FCC extends deadline for coment on media ownership studies

by Ira Teinowitz, TV Week

The Federal Communications Commission is responding to critics’ complaints that the agency isn’t giving them enough time to examine the scientific studies prepared for the agency’s media ownership review.

The FCC’s Media Bureau today extended the deadline for comment by three weeks, citing the request of Free Press, Consumers Union and the Consumer Federation of America.

Nearing the end of its examination of media ownership rules, the FCC on July 31 released 10 studies of various issues of media consolidation and indicated they could help form the basis of any rule changes. The studies included examinations of the impact of consolidation on news content, opinion, advertising and programming and also looked at minority ownership trends.

Consumer groups ripped the studies as one-sided or flawed. They also pleaded for more time to present alternatives, saying the two months the FCC originally offered wasn’t sufficient to do their own research and file other comments. They asked for an additional 90 days. Media General filed comments opposing any delay.

In its action today, the FCC’s Media Bureau said a brief delay was warranted.

“We believe that the public interest and our goal of assembling a full record in this proceeding would be best served by granting an extension of the comment and reply comment filing deadlines so that parties will have additional time to review the studies and underlying data. We recognize that there is a large amount of material to be reviewed and that some parties may need additional time to complete their review and analysis.”

The FCC said comments that were to have been filed by Oct. 1 now may be filed through Oct. 22, with responses now due by Nov. 1.

article originally published at http://www.tvweek.com/news/2007/09/fcc_extends_deadline_for_comme.php.

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