The FCC has denied a request by the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council that it extend the comment period on the ownership diversity incubator program proposed in November.
The incubator was part of the FCC's November vote on local ownership deregulation, and was meant to be responsive to an appeals court's direction that it take into account the impact of its media ownership decisions on diversity.
Related: FCC to Court: We Gauged Dereg Impact on Diversity
MMTC had said it wanted to extend the comment period to give the FCC's Broadcast Development and Diversity Working Group, of which MMTC is a member, time to have its comments voted on by the full FCC diversity committee, which has to happen before they can be submitted. That vote is expected March 27, while the comment deadline is March 9, with replies to those comments due April 9.
The FCC's Media Bureau denied the request to extend the initial comment deadline to April 9 and the replies to May 10, signaling it wanted to get the program up and running. The FCC said that the Third Circuit Court of Appeals had held litigation of the FCC ownership rules in abeyance citing the pending incubator program proposal.
"Balanced against these considerations, we do not find that the circumstances identified by MMTC warrant grant of an extension," said the Media Bureau. "We encourage the working group and the ACDDE to work expeditiously to finalize and approve their comments and submit them in the record for consideration as soon as possible."
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