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FCC Delays Release of Ownership Reporting Form

The FCC late Monday decided to delay the deadline for filing biennial commercial broadcast ownership reporting forms (form 323).

The original date had been Dec. 15, but the commission says it will now give broadcasters until Jan. 11, saying it is because the commission is in the final testing phase of the form, which it had hoped would be available online Nov. 16, but wasn't.

The commissions had received a petition to delay the date by law firm Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, which argued that the form was changed without sufficient notice and to include a requirement for owners of virtually any size stake in a broadcast property to provide their Social Security numbers to the FCC, which the law firm said raised privacy issues.

But the FCC said the delay was procedural and did not address that petition in its announcement of the extension.

"We're still analyzing the situation," said Dan Patrick, one of the attorneys who filed the petition.