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FCC Sets Deadline to Comment on Providing Gender, Race, Ethnic Info

Agency says ownership information is old, incomplete

The FCC has set the comment deadlines for its proposal to ask station owners to provide more complete information about their identity as part of the ownership diversity proceeding.

In its latest proposed rulemaking on the issue, the agency proposed changing FCC Form 323-E Ownership Report to obtain gender, race, and ethnicity ownership data and asked for comment on whether non-commercial stations and low-power FMs, should be required to file the data as well — with LPFMs using a revised FCC Form 323-E.

The commission is taking the action, it says, because the data it has now about the race, ethnicity and gender of radio and TV owners is old and incomplete.

“The official word is: We don’t have a clue,” Acting Chairman Michael Copps said when the FCC voted to make the change in April. “If we’re going to be a data-driven agency, we need better data and cannot rely on outside parties with their own interests” to provide the information.

If finalized, the new information would be due Nov. 1 with the information current as of Oct. 1 of this year.

Comments regarding DA 09-1195 must be filed to MB Dockets 07-294, 06-121, 02-277, 04-228; on or before June 29, 2009; and reply comments must be filed on or before July 13.