Will the NAB ask a court to freeze the FCC’s quadrennial review of ownership rules? It recently raised that possibility.
The broadcast association has been complaining vigorously that the commission has no business starting its congressionally mandated 2022 rule review given that it has not completed the 2018 one. NAB this winter officially asked the FCC to “toll” or postpone its 2022 process and finish the 2018 one first. “How are stakeholders supposed to intelligibly comment for purposes of the 2022 quadrennial review on rules subject to change in a previous unfinished review?” it asked.
Then last month NAB raised the possibility of taking the matter to court. “To date, the commission has not responded to NAB’s request,” it wrote to the FCC on March 29.
“NAB thus respectfully hereby notifies the commission that, unless the commission acts on NAB’s request by April 12, 2023, NAB will deem the request denied and reserves its right to seek judicial relief to protect its interests in lawfully conducted quadrennial broadcast ownership reviews.”
April 12 has passed now with no further developments. An NAB spokesman told Radio World there’s no update at this time.
The FCC is charged with determining every four years whether its rules continue to be in the public interest. It has indicated it still plans to finish the 2018 review.
The Media Bureau has said only three structural ownership rules remain subject to the commission’s quadrennial process: the Local Radio Ownership Rule, the Local Television Ownership Rule and the Dual Network Rule. The new FCC proceeding seeks comments on commission policies on diversity, competition and localism within the context of those three rules.
FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel will speak at the NAB Show here in Las Vegas on Monday.
[Related: “Finish Your Quadrennial Before Starting Another, NAB Tells FCC”]