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NAB Gets Its FOIA Papers, Says FCC Has Its Head in the Sand

Association continues its public campaign lamenting results of quadrennial review

The National Association of Broadcasters says the results of its FOIA request show that the Federal Communications Commission failed to conduct a rigorous review of U.S. media ownership rules as mandated by Congress.

It received documents from the FCC in response to a Freedom of Information Act request in June regarding the commission’s recent decision that largely leaves ownership restrictions intact. NAB now has sent a letter to the FCC saying the documents show the ruling to be based on evidence that is “underwhelming” and “devoid of useful data.”

“The resulting collection of 13 documents, which we received on Aug. 16 … is, to put it mildly, underwhelming. A hollow foundation for research or analysis, the records prove what broadcasters have long suspected — the FCC has taken a purposeful ‘head in the sand’ approach to its required quadrennial examination of the media marketplace,” NAB wrote.

The letter was signed by NAB General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Legal and Regulatory Affairs Rick Kaplan.

“These records expose a particularly lackluster and ultimately arbitrary and capricious effort by the FCC to seek out and consider other information that would show unequivocally how marketplace changes have nullified the need for the rules, at least in their current form.”

Read the NAB letter and the documents themselves here (PDF).