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Online Public File System Tweaked

NAB gets more time on its appeal

The FCC has updated its online public file site for television stations.

The development occurs as NAB gets more time from the federal court for its appeal.

New features include the ability to create folders to upload files related to station authorizations, like reports that stations are sometimes required to generate as a condition of their license renewal.

Several standardized folders are now available for licensees to upload their required reports and documents for political file terms and disclosures, EEO reports as well as documents related to station ownership.

The commission is still tweaking the site, with plans to develop a public search feature and RSS feeds as well as enabling stations to access the interface through cloud file-sharing software such as Dropbox.

Some 200 television affiliates of the top four networks in the top 50 Nielsen Designated Market Areas markets began uploading files to the site Aug. 2.

Other television stations must begin to do the same in two years and we’ve reported the agency has plans to require radio to follow a similar path.

Meanwhile, NAB’s main argument against the new online public file requirements is that the system places TV stations at a disadvantage — broadcasters are now required to post the details of political ad buys onto the FCC site and TV competitors like cable or satellite are not required to do so. The broadcast lobbying organization’s opening brief was originally due today, Oct. 4, before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

However NAB recently asked the court to give the organization more time.

NAB told the court that after the Nov. 6 elections, the volume of political ad purchases will drop dramatically, giving the lobbying group an opportunity to assess the effects of the new requirements.

The extra time, said NAB, would give the broadcast lobby more time to gain experience with the new requirements “and explore possible alternative means of resolving the issues.”

Radio World confirmed the court granted NAB’s request to move the due date to Feb. 15, 2013.