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FCC's New Definition of Qualified Candidate Takes Effect Next Month

A campaign sign graveyard
(Image credit: Gary Arlen)

The FCC's update of its political programming rules has been published in the Federal Register, which sets the effective date for broadcaster compliance.

The FCC's changes to the definition of "legally qualified candidate" will go into effect March 14. But not all the changes will kick in. The FCC's amendments to political file requirements have to be vetted by the Office of Management & Budget per the Paperwork Reduction Act.

The FCC revised the definition of "legally qualified candidate for public office" to include creating a campaign website and the use of social media to further that campaign.

The changes that still must get OMB signoff were revisions to the political file rules to extend political recordkeeping rules to issue ads -- ads that communicate a message on any political subject of national importance -- as well as campaign ads. ■

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.