Pursuant to an April 8, 2009, Order, ALL broadcast licensees are required to file biennial ownership reports by November 1, 2009. Thereafter, biennial ownership reports will be due every two years, by November 1 (i.e., by November 1, 2011, November 1, 2013, etc.). Ownership reports must be filed electronically using a new, modified version of FCC Form 323. The new form is currently being reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). Based on our review, the new form will present significant new burdens for many broadcasters including an increase in the number of reports that must be filed. Any comments on the new form under the PRA are due to OMB by September 10, 2009. Please contact one of the attonneys listed below if you are interested in participating in comments.
In addition to the foregoing, the Order changed FCC ownership reporting requirements as follows:
- Full-power commercial stations owned by individuals or partnerships of natural persons must file reports.
- LPTV and Class A television stations must file reports.
- The scope of reportable interests is expanded to include minority interests in a corporation with a single majority shareholder, as well as interests in an eligible entity that would otherwise be attributable but for the operation of the higher equity/debt plus attribution threshold applicable to financial interests in eligible entities.
- Data in reports must be current as of October 1.
The Media Bureau is authorized to conduct random audits to ensure the accuracy of the reports.
A copy of the Order is available here.