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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Get Your Political Files Ready


MultiChannel News reports FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has the votes he needs to require radio stations to post political files online in an FCC database. Currently, only TV is required to file. In August the Commission asked for input on whether that should be extended to radio, cable, and satellite. And late last month Wheeler circlulated the item to the other commissioners and received two other votes (from Democrats) meaning he now has the majority needed to have the item approved. We asked broadcast attorney John Garziglia when radio stations might need to be ready to file online.

Garziglia says, "It is almost a foregone conclusion that the FCC will continue to propose online public files for radio stations asking for comment on specific proposals for putting radio public files online.  There will be several months for comments and reply comments. It is possible that the FCC could quickly rush out a new online public file rule for radio sometime in the first few months of 2015.  But, since the predominate force behind requiring online public files is a desire for political file availability without personal visits to stations, the more likely time schedule is an adoption of radio online public file rules in some form to be effective for the 2016 election season. So, we can expect to see a Notice of Proposed Rule Making from the FCC for radio, cable and satellite TV online local public files shortly with the effective date of any rule change still some months in the future."

When this does go into effect the radio industry is hopeful the Commission will give smaller stations, with few employees, some leeway on what needs to be posted. MultiChannel News says this item becomes official as soon as the Republicans vote. Because there are already three votes, the clock is now running on the other two. It eventually becomes official whether they vote or not.

(12/12/2014 8:14:11 AM)
Blame "Citizens United." Leftists can't stand the idea that groups besides the ever-loyal unions are allowed to advertise in elections. Note the "sunshine Group" who keeps pressing for requirements for PACs to list all contributors in their spots (impossibility, of course, so the spots would be forced off the air).

The cost of keeping up w/political posting requirements will be an incentive to dump all political ads except for what the national candidates can steal from us.

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