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Radio JSAs Must Report to FCC

To comply with tighter ownership rules, radio stations currently operating joint sales agreements with other stations in their markets must notify the Federal Communications Commission of the deals by Feb. 22, the agency said Monday.

The reports will help the FCC gage whether an owner is in compliance with limits on the number of stations that can be owned in a specific market.

In June 2003 the FCC voted to make both stations in a radio JSA attributable to an owner’s local ownership tally. The change makes it harder for owners to circumvent limits on the number of stations that they can control in a market.
While the FCC's other ownership rules were stayed and remanded by a Philadelphia Appeals court, that court allowed the tighter radio rules were to take effect.
Owners that enter into such JSAs in the future must disclose the deals to the commission within 30 days of execution. The JSA disclosures will be placed in the license files the FCC maintains on both stations and will be made available for public inspection.

Under the typical joint sales agreement, a station owner authorizes another station to broker some or all of its ad time in return for a fee or cut of the revenue. The FCC is currently reviewing whether to make TV JSAs attributable to local ownership limits.
Until now, stations haven’t been required to notify the FCC when joint sales agreements are signed and the FCC has no tally of how many are operating. JSAs are less extensive than “local marketing agreements,” which give the lead partner more say over programming and other core operations of the brokered station. TV LMAs have been attributable since 1999.