OMB Approves Online Political File Paperwork Collection

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Washington -- The Office of Management and Budget late last week informed
the Federal Communications Commission it had approved the paperwork-collection
requirements of the agency's online political file posting order, according to
the Sunlight Foundation.

The OMB has to approve any new regulations that impose new
paperwork-collection requirements. The Sunlight Foundation is a pro-transparent
goverment group that has been pushing for TV-station online political file
posting.

A National Association of Broadcasters spokesperson also
said the rules had been approved. An FCC spokesperson was not available for
comment.

The rules, which
were approved in April
, have not yet been published in the Federal
Register. The new requirement does not become effective until 30 days after
that.

The FCC is requiring the top four network-affiliated TV
stations in the top 50 markets to send the agency their political files, which
include spot prices, for posting in a database it will administer.  The balance of TV stations will follow suit
within two years, though the FCC will seek comment after a year on how the
initial requirement affects those first 200 stations.

 The National
Association of Broadcasters challenged the rules in court
on the grounds
the order is arbitrary and capricious because it does not apply to cable or
satellite providers. Separately, TV stations have asked the FCC to reconsider
the decision, offering an alternative of posting aggregate rather than
individual prices. They argue posting the prices will put them at a
disadvantage to cable competitors, although, at least one major cable operator,
Time Warner Cable, already
posts its political spot prices online
.

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