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Media Ownership Deadlines Extended

More time to debate local radio tiers, other audio platforms

The FCC has extended the public comment deadline in the media ownership proceeding by 14 days.

Reply comments to MB Docket 09-182 and 07–294 are now due by April 17.

The FCC has proposed retaining the local radio ownership “tiers” that allow one group to own a maximum of eight stations in the largest markets, and asks for comment on whether or how the rule should account for other audio platforms as well as the impact from the introduction of digital radio.

The agency proposes to repeal the radio/television cross-ownership rule, and to eliminate the blanket ban on newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership, replacing it with a modified version that would allow one company to own a newspaper and a broadcast station in the same market in the top 20 TV markets under certain criteria.

Ten public interest groups, including the Media Alliance, National Organization for Women Foundation and the National Hispanic Media Coalition, among others, asked for another 30 days. They said they needed more time to review the “voluminous industry filings” submitted by the initial March 5 deadline and to allow time for an anticipated Supreme Court ruling that may affect the issue.

Media Bureau Chief Bill Lake stated in his decision that 30 days was “unnecessarily long,” but a 14-day extension was warranted.