FCC Suspends Merger Review Shot Clocks

Has a 180-Day Informal Deadline on Those Reviews

The FCC said Tuesday that it would suspend its merger review shot clocks during the partial government shut-down that began Oct. 1.

The commission has a 180-day informal deadline on those reviews, though it has frequently exceeded that in the past, sometimes by many months.

"The individual time clock for each pending transaction will be stopped on the day of review that coincides with the last business day before the lapse in funding which is September 30, 2013," the FCC said in a public notice.

Among the deals currently on the clock are Gannett/Belo (currently on day 98), Media General/Young (day 83), Sinclair/Allbritton (day 47), Tribune/Local TV (day 73) as well as Tribune's bankruptcy reorganization plan.

The earliest the clocks will restart--which is if a deal is struck today (Oct. 1) to reopen the government would be Thursday (Oct. 3).

Although the FCC is down to a skeleton crew--commissioners and some essential staff--in case of an emergency, broadcast and cable operators can call 202-418-1122.