In an effort to quantify broadcasters’ public service, the FCC has come to some tentative conclusions and seeks comment on a variety of proposals including unattended operations and the ability of stations to issue emergency alerts.
The agency identified proposed rules for nine areas including whether stations should rely on community advisory groups to determine community needs; whether to increase political reporting requirements as well as payola and sponsor ID rules; and whether the license renewal process is rigorous enough.
NAB said it would review the proposals. EVP Dennis Wharton said the localism proceeding “carries grave First Amendment implications” and said it “stems from a false notion that radio and television stations have abandoned our commitment” to public service.
“We are confident that any truly objective localism analysis will vindicate the performance of radio and TV broadcasters, and overshadow the shrill voices of those who would regulate broadcasters back to the 1960s.”