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FCC relaxes public comment rule

The FCC Thursday relaxed TV and radio stations' obligation to keep on file all comments submitted by the public.

Because of precautions implemented during the anthrax scare, many broadcasters are returning suspicious mail to the Post Office for inspection. Consequently, the NAB told regulators that complete public files might be impossible to maintain. Under the FCC order, stations for the next 60 days may exclude some comments from their public files.

Summaries of some comments may also be excluded from license renewal applications.

The FCC said waiver might be extended if the crisis continues. - Bill McConnell