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FCC Postpones November 1 Ownership Report Filing Deadline

As we wrote in an earlier Advisory, the FCC adopted an order in April 2009 revising FCC Form 323, its Ownership Report form for commercial stations. It also expanded the types of entities and licensees required to file Form 323, announcing that owners of all commercial AM, FM, TV, LPTV and Class A TV stations would need to file the new form by November 1, 2009. The FCC later suspended its existing biennial Ownership Report filing requirement for stations that were to have filed in June, August, or October of 2009, since those stations would have to file the new Form 323 by November 1, 2009 in any event.

At this time, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not yet approved the new Form 323 for use by the FCC. In response to numerous calls from station counsel and industry representatives, the FCC today announced that it is suspending the requirement that stations file the revised Form 323 by November 1, 2009. Instead, stations will be required to file the new Form 323 by a date to be later announced by the FCC that is at least thirty days after the release of a public notice of OMB approval of the new form. In the meantime, the FCC announced that it will continue to suspend the filing of biennial ownership reports on existing Form 323 until the new form is available.

While the FCC originally required that the ownership information submitted in the new Form 323 be current as of October 1, 2009, today’s Order announced that when the revised Form 323 is available for filing, stations should include ownership information that is current as of November 1, 2009. The FCC also announced that this delay does not affect future filing dates of the biennial Ownership Report, which will fall on November 1 of all odd-numbered years going forward.

A copy of the FCC’s Order is attached. Should there be any questions concerning this change in biennial Ownership Report filing requirements, please contact us.

A PDF version of this entire article can be found at FCC Postpones November 1 Ownership Report Filing Deadline