FCC Proposes New Form Requiring TV Broadcasters to Document their Public Interest Programming

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When the FCC last month started a new proceeding to mandate an online public file for television stations, the Commission promised to soon initiate another proceeding to look into the need for a new form to document the public interest programming that TV stations provide. The FCC today fulfilled that promise, and issued a Notice of Inquiry ("NOI") to start the process of adopting a new form for TV stations to complete to report on various categories of "public interest programming," however that might be defined. In 2007, the FCC had adopted Form 355 to accomplish that task. But, after an outcry from stations about the paperwork burden that the form would impose, the FCC never submitted it to the Office of Management and Budget for approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act, and thus the form never became effective. The adoption of the Form 355 was vacated last month in the online public file proceeding. But the Commission now proposes its return - in some fashion. So what does the Commission now propose to require from TV stations to document their public interest programming?

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