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Filers Get More Time to Ponder Media Future

Also, March 4 workshop will look at radio and TV news specifically

You now have until May 7 to submit comments to the Federal Communications Commission concerning its examination of the future of media. The deadline had been March 8.

The point is to examine the changes underway in the media marketplace, explore technologies that will provide news and information in the future and possibly make policy recommendations to regulators.

Several public broadcasting entities — including the Association of Public Television Stations, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Public Radio, and the Public Broadcasting Service — asked for extra comment time, citing, among other things, the wide-ranging nature of the questions the FCC asked. The noncoms also plan to hold a series of regional “town meetings” seeking viewpoints of community leaders and station execs.

Former journalist and Internet entrepreneur Steven Waldman, who recently joined the FCC as senior advisor to Chairman Genachowski, is leading the effort with a working group of FCC experts. Waldman said during the FCC’s open meeting Thursday that the group is planning to hold a workshop on March 4 to look at radio and TV news specifically. The group launched a Web site Jan. 21 to give the public a way to engage in the process without having to go through the FCC’s electronic filing system, he said.

The Media Bureau said in its decision the comment deadline extension will give the public extra time to file studies, analyses and other submissions, resulting in a more complete record. Comments are due to GN Docket 10-25 by May 7.

Waldman’s group hopes to release a report with its findings later this year.