It’s no secret that the NAB was pushing for changes to be made to the Media Ownership Rules, so it should come as no surprise that the organization is pretty upset now that the FCC has made it official that there will be no changes. NAB attorney Rick Kaplan has written a letter to the Commission to voice displeasure about how the Commission made its decision, using evidence that fails to justify their decision.
In a Freedom of Information request, the NAB requested any materials used by the FCC to reach its decision. What they received were 13 documents, calling it underwhelming. Kaplan rites: “A hollow foundation for research or analysis, the records prove what broadcasters have long suspected — the FCC has taken a purposeful ‘head in the sand’ approach to its required quadrennial examination of the media marketplace.”
Kaplan writes that it’s impossible to conclude that Commission staff made any serious attempt to examine the issues presented from a fresh perspective. “While the Commission will no doubt argue that the existing record provided enough information on which to base its decision to maintain its analog-era rules, these records expose a particularly lackluster and ultimately arbitrary and capricious effort by the FCC to seek out and consider other information that would show unequivocally how marketplace changes have nullified the need for the rules, at least in their current form.”
The NAB’s Dennis Wharton tells Radio Ink, The NAB Board of Directors will be discussing any further steps the organization might take. No decision has been made on what course of action might be taken as of yet.
Read Kaplan’s entire letter to the FCC HERE