NAB Asks FCC For Changes In Proposed Online Public File Extension To Radio, Limiting Complaints To Locals
March 17, 2015 at 5:06 AM (PT)
The NAB's comments in the FCC's proceeding on extending the online public file requirements to radio, cable, and satellite operators asks for "significant accommodations" for smaller stations, including an exemption for noncommercial stations and stations with fewer than five full-time employees, more time to comply, and restrictions on who can file complaints.
The comments include a counterproposal that stations in the top-50 markets be given six months to upload existing public file material (as opposed to new material, which the NAB suggests can be uploaded within 60 days), and concurrence with others' comments that the Commission not require the uploading of letters and email and that political files be uploaded on a going-forward basis and not retroactively.
The NAB also asks that stations outside the top-50 markets with five or more full-time employees be given two years to comply, and that noncommercial educational stations and smaller commercial stations -- fewer than five full-timers -- be exempt. The Commission, the NAB proposes, should also modernize its AM contour map requirement, making it voluntary for Top-50 market stations and enabling electronic filing of the maps.
Also included is a request that filing windows for the files be extended and staggered to ease the burden on the FCC's filing system, and a proposal that complaint procedures and enforcement policies be concentrated on complainants who actually live in the service area of the station involved, saying that it would "reduce spurious allegations against stations, discourage the filing of mass electronic complaints made possible by today’s technology, and conserve the FCC’s limited resources for addressing valid and more locally relevant complaints."