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FCC Suspends Use of New Ownership Form

The Federal Communications Commission has again suspended the use of new Form 323 for commercial broadcast licensees. As a consequence, the agency is also postponing the Jan. 11, 2010 deadline to file Biennial Ownership Reports.

Those who had already started filling out the new forms in the meantime can still turn them in. The commission said it would announce the reactivation of the new form and the new filing deadline in a subsequent notice.

As previously reported, the commission released the electronic version of the new FCC Form 323 on Dec. 9 in CDBS. Over the last two weeks, the commission has fielded numerous inquiries prompted by complaints of data being lost with the new form as the information was being uploaded into the FCC’s electronic data system. The agency is trying to resolve the problems.

Separately, the communications law firm of Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth PLC, along with 10 state broadcast associations, asked a federal appeals court to stay the implementation of the new forms “pending court review of the new burdens that form imposes,” according to FHH on its blog.

FHH and other groups have protested the addition of Social Security Numbers for broadcast owners filling out the new form