NAB: FCC Should Not Expand Ownership Report to Nonattributable Interests
Says, by definition, info would not indicate meaningful minority, female ownership
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 2/15/2013 4:59:30 PM
In comments filed with the commission on its form 323 reporting requirement, NAB says that it is all for the FCC enhancing the quality of its data in an effort to find ways to boost minority and female ownership. But it also says it should not expand reporting to include nonattributable interest because it would not yield useful information while imposing burdens on broadcasters and potentially deterring investment.
The FCC tried to expand the form to include various nonattributable interests in 2010 under acting chairman Michael Copps, but NAB pushed back and the FCC ultimately -- after Genachowski had become chairman -- decided to rethink the proposal.
It is rethinking the form again, and has put those same nonattributable interests back on the table, asking if it should include "holders of equity interests in a licensee that would be attributable but for the single majority shareholder exemption," and "holders of interests that would be attributable but for the higher Equity/Debt Plus ('EDP') thresholds adopted in the Diversity Order for purposes of determining attribution of certain interests in eligible entities."
"NAB continues to believe that this obligation would not serve any useful purpose. By definition, this information cannot inform concerned parties about minorities or women with a meaningful role in broadcast station operations, because, as the Commission has previously determined, only the holders of attributable interests have such influence," NAB said.
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