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Extension Of Comment And Reply Deadlines - 2014 Quadrennial Review

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Released: June 27, 2014
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Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-926

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of

)

)

2014 Quadrennial Regulatory Review – Review of

)

MB Docket No. 14-50

the Commission’s Broadcast Ownership Rules and

)

Other Rules Adopted Pursuant to Section 202 of

)

the Telecommunications Act of 1996

)

)

2010 Quadrennial Regulatory Review –Review of

)

MB Docket No. 09-182

the Commission’s Broadcast Ownership Rules and

)

Other Rules Adopted Pursuant to Section 202 of

)

the Telecommunications Act of 1996

)

)

Promoting Diversification of Ownership

)

MB Docket No. 07-294

In the Broadcasting Services

)

)

ORDER

Extended Comment Date: August 6, 2014

Extended Reply Comment Date: September 8, 2014

Adopted: June 27, 2014

Released: June 27, 2014

By the Chief, Media Bureau:

1.

On April 15, 2014, the Commission released a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in

the 2014 Quadrennial Regulatory Review proceeding.1 The Commission set deadlines for filing

comments and reply comments at 45 and 75 days, respectively, after publication of the 2014 Quadrennial

Review FNPRM in the Federal Register. The 2014 Quadrennial Review FNPRM was published in the

Federal Register on May 20, 2014,2 and the deadlines for submitting comments and reply comments were

established by public notice for July 7, and August 4, respectively.3

2.

On June 27, 2014, the Media Bureau released a Report on the Ownership of Commercial

Broadcast Stations (“2014 323 Report”).4 This report, which follows the same format as the Bureau’s

1 2014 Quadrennial Regulatory Review – Review of the Commission’s Broadcast Ownership Rules and Other Rules

Adopted Pursuant to Section 202 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, MB Docket No. 14-50, Further Notice of

Proposed Rule Making and Report and Order, 29 FCC Rcd 4371 (2014) (“2014 Quadrennial Review FNPRM”).

2 2014 Quadrennial Regulatory Review, 79 Fed. Reg. 29009 (May 20, 2014).

3 Media Bureau Announces Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the 2014 Quadrennial Regulatory – Review

of the Commission’s Broadcast Ownership Rules and Other Rules Adopted Pursuant to Section 202 of the

Telecommunications Act of 1996 Published in Federal Register May 20, 2014, Public Notice, DA 14-691 (MB, rel.

May 21, 2014).

4 See 2014 Quadrennial Regulatory Review – Review of the Commission’s Broadcast Ownership Rules and Other

Rules Adopted Pursuant to Section 202 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, MB Docket No. 14-50, Report on

Ownership of Commercial Broadcast Stations, DA 14-924 (MB, rel. June 27, 2014). The 2014 323 Report is based

(continued….)

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Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-926

previous Report on the Ownership of Commercial Broadcast Stations (“2012 323 Report”),5 provides

detailed information by race, ethnicity, and gender concerning ownership of commercial television, radio,

Class A television, and low-power television stations.

3.

The 2014 323 Report represents the latest step in the Commission’s ongoing efforts to

collect and publicly release information concerning minority and female ownership of broadcast stations.

The Commission has sought actively in recent years to improve its collection and analysis of broadcast

ownership information.6 These initiatives, which are ongoing, include efforts to improve the reliability,

utility, and completeness of the ownership data submitted to the Commission.7 We anticipate going

forward that the 2012 323 Report, 2014 323 Report, and subsequent reports will provide useful periodic

“snapshots” of minority and female ownership in the broadcast industry. We also expect that our

continuing efforts to reform and refine our ownership data collection will yield more and better data to

support trend analyses in the future. The 2014 323 Report is part of the record of this proceeding and will

be considered in our current quadrennial review and, along with additional information and data from

subsequent biennial filings, will be considered in our succeeding quadrennial reviews.8

4.

The Coalition for Smaller Market Television Stations (“Coalition”) filed a motion

seeking an extension of time for the filing of comments and reply comments for the 2014 Quadrennial

Review FNPRM on June 5, 2014.9 In its motion, the Coalition asserts that it needs more time to respond

fully to the numerous questions posed in the further notice regarding the local broadcast multiple

ownership rules and shared service agreements, among other matters.10 The Coalition believes that

additional time will allow all interested parties to present more complete information and data,

particularly about competition in medium-sized and small television markets.11 Further, according to the

Coalition, many broadcasters are preparing comments for several other ongoing proceedings that have

comment and reply comment deadlines in June and July, near the current deadline for comments in the

media ownership proceeding.12 The Coalition posits that a 30-day extension of time for filing comments,

i.e., August 6, 2014, and a 35-day extension for filing reply comments, i.e., September 8, 2014, will

(Continued from previous page)

on ownership information, as of October 1, 2013, submitted by broadcasters in their biennial Form 323 filings. See

FCC Form 323, Ownership Report for Commercial Broadcast Stations, available at

http://transition.fcc.gov/Forms/Form323/323.pdf; see also 47 C.F.R. § 73.3615. The data contained in each Form

323 ownership report are publicly available and may be downloaded from the Commission’s Consolidated Database

System (CDBS) and then aggregated, cross-referenced, and searched electronically. See

http://transition.fcc.gov/mb/databases/cdbs/.

5 See 2010 Quadrennial Regulatory Review – Review of the Commission’s Broadcast Ownership Rules and Other

Rules Adopted Pursuant to Section 202 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, MB Docket No. 09-182, Report on

Ownership of Commercial Broadcast Stations, 27 FCC Rcd 13814 (2012). The 2012 323 Report is based on

ownership information, as of November 1, 2009, and October 1, 2011, submitted by broadcasters in their biennial

Form 323 filings.

6 See, e.g., 2014 Quadrennial Review FNPRM, 29 FCC Rcd at 4481-85, ¶¶ 249-56.

7 See id.

8 The 2012 323 Report also is part of the record. See Commission Seeks Comment on Broadcast Ownership Report,

MB Docket No. 09-182, Public Notice, 27 FCC Rcd 15036 (Med. Bur. 2012).

9 Coalition of Smaller Market Television Stations, Motion for Extension of Time filed June 5, 2014 (“Motion”).

Coalition members include Bonten Media Group, Inc., LIN Television Corporation, Morgan Murphy Media, Quincy

Newspapers, Inc., Raycom Media, Inc., and Schurz Communications, Inc. Motion at 1 n.1.

10 Id. at 2.

11 Id.

12 Id. at 2-3.

2

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Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-926

permit its members as well as other broadcasters to participate in each of the Commission’s proceedings

impacting television stations.13

5.

The Commission does not routinely grant extensions of time.14 Nevertheless, the issues

in the 2014 Quadrennial Review FNPRM are significant and important to a wide range of interested

parties, and we seek to encourage robust participation in the proceeding. We find persuasive the

Coalitions’ arguments identifying the complexity of the pending issues and the competing deadlines in

other proceedings. We must also be mindful not to unduly extend existing deadlines. While we would

otherwise be inclined to grant a shorter extension than the Coalition requested, in light of the recent

release of the 2014 323 Report we believe that granting the full extension request is appropriate. The new

deadlines will provide commenters a sufficient opportunity to fully develop their comments and reply

comments in the 2014 Quadrennial Review FNPRM to include any facts, information, or positions that

are implicated by the content of the 2014 323 Report.

6.

This Order also solicits input in this quadrennial review proceeding concerning the 2014

323 Report. Parties may address the 2014 Quadrennial Review FNPRM and the 2014 323 Report in the

same document. Thus, we grant a 30-day extension of time for comments and a 35-day extension of time

for reply comments, thereby establishing the new comment and reply comment deadlines as August 6,

2014, and September 8, 2014, respectively.

7.

Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 4(i) of the Communications Act

of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. § 154(i), and Sections 0.61, 0.283, and 1.46 of the Commission’s rules,

47 C.F.R. §§ 0.61, 0.283, and 1.46, the motion for extension of time filed by the Coalition of Smaller

Market Television Stations is granted in part, and the deadlines for submission of comment and reply

comments are accordingly extended to August 6, 2014, and September 8, 2014, respectively.

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

William T. Lake

Chief, Media Bureau

13 Id. at 3.

14 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.46(a).

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