NAB Weighs In on FCC’s Localism Proposals

National Association of Broadcasters: Changes Would Decrease Local Stations’ Public Service
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The National Association of Broadcasters said the Federal Communications Commission's localism proposals are based on faulty premises, are unnecessary and, if passed, could decrease, not increase, public service to communities. Some, it argued, could even have devastating consequences for broadcasters.

In its filing with the FCC, the NAB said local stations "embrace" their public-interest obligations and already offer "a wealth of national and local news and information," and the trade group took issue with the FCC localism reports' suggestion that stations are out of touch with their communities and not giving them enough community programming.

The NAB said the commission has no basis for "turning back the clock" to regulations from an "analog era," putting in a pitch for deregulation by adding, "There is no reason to maintain the current level of regulation on broadcasters, let alone to increase regulation on an industry that remains the most heavily regulated in the market."

The trade group added that proposals that stations be staffed 24/7 and locate their main studios in their cities of license could have devastating effects on smaller stations.

FCC proposals to create new categories for program-reporting requirements have First Amendment implications, the NAB said.

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