Broadcast foreign ownership rules get FCC nod.

wharton580This week the Commission passed, by unanimous voice vote, its proposal for streamlining its foreign ownership rules for broadcast stations. The changes include requirements that applicants with reportable foreign ownership to provide information on ownership, network operations, and related matters at the time they file their applications; that all applicants, with or without foreign ownership, agree to a set of mitigation provisions when they file their applications; and for a 90-day time frame for Executive Branch review, with an additional one-time 90-day extension “in rare circumstances.” Speaking for the industry, NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton said, “The FCC has taken an important step in allowing broadcasters to more freely and fairly compete for investment dollars. This order extends to broadcasters the same application and approval process that has been open to our competitors for years, and establishes more streamlined ways for radio and TV stations to comply with foreign ownership limits. NAB applauds the Commission’s decision and looks forward to greater investment in local sources of news and programming.”