FCC Sets Comment Deadlines for Broadcaster Reporting Reform

Proposal ends paper filing requirements

The FCC has set comment dates for a proposed broadcaster-related FCC process reform eliminating paper filing requirements.

The Media Bureau has set a March 19 deadline for comment and an April 2 deadline for reply comments on its proposal to no longer require broadcasters to file paper copies of contracts and other documents with the FCC.

That came after the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published in the Federal Register.

The FCC has been requiring broadcasters, radio and TV, to affirmatively mail or hand-deliver copies of certain contracts and documents, but that requirement dates from the 1930's.

The NPRM concludes that the FCC should rely on the existing rules that require stations to retain copies in their own files and provide them on request.

The item, voted Jan. 30, was the fifth in FCC chairman Ajit Pai's Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative, whose goal is to "reduce unnecessary regulation that can impede competition and innovation in media markets."

Pai is getting some help from Congress on the process reform front as well. The House Energy & Commerce Committee unanimously approved an FCC reauthorization bill this week that included a raft of process reforms.