FCC to make a decision by Sept. 29 on rules that require broadcasters to provide equal time for individuals and candidates to respond to personal attacks or political editorials.

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit last week told the FCC to make a decision by Sept. 29 on rules that require broadcasters to provide equal time for individuals and candidates to respond to personal attacks or political editorials. The NAB and Radio-Television News Directors Association have been petitioning for years to persuade the FCC to drop the rules, which came into being as part of the so-called "Fairness Doctrine." The FCC dropped that doctrine in 1987 but maintained the rules on personal attacks and political editorials. The court told the associations that, if the FCC doesn't act by the end of September, they are free to ask the court for "whatever action they deem appropriate." NAB and RTDNA had filed a petition with the court on July 5 reminding it once again that the FCC has ignored their repeated requests to take action on the rules.

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