More Lawmakers Warn FCC Against New Localism Regs
April 28, 2008 at 2:52 PM (PT)
23 U.S. Senators sent a letter to FCC Chairman KEVIN MARTIN, voicing concerns that the proposed localism and ascertainment rules would cause hardships for broadcasters and might be unconstitutional.
The letter from Sen. PAT ROBERTS (R-KS) and 22 other lawmakers focuses on the proposal that would establish community advisory boards and other requirements connected to license renewals, saying that it is "wholly unwarranted to force all licensees to adhere to a blanket regulatory regime that does not account for the diverse needs and challenges of communities across the nation, and the measures that many broadcasters are already taking in this regard." The letter also says that the imposition of public service requirements raises "the specter of government-regulated content." A similar letter was sent by 120 members of the House a week ago.
ABC also filed objections to the new rule, focusing on the requirement of providing affiliates with screeners of network shows before they air, noting that some shows, particularly reality shows, are finished just a few hours before airtime and that it already provides affiliates with pre-airing notice of potentially controversial content.