Washington

NAB: FCC Should Not Expand Ownership Report to Nonattributable Interests

Says, by definition, info would not indicate meaningful minority, female ownership 2/15/2013 04:59:30 PM Eastern

The National Association of Broadcasters says the FCC
doesn't need to expand its ownership reporting requirements to include
nonattributable interests.

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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