FCC to refreeze station transfers


At press time, the Federal Communications Commission was preparing a public
notice informing any would-be station buyers and sellers that it will
temporarily freeze station-transfer applications again until it can figure out
how to proceed in the wake of the Philadelphia-based U.S. Court of Appeals for
the Third Circuit’s stay of the new ownership rules.

FCC staffers were brainstorming Thursday to try to figure out what "we can
do, what we can't do and what we must do" about the agency’s brand-new
station-transfer-application forms.

The commission redid the forms to reflect the new ownership rules -- which
are now on hold -- and lifted the freeze on transfers of licenses and
construction permits two weeks ago with the publication of those forms in the
Federal Register.

After the FCC's June 2 vote to change ownership rules, the agency stopped
accepting new license applications until the new forms could be readied. The old
forms were declared unusable and online filing made mandatory.

But now, the old rules remain in force, and the new ones could be one year in
coming, if ever.