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NAB Reiterates Online Filing Transition Positions

Ex parte communication notices record stances consistent with the system’s rollout for TV stations

The National Association of Broadcasters reiterated its stance on the transition of radio stations’ public files online.

During three separate conversations with the staff of FCC Commissioners Michael O’Rielly, Ajit Pai and Jessica Rosenworcel, Erin L. Dozier spoke on behalf of the NAB and filed a Notice of Ex Parte Communication on Media Bureau Docket No. 14-127 with the commission.

Dozier writes that the NAB reemphasized its belief that radio stations with fewer than five employees should be exempted from the online public file requirement.

The logic for this is two-fold. First, these stations often only have one full-time employee and such a task would place undue burden on the station. Second, such stations also do not typically air very much political advertising, full and easy disclosure of which is the primary benefit of the online public file system.

The association also indicated support for the commission to phase in the new online filing requirement for radio stations following the model used previously by television licensees — initially exempting radio stations that are not in the Top 50 markets and do not have 11 or more employees. This was also previously employed for standards regarding enforcement of certain Equal Employment Opportunity program requirements. Using these criteria, the initial requirement would affect 11% of all radio stations, the same percentage as the same period for the TV transition.