Paper Contract Filing by Broadcasters On the Chopping Block

Posted on January 31st, 2018 by

Since the 1930s (yes, you read that correctly), the FCC’s rules have required that broadcast stations file certain contracts with the FCC, with any sensitive information redacted. There was never any way to do that electronically, so someone had to hit the print button, black out what was sensitive, and then snail mail the document to the FCC. What documents? Governing documents like articles of incorporation and bylaws. Affiliation agreements. Time brokerage agreements.

Well, lo and behold, the FCC regulatory underbrush posse is back in action, and just yesterday, adopted a notice of proposed rulemaking to change the rule, allowing broadcasters to simply maintain a list of the documents in the public file and provide those documents upon request to any member of the public or the FCC. Very simple. Less hassle. Other cleanup of the rule is proposed as well. We hope the proposal is adopted soon.