State groups seek recruiting-mandate delay

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The umbrella group for state broadcast associations Thursday asked the
Federal Communications Commission to postpone and rewrite new minority- and
gender-recruiting rules that go into effect March 10.

The group argued that the FCC was wrong to reject an alternative "Internet
Plus" plan that would allow broadcast stations to meet their employment-outreach
obligations simply by posting openings on the Internet and mailing vacancy
notifications to parties that ask for them.

"The commission's action arbitrarily subordinates direct communications with
millions of potential applicants who use the Internet to search for jobs to
indirect communications with comparatively few potential applicants through
intermediary `referral' organizations," the state associations said in their
petition for reconsideration.

The new FCC rules allow Internet postings as one of several broad outreach
requirements.

The state broadcasters especially opposed documentation requirements for
outreach efforts, which broadcasters said are a burden on small stations.

The groups also asked the FCC to delay the compliance deadline until two
months after a ruling on the reconsideration petition is posted in the
Federal Register.

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