Local Requirements Proposed in NPRM; Critics Not Impressed

The FCC Thursday issued its much-anticipated report on broadcast localism and a Notice of Proposed Rule Making.

The reports provide an overview of the record and actions the agency has taken or intends to take.

Based on the record, the FCC said some of its policies and rules might need to be changed “to address the deficiencies of many broadcasters in meeting their obligation to serve their local communities.”

Comments to MB Docket No. 04-233 are due 30 days after publication in the Federal Record.

Read the report here

Chairman Kevin Martin in a statement said the changes proposed in the NPRM “are intended to promote localism by providing viewers and listeners greater access to locally responsive programming including, but not limited to, local news and other civic affairs programming. Most importantly, we tentatively conclude that all broadcasters must air a certain amount of local programming. I believe such a requirement is at the heart of what it means to be a local broadcaster.”

Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein said the new report “merely recites the issues of public concern, repackages previous commission actions, and proffers yet another set of proposals. There are no final rules—nothing concrete to foster a better relationship between broadcast licensees and the public they are licensed to serve. Today’s item literally does nothing meaningful to promote localism.”

—Radio World