in the
Broadcasting Services; 06-121, 2006 Quadrennial Regulatory Review of the Commission’s Broadcast Ownership Rules; 02-277, 2002 Biennial Regulatory Review; 01-325, Cross-Ownership of Broadcast Stations and Newspapers; 01-317, Rules and Policies Concerning Multiple Ownership of Radio Broadcast Stations in Local Markets; 00-244, Definition of Radio Markets; and 04-228, Ways to Further Sec. 257 Mandate and to Build on Earlier Studies.