NAB to FCC: Reporting Requirement a Burden

National Association of Broadcasters Claims Program-Reporting Requirement Would Increase Stations’ Paperwork Burden by 1,000%

The National Association of Broadcasters told the Federal Communications Commission its new program-reporting requirement -- part of a package of TV localism proposals -- would increase the paperwork burden on stations by more than 1,000%.

In comments at the FCC, the NAB also talked about the person-hour burden. It said stations would have to devote an extra 21.5 hours per week to comply, or more than 4 million hours per year.

The FCC wants broadcasters to fill out a new disclosure form that requires more detailed information on what kind of programming it aired and why.

The NAB said such a burden would divert resources from its mission to serve its communities. It also said it would wind up being a larger burden than the FCC's old program-ascertainment policy, scuttled in the deregulatory 1980s.

At the time, the NAB said, the General Accounting Office (now the Government Accountability Office) called it the single largest paperwork burden imposed by government on a business.

The NAB also asked the FCC to submit the form to the Office of Management and Budget so that it could weigh in on the paperwork burden.

The FCC argued that most of the information was already required in stations’ programs/issues logs, which must be kept in their public files, but the NAB argued that instead, the new form will require stations to "review, gather and maintain an enormous amount of data regarding virtually all of its programming.”